My friend Kunal from Singapore calls me the grime guy. I like the way that sounds so I don’t correct him. In truth, as far as grime or UK rap goes, I consider myself a semi-casual listener (you won’t catch me listening to anyone less niche than, like, Ghetts). Though I stay open to most genres, US hip-hop is my forte, while indie rock, electronic and RnB always stay in heavy rotation. Top 5 bands/artists? Probably something like Kanye, OutKast, Frank Ocean, Radiohead, The National.
Despite growing up listening to Queen, Bowie and Duran Duran, my first album was Beautiful World by Take That, and my first gig was Example. Not the greatest start, I admit. For Christmas in 2012 a friend of mine gave me three CDs he thought I’d like: The Queen is Dead by the Smiths, Whatever & Ever Amen by Ben Folds 5, and The Velvet Underground & Nico by, funnily enough, the Velvet Underground and Nico. It would be a cliché to say they changed my life, so instead I’ll say they rocked my fucking world and I never looked back.
When I was five, I proudly learnt the words to ‘21 Seconds’ by So Solid Crew, and when I was six I was given my first album: Stripped by Christina Aguilera. I don’t think my musical tastes have changed much, except for an angsty teen detour that had me explore older English music and fall in love with The Beatles, then David Bowie and finally The Smiths as I made my way through the decades. Now, I just listen to Drake to be in my feelings.
As much as I pretend to enjoy whatever’s on, I only listen to drone, Mongolian throat singing, and post-mariachi. I’m not like these normies. My appreciation of music extends infinitely across the imaginary span like a Nyquist contour. One time I heard a car crash and stopped dead in my tracks, stunned by the beauty of the F#dim7add9minus17 the impact screeched out. jk tho I only ever listen to Ke$ha.