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Interview with Big Narstie & True Tiger: “You’ve got professional chaos”

Charlie-Louise Akintilo

narstie 300x225 Interview with Big Narstie & True Tiger: “You’ve got professional chaos”“Professional chaos” is the term used by Big Narstie to describe the effect of combining both himself and True Tiger and to be honest I couldn’t think of a better term. Grime legend Big Narstie is back with his Hello Hi E.P alongside True Tiger and together they have produced some bangers. It became glaringly obvious throughout the interview that both Big Narstie & True Tiger set out to have a fun and chilled experience in the process of creating the E.P not to mention some killer visuals for their lead track Headgone. I spoke to them about working together, the visuals for Headgone and Big Narstie also reveals how he is definitely a leader when it comes to making food in the kitchen! Surprising? I think not – He has major skills!

Could you talk to me a bit more about how the collaboration happened?

True Tiger: Well, we have all known each other for years like when we all got into grime, so from the early grime days we knew Big Narstie and we would see him in videos etc. More recently, we have been spending a lot of time in the studio getting our new stuff down. Big Narstie hit me up and said we have to do something and it just made sense to get him in, so I sent him over an idea, which was one tune, he heard it and sh%t his pants, he rung me about 11:30pm at night singing the chorus down the phone and I was like get it finished so we can record it. Then we spent a couple days in the studio and came out with three tunes, so it just made sense to put that into an E.P.

So how was it like working with each other?

True Tiger: Easy! Really casual, no confrontations.

Big Narstie: There was a lot of smoking sessions, a lot of smoking breaks. [Big Narstie now starts to go off in a tangent LOL] Lion of Judah, burn the herbs, life, Base! So basically it was very comfortable, happened straight away, we finished the E.P in two days and it all started from one song. Now they have the professional sound, when the sound comes through the speakers, its bananas. Myself now, I’m just mad.

So I’m like a bumblebee, should I break it down? Do you know that by actual law of life the bumblebee should not fly, because its body is too big for its wings, but the bumblebee doesn’t know this, he just knows that he is a bit bigger than the other bumblebees but he needs to get to a tree like everybody else. So the bumblebee flies, hence defying the laws of physics. BASE! So basically True Tiger has the professional sound and I’m not normal so the fusion of it is nuts. You’ve got professional chaos.

Do you think your studio sessions went the best way they could have gone?

True Tiger: Yeah, pretty much. I think the only way it could have been better is if they got more messed up. But apart from that, it was sweet and we’re going to get back and do some more tunes. So it was really good, it was good fun.

Talk to me about your E.P, Hello Hi, how did the name come about??

True Tiger: Well this guy, (points to Big Narstie)

Big Narstie: Hello Hi is one of my trademark words that I use.

True Tiger: and the SBTV freestyle, we watched that every week and so before we got into the studio with him we just watched it religiously for like six months and if there were times where we needed to lift ourselves up a bit we would play that, and it starts off with “Hello Hi, Hello Hello Hi” for about eight bars. So we loved it already, he obviously loved it and it just fitted with the theme of what we were saying, “Hello hi were working together”.

Is this reflected in the tracks on your E.P?

True Tiger: Definitely so, it kind of reflects what we both do and it reflects the fact that this is the start of something as well and our introduction.

What would you say Hello Hi is going to bring to the world of music?

True Tiger: A lot of fun and fu**ed up times

Big Narstie: It’s going to be wrong, in a good way, one hundred per cent.

True Tiger: Apart from if some people get really messed up and it goes wrong for them.

Big Narstie: They’ll need some antibiotics! [laughs]

Talk to me about your recent release Headgone and your intentions for the song?

True Tiger: Well it’s the E.P had three tracks and we needed to pick one as the lead track and that one made sense to be the lead track. It just sounded like the lead song and it sums up what we like doing, which is going out on a Friday night either getting lively for fun or getting a bit mashed. Big Narstie loves doing that coincidently, so it sums up that vibe of letting loose and having a good time and not really worrying. Whatever walk of life or whatever you do when it hits your free time, for us it’s Friday night but you know over the weekend it’s like that’s your time to do you.

The visuals of Headgone are quite interesting, how hands on were you when it came to developing the idea?

Big Narstie: We were full on, we had all the ideas, and I wanted to be in my underpants.

True Tiger: He was really strong on him being in his underpants in the video. We wanted to do a video that was fun and not what you’d expect from the tune, people would probably expect like a club video. Big Narstie was well up for having a kind of animated character of himself and we just wanted to do something as well that wasn’t safe. So that’s why we had a pit-bull being eaten alive by an actual pit-bull terrier and that’s why we also have Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris amongst other things.

Who created the actual animations?

True Tiger: We got an animator and we sent over a load of ideas and said we hope this doesn’t sound too crazy.

What does the future hold for True Tiger and Big Narstie?

True Tiger: Well we are promoting this E.P at the moment and then we have our E.P coming out after that and we’ve just been working on peoples albums and producing which has been good fun. We have been in with Becky Hill for her new album, working with Maverick Saber soon for his new album. So we’ve really been working on album production and our new E.P, Sooks has his new E.P coming before the end of the year which is called the Night Shift E.P. We’ve been trying to get the balance right of doing other stuff and our own thing. Big Narstie has a mix tape coming out, What’s the story Brixton glory part 2. So it’s all about building things up really as were not rushing anything, were just getting tunes down and then putting them out when they feel right. That’s the same thing with this E.P we just did it and had the three tunes and it just made sense to put it out straight away.

How have you taken the positive reception, given that there has been a lot of support with your track headgone?

True Tiger: It’s been great being played, it’s been really good. Big Narstie was moaning about not getting enough radio play before we did the E.P. So I was like, were going to sort that out and we’ve started to get quite a lot of support, Mr Jam, Target, Logan – so it’s been wicked. Loads of DJs are getting behind it, even people on X FM & Rinse FM etc so it’s building nicely.

Generally speaking, do you think to get played on the radio you need to make commercial sounds?

True Tiger: I think so, I think it’s more how it is presented which is key, rather it being having to be commercial or safe or a pop genre to break the charts. It’s all about the way its presented and how its marketed and branded. But I don’t think you have to be safe to get day time play list, I think it’s kind of how much you believe in it and how much people can connect with it. If people can connect with something, if you look at Skrillex someone that you would probably say your first time hearing him he would never be on day time radio and you know he’s got a bigger following than a lot of pop acts. So it’s kind of how much you believe in your sound and how much it connects with people.

So Big Narstie, you’re proving to be quite the chief I’ve watched some of your videos, in kitchen would you say (and this applies to all of you) you are a follower or a leader?

Big Narstie: I’m about this life (laughs). I’m a leader one hundred per cent. I am the alpha male!

True Tiger: I don’t cook, although I made a toasty and I made Big Narstie a burger actually.

Big Narstie: He’s a liar (laughs) I told him he should follow my path and he will learn how to cook.

Would you rather wake up with a different face but the same gender or a different gender but the same face?

Big Narstie: I never want to take, I want to give (laughs) I never want to take, I just want to give! I want to lay down pipe like gas men.

Would you rather know when you’re going to die or how you’re going to die?

Big Narstie: I know how I’m going to die, on the toilet seat.

True Tiger: How!

Would you rather fight Mike Tyson or Mayweather?

Big Narstie: I would fight Mayweather, all I need to do is get him in a headlock

True Tiger: Yeah he’s a light weight so definitely Mayweather.

Lastly, what do wood and alcohol have in common?

Big Narstie: When I drink alcohol I get wood – BASE! [laughs]

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