Interview with H-Money: ‘Dubstep is starting to break out in America and the UK is starting to seem cool’
When Harmony ‘H-Money’ Samuels’ music was heard by super producer Rodney Jerkins, a door opened that few will ever be able to strut through – at the time Harmony was producing music from a small studio in Tottenham. Jerkins was in a meeting when someone next door was playing Harmony’s beats, within a few hours they had arranged to meet.
Harmony was swiftly taken under Jerkins’ wing and has since worked with the likes of Chris Brown, Chipmunk (now Chip), Beyonce, Lil Wayne and many others.
The producer gambled his career when he recruited controversial singer Chris Brown to feature on Chip’s sing Champion. Since then, he is considered to have engineered much of the British MC’s career in the states.
The producer said: “Chip didn’t want to go to America and just wanted to be a UK MC but when he saw the reception he got from the single with Chris Brown, he loved it.”
“The key was being as British as we could. Showing our culture look cool,” he says. “One of the reasons that UK MCs haven’t really made a massive impact in the US is because our culture doesn’t get expressed.”
Harmony says a major part of success in the US is not only having the style and individuality but having music that’s new yet refined.
“If you’ve got a big song, then it’s going to go well. Tinie went over there and did very well with the Written in the Stars record and there’s a number of us British producers who are introducing the UK artists to the music industry,” he continued.
So what are UK rappers doing wrong and why aren’t they breaking the US like they possibly should?
“There’s no real missing link, it’s just when there’s a new sound you need to keep trying until it works. Before, there weren’t many British underground acts who were interested in going over there. Now, we’re starting to do that whereas before we were UK-based and UK-based only.
“The UK is becoming fashionable in America with the clothes and the music; drum and bass and dubstep and all that is starting to break out there and the UK is starting to seem cool.
Harmony’s success is reiterated in the words of his mentor, Jerkins, who said he could single-handedly bring R&B to the forefront of America’s burgeoning music scene.
A big, yet perhaps deserved, endorsement for a former church choir drummer from Tottenham.Tagged in: Beyonce, Chip, Chipmunk, Chris Brown, H-Money, Harmony, lil wayne, tinie tempah
Recent Posts on Arts
- Friday Book Design Blog: Fitzcarraldo Editions
- Children’s books for October: Meg and Mog, The Demon Dentist and The Whispering Skull
- Friday Book Design Blog: Slightly Foxed and Notting Hill Editions
- Good Indian sales at Sotheby’s London but contemporaries’ slump worsens
- Ryoichi Kurokawa: "Digital art is already classical"
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter