Being able to write about music on a site like The 405 is a truly wonderful thing, though that’s something I often have to remind myself of. Whilst would never go as far as believing I have influence over people’s music tastes the fact I get to hear new music, write about it and get really, really passionate about songs that inspire and excite me is all the reward I need. So it has filled me with tremendous pride to lead the first Introducing Week on the site.
Back in early February I received an email from Oliver asking if someone could cover an interview with North London rapper Little Simz. It was an interview that he’d been trying to sort out for some time, with the original intention being to arrange a Skype chat due to SImz being out in LA recording a new EP. Having only heard Mandarin Oranges (but already excited to hear more) I offered to do the interview, if we we could sort something out for the evening. Fortunately Little Simz was due to headline the Roundhouse Rising festival the following week and we were able to schedule some time before her set to discuss her music, plans for 2014 as well as get to know Simz herself. The interview itself was conducted in a corner of the Roundhouse bar/restaurant, which sounds classy, but was really the only quiet spot in the whole venue.
A few days after the interview Oliver emailed me outlining his plan for a new series of artist introducing weeks. The idea was to run an interview with the artist on a Monday, then throughout the week post articles about artists seen as part of their ‘circle’ – both musically and geographically – culminating in a playlist that featured music from the artist, their circle and their influences on the Friday. Oliver wanted to know if I’d help him put together the first one for Little Simz.
It was clear to me, from speaking to Simz, and listening to her music, that she deserves recognition and for me this represented my first opportunity to really champion new music on The 405. Simz and her team were also extremely excited to be involved when I contacted them about the idea.
Unfortunately, Simz was due to be in SXSW the week we wanted to arrange the follow-up interview (to discuss influences and circle artists) so we had to postpone. But after a few more emails and a phone call that I conducted from a cafe around the corner from my office I had all the material I needed.
The introducing week was, I hope (I haven’t the stats to back this up), a big success. I felt that we were able to honestly capture the essence of Little Simz, her ideas as an artist, as well as showcasing a few new names as well. It’s something I hope The 405 continues with, because it reminds us of just how interconnected music can be, the lines that can be drawn from a simple sample, or a well-loved song that informs an album.
You can learn more about Little Simz over at her Introducing page.