P Money’s drum & bass affiliations have run deep for many years with collaborations with the likes of Wilkinson and Friction going back almost 10 years and, more recently, high grade link-ups with the likes of Kanine.
Whiney’s MC affiliations require no introduction, either. A long-standing compadre with Inja, and the man behind the beats on his recent album Smile & Wave, Whiney’s collaborated with a whole slew of MCs from Subten to Parly B by way of Ben Verse, Truthos Mufasa… And now P Money himself.
A certified MC/producer dream team, the pair have just announced a whole album of material together in 2022. It starts right now with Buss The Red, a firing fusion of both artists worlds, galvanised with authenticity and realness from both sides. Debuted by P Money on Twitch while playing Nopixel, a modified version of GTA, it’s already caused a lot of hype online. We called them up to find out more…
P Money! Obviously you came through grime but D&B has been part of your vocabulary and style as an MC for a very long time hasn’t it?
P Money: Totally. When I was young my mum was listening to jungle a lot so I already had that in me before I was even writing. As you say, I started in grime but I would always test myself from those early days. I’d pitch the beat right up so it was really fast and I’d try and MC over it as well the normal tempos. It was almost like I was practicing to be a drum & bass MC before I even knew I’d be one. Just testing myself to see if I could rap at those tempos. After that I was hearing more music and realised I could do my lyrics at drum & bass because I’d been practicing that from those early days.
Whiney, how about you? You have an outstanding track record as an MC-friendly producer. Did you futureproof yourself in any type of interesting, unsuspecting way like P did?
Whiney: Yeah when I first started producing it wasn’t just D&B. Dubstep was pretty big and I used to lean towards tracks with vocalists and write lots of 140bpm instrumentals that were, at the time unknowingly, grime-inspired too. Performing in Manchester when I was 18 alongside Truthos Mufasa, Skittles, Tonn Piper to name a few also opened my eyes to the live element that MCs bring and after a lot of reading, going to grime events and hours listening to old jungle radio shows with Dizzee, D Double E, Wiley etc, I really began to appreciate MC culture and where it came from. I’ve always written 140 bits alongside my D&B releases and so with all those influences and ideas building up when P hit me up it felt completely natural and started a project I’d always dreamt of writing. For it to be with someone of P’s calibre is unreal.
Amazing. The headline we’re getting from this is that it’s important to be versatile and never stay in one lane…
P Money: Very important! From an MC perspective you can miss out on some serious opportunities if you stick at one tempo. If all you do is 140, then a big producer in the jungle or drum & bass world wants to work with you and you can’t step up, then that’s an opportunity gone!
Yeah totally. P, have you ever had moment like that or a moment where it’s not gelled?
P Money: Luckily no. I always try and give something a go. I don’t know if you remember a track called Ho Riddim? It was Black Butter’s first ever release and I honestly didn’t like it. But the views on it went crazy and it was a real turning point in my career. But in my head I’d written it off! So that was luck I went wow I nearly wrote this off!
Whiney, have you ever had any moments like that?
Whiney: The same here, I’ve always had a go at everything like P and tried to make the most out of what’s available because you never know what could happen or what you might miss out on. There was some uncertainty over Flashlight making it onto my first album, a very grime influenced D&B track that wasn’t really around at the time, but the team and me agreed to include it and it blew up with people playing it everywhere! It felt like a huge moment in my career and made me believe there was something in the sound I was making.
Let’s chat about this release now. How did you link up?
P Money: I’d done a few festivals and bits for Hospital, I’d been on their stages, but it was more recently that Whiney came onto my radar. A little while ago he did a track called Headlines and there’s a grime MC on there called Subten. I’d never heard of Whiney before and thought maybe it would be a grime track but when I checked it I was like, ‘Yo, this is sick!’ I’ll be real, I wanted the beat for myself! So I hit him up and asked for an instrumental and the more I listened to it the more I thought, ‘This is sick, I want to do more.’ So I hit him up and said, ‘Shall we do an EP? Because this is sick!’
Whiney: I’ve always listened to P’s music, but we hadn’t interacted until earlier this year. I’d just got back from a vaccination centre I was helping out at and had a look at my phone to see a message from P asking if we could write a tune together similar to Headlines and genuinely couldn’t believe it. At first I was like, ‘Me? Really!?’ I jumped in the studio that evening and got a demo together which later became Buss The Red. It was so organic and quick and the beat hasn’t changed since that three hour session. So then when P was interested in doing more together like with the Headlines instrumental and suggestion of an EP it was a no brainer.
I think it’s a very special relationship between a producer and a vocalist – whether it’s an MC or a singer.
P Money: Yeah Whiney just gets it. It isn’t just a feature spot, it feels like a team. A proper collaboration. He knows when I need the space to do my thing and understands what I’m doing. But on the flip of that, I need to respect him too and let him do his thing. So every track we’ve done so far I’m like, ‘Yo, do what you would do if there was no MC. Make a club mix.’ So we’ve done that with every track.
Whiney: Yeah P really knows what he’s doing which makes it a lot easier haha. There’s a respect between us that allows us not to be afraid to drop ideas in on what each other’s doing or give room to work on things. I’ll be like, ‘So how about if the beat switched here?’ Or ‘How would this section sound here, maybe with another feature?’ We’re on the same wavelength on a lot of things which has made it so natural.
So do you write together IRL or has it all been online?
P Money: Buss The Red was done online. But recently all the others we’ve been in the studio together. He’ll make the beat, send it across, I’ll come in the studio, write it, lay down the demo, he’ll record me, then we’ll both think of different ideas. Like ‘take beat out here, or chop it there, do this here’ type of thing. It’s been a great collaboration. Really inspiring.
Whiney: Yeah Buss The Red was remote then all the new ideas I’ve been sending to P for his thoughts and we’ll jump in the studio together and work on them. We’ll go away, work on it some more then do the same thing. None of it has felt forced and it’s been an amazing collaboration so far. It really feels like a fully joint project which has been so inspiring.
So we’ve got Buss The Red but this is eventually leading to a whole album, right?
P Money: My first thought was actually an EP, but when we all sat down and started talking about it I said I wanted to really push this out there. Not just another release but something special. Let’s put on some shows, tour it and make a statement. I’ve noticed there’s different worlds in drum & bass. I know TNA, Azza & Grimma, Eksman, Harry Shotta… I do a lot of stuff with them and I’m always saying to them that they should get more songs out there and do more things on Spotify. People sing along to my songs when I perform and I noticed people do with those guys too but I’m like ‘where’s the songs?’
That’s the difference between grime and drum & bass. In grime the MCs are more well known than producers and DJs. In drum & bass it’s opposite and I want to see more MCs bringing out songs in the same way we do with grime. So when I spoke to Hospital I said I wanted to really push this and do some sick shit and bring out the live element and have Whiney doing it live, almost like a live band. Hospital were up for everything and right behind all of that so we’re really pushing this out and seeing what we can do.
That fusion of grime and drum & bass. P, you’ve been collaborating with D&B artists for years and years and Whiney, you’ve been working with MCs at the highest level for some time now. But there’s still a lot more to explore in this area isn’t there?
Whiney: Yeah massively. From a live perspective some of my favourite moments at events have been when a special guest or unannounced artists comes out on stage and people don’t expect it. It happens a lot in grime and other genres so to have that take place more frequently in the D&B world would be amazing. Plus like P said, to give MCs that platform after they’ve only really recently been getting genuine recognition in D&B would be a boost for everyone too. From a production perspective, there’s so much we can do with the music too which you’ll have to wait and see.
P Money: I agree. And from an MC perspective, I think the person who’s been the best in that type of fusion of styles, and has come from the grime side of things, is Bru-C. He’s brought these two worlds together in a really inspiring and very successful way. He’s killing it.
So are you both! Maybe killing it more than you expected… Buss The Red is coming out early because it’s already exploded in another world, right?
P Money: Yeah, on the modified version of Grand Theft Auto called Nopixel. I stream on Twitch a lot and role play on Nopixel a lot. There’s a whole music scene within the game and you can do performances in the game. So, say there’s a venue with 20 people in the room, you go on the stage and you act like you’re performing it. You’re just playing your music, but you act like you’re performing it. And here’s the thing, everyone in that room is also streaming it to their followers. So I might have 2000 people watching me, but the other people in the room might have 10,000 people watching their stream so you can be potentially be playing your music to tens or hundreds of thousands of people.
P Money: Yeah. And that’s what happened with this tune. I played Buss The Red and things went crazy, everyone messaging me non-stop asking for the release details. Someone ripped it and put it on YouTube and it got 70,000 views just from the game footage alone. Basically it took off so much within that world we had to bring it out forward and get it out now. Strike while the iron is hot. So there probably won’t be another release this side of Christmas but in the new year we’ll be knocking them out for sure.
Whiney do you play Nopixel? What do you make of this?
Whiney: I don’t but have gamed and followed KSI and the sidemen for years so understand how big the crossover between the gaming and music world is, but when P told me he was performing the tracks in a new live element like this and the size of the reaction they were getting my mind was blown! To blow up like that so quickly was mad and to happen live on a gaming platform like this is something I’d never seen before. It’s been a real eye-opener and P has again been really inspirational.
So this has also highlighted the exciting fusion of music and games just as much as a fusion of grime and drum & bass!
P Money: Literally! And that’s what I’ve been focused on in the last few months. Every game has music. I’ve always played Fifa a lot, and still do, and there are songs I would never have known if it wasn’t for the game. Like rock bands and all kinds of things I wouldn’t usually be exposed to. So I’ve been focusing on bridging that gap because these are two parallel worlds blowing up alongside each other but not that many people in either world knows what’s happening in the other one but together there’s so much potential, it’s mad.
Whiney: Completely. Some of my favourite songs have come from Fifa, Need For Speed, Gran Turismo etc and influenced my music directly as much as grime has. There’s so much potential and hopefully the stuff we’re writing can also expand more into that world too because it’s all connected.