There aren’t many figures in UK rap quite like SamRecks. His cool, calm, collected demeanour isn’t an attitude you’d readily associate with someone who is one of the rising lights of the UK rap scene. But nonetheless, he’s not letting up his level-headedness, despite the hype.
There’s a reason for the buzz. SamRecks’ music features a catchy flow, witty punchlines and metaphors cushioned with a soothing and exciting beat. His impressive resume includes a string of singles and despite not yet releasing his debut project, the UK-based Nigerian upstart has taken a leap in popularity, all whilst doing it in his own way.
With listeners now digging through his archives and unearthing gems like ‘Jeka Lo’, SamRecks makes it clear he takes pride in his heritage. His socially-driven single ‘Love & Attention’, and his latest ‘Would You Let Me’, make SamRecks’ presence worthy of attention at this juncture in his career.
whynow connected with SamRecks to talk about his formative years, his pen game, forthcoming project, and much more.
First things first, how are you and what have you been up to lately?
I’m good. Right now I have a little cold, but I’m doing great.
How was life for you growing up, and how did you get into music?
When I was young, I’ve always loved creative things and always seen creative things around me. My sister was into art and singing, and I guess I picked it up from her because I was always seeing it around. My parents were always playing a lot of old-school and afrobeat songs in the house, so music has just always been there.
How exactly did growing up in Thamesmead with Nigerian heritage influence your sound and your approach to creating music?
I’m Nigerian and I was born in Nigeria. I came here when I was three and grew up mainly in Thamesmead. When you’re young, the things you see are what you’re going to mimic. So there were a lot of rappers and different people doing different things, but over time, I started to learn more about myself, and began to fall into my own shoes.
What’s your favourite part about the creative process when making music?
I’ll say my favourite part is definitely the writing. When I know I’ve written something good, it’s exciting and I just want to go to the studio to record it. I’m very hands-on when it comes to my creative process – from the production to the way certain things sound, and to the way I sound. I would do as many takes as I can to make sure I sound perfect in my ears. Because when I hear my music and listen back, I hear all the imperfections, but other people don’t.
Your lyricism is punchy and powerful. How do you perfect your writing and flow?
I’ll say it’s a lot of different elements. I listened to a lot of J. Cole, ASAP Rocky, Drake, Skepta, and Chipmunk. It’s like my flow has every element of these artists in it. It’s just like what you hear is what you produce, but then you do it in your own kind of way. Now, I know what I want to do when I hear a beat. I don’t even have to think about it, the idea just comes.
What kinds of emotions and experiences influence your work today?
Thing’s going on around me, conversations I have with my friends and my sister, and relationships. I literally just talk about the things that are happening to me now.
How would you say you’ve evolved creatively over the last couple of years?
I find myself going back to listen to those old school songs that actually made me fall in love with music. So when I listen to those songs, they give me ideas for new songs. Over the past two years, I’d say my sound has changed a lot, but I feel like I can do a lot of different songs but I’m yet to show it. I’d show it when I release more music.
Going through this evolution, what’s something you’ve learned about yourself as an artist?
The main thing I’ve learnt is to be myself. It’s just about having that authenticity and sticking to what you want to do and not what others want you to do.
Let’s talk about your latest single, ‘Would You Let Me’. What inspired this track?
It was mainly that uncertainty when you start talking to someone new and you’re not sure why they want you but you know you like them, and they say they like you.
Is this single taken from a forthcoming project?
No it’s not. This is just a single on its own.
When can we expect a project, and what should we look out for?
Next year. I have something coming up next year. I’m working on an EP. I’ll say just expect the unexpected because there’re a lot of different things I’ve tried in terms of the sounds and production to make sure the EP is a whole new kind of sound, but still keeping the elements that make people like what I’m doing now. I’m literally just having fun with it, and I’m explaining where I am at this point in life. It’s an introduction to me, and it’s deep. It’s the full experience.
How do you feel about the current state of the UK music scene?
I feel like right now the scene is in a different kind of place. There is a lot of underground music; artists are starting to get their shine, and people are looking for other types of music to listen to, not just the same formula. Everyone is trying something different and there’s a lot more eyes on the UK scene now as well. Right now is the moment where everything and anything is possible. You just have to stay true to yourself and push harder.
As far as your legacy, what do you want it to be in music?
I just want to connect to people. I want everyone to have a song that explains how they feel. I’m trying to make one of those kinds of songs for everybody. It’s just about connecting to the listeners and building something authentic and organic that lives longer than me.