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Insider Interviews: ArrDee & K Motionz

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Insider Interviews: ArrDee & K Motionz

PHOTO CREDIT: George Hansen / @GHfilm

It’s not the first time UK rap artist ArrDee has entered the realm of D&B, last summer saw the release of ‘Liquor & Cigarettes’ with scene superstars Chase & Status and Hedex. The track was blasted across dancefloors and festivals earning its props amongst D&B heads but also invited a new wave of young UK rap music fans to explore the greater depths of the bass scene.

Now ArrDee is back with a new drum and bass offering- “Heavyweight” created with the mighty K Motionz and club legend Riko Dan. We sat down with ArrDee and K Motionz while they interviewed each other.

UKF: How are you? How are you both doing?

ArrDee: Good.

K Motionz: I’m good. Just cracking on ready for summer and ready for a madness.

UKF: What have you got coming up?

K Motionz: It’s gonna be festival season, going around on planes flying about- nothing you get bored of, It’s was too much fun.

UKF: What have you been up to recently?

K Motionz: Working on this tune to be fair. My life has literally just been this track for the last few months. It’s just all been about this. And it’s been the same for you [Arrdee]. It’s been wicked.

UKF: Awesome. Good to hear that you’ve enjoyed it.

ArrDee: Definitely.  Obviously, there’s always problems and stuff, But it’s just about like getting it right. This is probably the only collaboration I’ve done so far where someone is just as much of a perfectionist as I am. We both had our vision for certain things and we tried to get that across in the best way possible.

K Motionz: We actually found a lot of the middle ground that we both liked and that’s actually been really good

UKF: How did you both meet?

ArrDee: I don’t even think K Motionz remembers it, but the first time I met him was at a rave in Brighton and this rave was going off. I’d been to the same venue before, but Kallum was booked there, and the tickets were only 10 each so this place was double rammed. I was like ‘Who the fuck is playing?’. I knew the owner so I cut through the venue and I was like, ‘Yeah, this guy is cold.’ 

K Motionz:  I couldn’t kind of put it any better. Obviously, I knew you from when you broke through years ago. And then you jumped on drum and bass and I was like, ‘Yo, this is sick, when’s when’s he gonna do it again?’ I thought to myself imagine if we did something together and then a few weeks after you messaged me. So it was a bit of a manifestation it was quite nice. Because when something like that happens you’ve got to do it.  It’s almost got its own story. 

ArrDee: And at the time, I’d had this concept for a drum and bass tune. We’d pieced together the lyrics and stuff, but we just didn’t know how we were gonna get across production wise. Then I saw that set and I was like, ‘Fuck it, he’s the one. We’ve got mutuals, and I think his manager knows a lot of people that I know. So we just gelled from there and it all fell into place.

K Motionz: We got into the studio at the end of January. We went down to London, recorded all the vocals and then went back and forth for a good two months until it was right. I struggled on the instrumental a bit but we got there. I had a video of the project file I was I watched it and thought ‘Oh, my days, I’ve actually actually put a lot of work into this one’.

UKF: Why do you think you were struggling? Just couldn’t find the right vibe?

K Motionz: Yeah, sometimes you just can’t get what you want. But I went out and started doing different things and trying to get inspiration that I could draw from. I was really stuck on it, I was like, ‘nah, this can’t I can’t let this slip.’ I took a little bit of time out from it and then went back into it. And then all of a sudden, it all just came together.

ArrDee:  I can imagine for you just as much for me as well, like, there’s this bit of pressure. The first ever time I jumped on D&B it was with some heavy hitters and some GOATS in their own right- and the tune did fucking spectacularly if I do say so myself.  I think between us as a team, we were aware of that and aware of the fact that me and K Motionz is a big link-up because he is definitely the next one. It’s big for the audience, in the sense that I’m jumping on D&B again. So I think that there are a lot more moving factors to it than what would usually come with just a new link-up and a new relationship

UKF: ArrDee I wanted to ask you about your relationship with drum and bass…

ArrDee: It’s kind of been there forever. I’m from Brighton. If you know, you know, a lot of our venues are household names- you’ve got Volks, you’ve got The Arch, you’ve got Patterns, apart from Prism and Pop World, all of our venues are very dance music-orientated.  A lot of Brighton culture is very drum and bass orientated it’s a uni town and as soon as the sun’s out you’ve got bare man walking around spitting over D&B with the speakers on wheels- we’re a little bit chaotic which is matches bass music in a way.  It’s just been the same as all the other music- D&B has been a part of my life forever. I couldn’t tell you the first time I listened to it. It might have been dubstep times that would have been my first introduction to the sound, maybe 2011. 

UKF: Are you ready to ask each other some questions?

K Motionz: Yeah, come on… 

ArrDee: You can go first.

K Motionz: How did you find it when everything started to pop? How did you find dealing with your life-changing? 

ArrDee: I feel like the answer that everybody always wants to hear is that it can be challenging but the truth is I was fucking loving all of it, I was completely soaking it in. I’m a massive attention seeker I’d been manifesting it and believing the fact that it was gonna happen for so long. Even right before it happened, I was already so sure and followed myself that by the time it was almost like ‘Yeah, I told you!’

K Motionz: Yeah, it’s totally up to you to believe in your own craft and get more fans and have more hits and all that.

ArrDee: Definitely love what we do… So, obviously, it’s it’s common knowledge between the both of us that we like a little bit of a party. So I was gonna ask who would you say is more of a heavyweight, me or you?

K Motionz: You know, I’m gonna say you, you know. You’ve told me some stories, I’m not gonna lie. I like to have a bit of fun but I reckon you take the heavyweight title.

K Motionz: So you said before that you’ve been into drum and bass forever, do you remember one of the first drum and bass tunes you heard or one of the first drum and bass raves that you went to?

ArrDee: The first drum and bass I heard has got to be ‘Tour’ by Macky Gee- the track blew up and overplayed at the time, but my man is cold in his own right- respect to my min because he is goated. 

But I think the first time I fell in love with raving and drum and bass was different. And it partly leads back to the first question you just asked.  Even though I wanted all the fame and I still want it now, I started focusing properly on music when I was 16, I blew up when I was 18, but we were still in lockdown. So I had never been to a festival or a club as a regular attendee. As soon as the clubs were open it was invites from every single one of them. But also drinks, girls, private tables, you name it, everything was being thrown at me. But when I go to a drum and bass, they’ll still recognise me, but it’s not like when I go to the rap club- the people surrounding the table, flashlights in your face, begging for videos, photos, autographs. At a drum and bass rave, even when I go to the local ones in Brighton, I might get asked for a quick photo, or just get like a little gun finger or a head nod. Everyone’s there of enjoy themselves.

K Motionz: D&B’s a different vibe. 

ArrDee: Yeah. And that’s where I fell in love. It’s like I get to live a little double life when I go out into the two different genres. 

K Motionz: Yeah it’s good fun. And it’s just different. The whole drum and bass scene is just a bit different to other genres, so I think it’s always gonna be there and a part of UK  culture. It’s always gonna be somewhere in the middle of the charts. Sure, music has its phases, but drum and bass will never be a failure.

ArrDee: You’ll always get the pop stars chiming in and adding a little spin on it every now and then. There have been massive phases but it will always have its own scene.

ArrDee: I’m gonna ask you a similar question because I actually don’t know. How did you get into producing Drum and Bass- you’re still young?

K Motionz: This will make me sound really old. But in 2011 my brother was making hip-hop beats in this shitty little council flat that we had in Birmingham. I was like, “Yo, what’s this?” And then started figuring out how to work the program, and then I started making weird dubstep edits. I sampled Keith Lemon into a dubstep tune- I thought I was an absolute genius. 

And then my mum showed me More Than A Lot, the album by Chase & Status. I feel like a lot of people came to drum and bass through Chase & Status. ‘Eastern Jam’ off that album was the first thing I listened to off that album. ‘Eastern Jam’ was a dubstep tune but the rest of the album was pretty much drum and bass. So it all just went from there. 

When I started making tunes nobody really took me seriously, because I was so young people just sort of took the piss a little bit. I was too young to play out so it was hard to get music out there. I went to Belgium from the age of 16 to 18. I probably played 40/50 shows in Belgium when I was that age. Then when I got to 17 I was sneaking into clubs here to play.  

ArrDee: I got to rate you for that one!

K Motionz:  I love a little chicken spot, man. You’ve got a chicken brand Ugly Chicken, how did that come about? I need to try it…

ArrDee: I always wish I had a much more interesting story about the name, but I can’t take too much credit. There were a few of us just sat around a table throwing names at each other. Our main thing is wings. 

K Motionz: You’ve got them in a few places now…

ArrDee: We’ve got over 50 stores now.

UKF: You’ve got a chain of chicken shops?

ArrDee: No, no it’s delivery based only. Deliveroo, Just Eat, Uber Eats all that kind of stuff.

K Motionz: We need to cop some together. 

ArrDee: For sure! Love to bring some down and to start dishing it out. 

ArrDee: That leads me on to my last question. What would you say is the maddest thing you’ve seen DJ? You must see some mad shit in it when you’re in those dungeon clubs…

K Motionz: Actually, it was last summer, I was playing a festival and was watching the crowd. I could see something at the back getting a little bit out of hand. I didn’t really think much of it. I kept watching and all of a sudden I saw this guy just fly at another guy and punch him full-on. The show got stopped twice because somebody got knocked out at the back of the crowd, and then there was another fight with the same guy later on. Show stops don’t happen very often, but two was crazy. I watched the guy take a swing and a half and thought “Yo, what is going on? I can’t carry on”

ArrDee: I hate when that happens. It sets a weird tone for your crowd for the rest of the night. Another thing I’ve noticed in drum and bass crowds is they collectively stop fights, protecting their community. 

K Motionz:  It’s so funny because there was another situation a month or two ago. There’s a guy fighting in the crowd, I brought the music down got on the mic and I went “Wanker.” The whole crowd started chanting it. British culture at its best. 

UKF: Before you’re off, I wanted to ask you both what you’ve got coming up after this release… 

K Motionz: A run a run of festivals. Finishing off a few more tunes for the year. Just focusing on the shows and enjoy festival season and just enjoying this beautiful, beautiful life on tour.

ArrDee: I’ve got a huge project coming. I know it’s going to come before summer ends. I can’t give an exact date because I’ll get told off. Massive features from in and outside of the UK on the biggest singles that I’ve ever written before. Just getting ready to take over again, I suppose.

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