Interview with Novelist: Looking to the future of grime

Grime’s biggest stars are aging. Wiley, dubbed the Godfather of Grime, has repeatedly said how he doesn’t wish to continue being an MC late into his 30s.

“I don’t want to be 34 and still making music myself, I’d rather go out whilst I’m at the top of my game,” he told me earlier this year.

So, in true journalistic fashion, I set out listening to some of grime’s younger stars. I found, interestingly, that the London Borough of Lewisham is playing host to the most vibrant pool of talent. One MC, who’s also quite the producer, stuck out.

His exploits over the past year have reached the attention of the particularly difficult to please Grime Forum and he’s even found his name on the flyer of an event alongside some grime greats.

Novelist, 16, has a unique flow. He’s not an MC whereby you listen to his rhymes and instantly compare him to someone older or more experienced. This is the new face of grime.

Despite there being a revitalisation of the genre – a group dubbed, much to the MC themselves’ disapproval, “new wave” – Novelists’ flow, lyrics and general being is even newer than that.

I caught up with him to find out exactly what he was about.

“As well as being a human,” he jokes.  “I’m a young MC from Lewisham who spits and produces grime.  It’s what I love and grew up on. My life revolves around it.”

Novelist has found himself on the flyer for Inside Music’s launch party, which features veteran MCs Big Narstie, Flirta D, MIK, Merky Ace and Kozzie. He is easily the youngest performer on the night but that’s not at all daunting to the young lyricist.

“I’m happy that I’ve got the opportunity to spit alongside other DJ’s and MC’s who have been here longer than me,” he says, without an ounce of arrogance but with a considerable amount of confidence.

Adding: “It will be a good experience and also a great time to size myself up to [the more well-known artists performing on the night] as an MC.”

As I previously mentioned, the number of MCs doing well in the Lewisham area is startling. Almost everyone in the grime scene who also slots into the mid-late teen age bracket seems to be from Lewisham.

Our man Novelist agrees, saying: “My crew, The Square, are running [the scene] in Lewisham right now.  We’ve got some work to do and a lot of practice hours to put in but we’ll all definitely become better and build a strong profile. We’re from all over Lewisham so the attention we’ve built locally is deffo something worth having.  Watch out for us.”

We certainly will!

Novelist is performing at the Inside Music Launch Party on 8th August. You can get tickets here.

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  • Emily Thorne

    sorry, “Spits”?..

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