Soundcheck is all about checking out new sounds. In these exclusive chats with young bands, producers, rappers, singers and musicians, those upcoming artists that deserve the spotlight get a chance to shine.
With passionate and insightful writing UK hip-hop duo Broken Poetz (Mystero and D.Know) are promoting truth whilst mixing with the greats.
Why do you feel it is so necessary to emphasise personal honesty and conscious lyricism?
“With so much mainstream rap/hip-hop music focusing on negativity and glamourising things such as drug abuse/dealing and violence. We always wanted to present something that was true to us and positive. We want to be the difference and put out music that is deep and meaningful and challenges the current negative rap you hear regularly on the radio. Mystero watched a speech by an artist called Jack Flash recently, in which he told his story of how he started out gaining achievements from the lyrics he wrote about essentially being a better rapper than others, summarising that he didn’t know much about himself from what he wrote and that the listener wouldn’t either, and eventually he became an artist reflecting his feelings and thoughts as a person rather than a rapper. We can totally relate to what he was saying, so from the beginning we felt we always wanted to stay true to ourselves regardless of what people thought or whether they saw it as a weakness exposing your frailties as a human being. Writing is a channel for us to express the way we feel in a way in which we can’t through talking to people, making music is a way of helping us deal with any problems we can’t solve in day to day life. We are trying to reach out through the music, so the fundamental thing is that people can gain something from what you’re saying, like trying to educate with the honest reflection of your own life rather than fabricated stories of someone else’s life.”
What’s the story behind your group name?
“D-Know came up with it. We took ages to think of it and went back and forth over some silly ideas but it clicked when he said it. We’re broken as people, at the time whether it be broken homes, broken hearts or broke in terms of wealth, but what we convey is a form or poetry so it all fit together when we started out with the principles of being honest through art.”
What have you learned from working with established artists/producers such as Split Prophet’s Upfront MC and High Focus’ Molotov?
“These opportunities are a blessing, whether it’s organised through appreciation of each other’s music or not, if it’s considered good enough to stand alongside the talent of said artists then it makes you proud. Realising you can do it, and for it to happen makes you want to raise the bar in terms of your own growth. I’ve learnt that, from the feedback of others that we can stand our own ground when it comes to being considered a part of the culture in our own right. Collaborations can work well and can increase awareness of your music, but you can’t rely on them. You need to be happy with your own music firstly before approaching anyone. Not many established artists will jump on a track with you if they firstly aren’t impressed with the beat you are sending them or your portfolio of releases prior to contacting them. We actually had zero collabs on our first two EPs but felt this new album deserved some, and we were very lucky to get the artists we chose to agree to featuring on the album. It is a nice feeling when you receive there verses back and listen for the first time. These are artists that we have spent money on buying their music and seeing them perform so it’s wicked to see them on our album!”
Hear it here: Broken Poetz – Made Up My Mind (Prod. Runone & Molotov)
What’s next for Broken Poetz?
“All we ever wanted was to hold a professional sounding CD that was our own work, and for someone we have never met to give us feedback that our music affected them positively, we can say we have left a mark on the world in some way and created our own legacy. If anything else happens we have overachieved, as we never set out to make a career out of music. Having our music featured on both Radio 1 and Radio 1 Xtra was a huge achievement as we are from a town in the middle of nowhere that doesn’t have an established hip-hop scene. We supported The Mouse Outfit recently who are one of our favourite acts so a few more bookings would be great. Since the album dropped we have had interest from all across Europe so we really hope we can put together a tour soon. We also want to get back in the studio with Planky (producer/owner of KBTZ Recordings) soon and work on some new music! ‘Soul Searching’ (KBTZ Recordings) is now available to buy from most online stores including Itunes, Spotify, Google Play and Bandcamp.”
The Fool’s Paradise
What’s the story behind your band name? It sounds very John Milton-esque.
“Originally, Kieran and Dan were writing together before we were a band and were just playing around with a few names that could work as a band name. ‘The Fool’s Paradise’ seemed to resemble ways that we could describe the disbelief that we could one day make it doing something we love.”
With ‘Down’ being your only single out, does it mean you’re sitting on a lot of material?
“We felt it was important to release ‘Down’ in order to get our sound out there. We have got more material which will be released on our EP later on this year. We are currently working on the EP and getting a set ready to gig.”
Hear it here: The Fool’s Paradise – Down
What’s your experience been like as a young band looking to break out onto the scene?
“Having had little experience gigging as a band, it’s hard for us to tell the complexities of the music industry that we want to enter into. Over anything we are more excited for people to hear our stuff and just looking forward to playing together as a band. We are all best mates so it’s never a chore to go to rehearsals or a writing session which makes the whole experience enjoyable and something that we actually want to do. Ultimately we just want people to hear our music live so we are really focusing on getting the set ready.”
Can you offer any tips that you’ve learnt for other musicians?
“Even from this early stage in our careers, we have found it’s really important to stick to your own creativity and be true to what you want to do and believe in. There’s no point trying to write songs that are similar to things that are already out there, even though it’s really hard, but it’s important to be inspired by the music but not reproduce it in order to be true to your own sound.”
Written & interviewed by: James Wijesinghe