Not only was I blessed with the music and lyrical content of the movement which is Mr Man and the illersapiens but I was also afforded the privileged to bask in the reality of their live performance, which permeated my membranes and became an inspiration to my musical life experience. You need to check out this group of up and coming revolutionary artists!
Mr Man: If you have a love for something or have a passion for something then do it, and if you don’t have a passion for it don’t do it, because you will contaminate it.
sunchild: Mr Man can you please introduce yourself to the consciousness community.
Mr Man: Alright, wa gwaan consciousness, my name is Ami Man aka Mr Man, I am a lyricist, mcee and a spoken word artist. I’m a writer of words and a deliverer of words said.
sunchild: Can you tell us a bit about your band and what you doing musically?
Mr Man: Well I am working on a few projects at the moment. I have a live band, which is a live hip hop band, 8 piece including the sound engineer, who is here beside me and is very important in the whole process his name is skeenoe g aka skinny G. We currently are gigging all around London, just trying to get our home town on lock at the moment, once we’ve done that, we’ll start branching out to other places.
I also have a solo project with my producer skinny G, which is a more straight hip hop old school, into the new school producing the true school kinda sound. I also do some work with aphrodisiacs which is more on a house, spoken word vibe, just trying to keep it moving, keep it different and keep it interesting you know,
sunchild: So would you say your sound is hip hop, house or a soul funk kind of vibe?
Mr Man: It depends what I’m doing. I write the words, so if I like the music and the words can go over it then that’s what happens, but Hip Hop is me. Hip Hop is where I started and Hip Hop is what I love.
sunchild: Ja ne’, feeling that bra, so how do you write, is there a specific time or do you write all the time, how do you find your inspiration etc?
Mr Man: Well you know things happen all different kinds of ways like, a lot of the time when I write lyrics I’ll write it without any kind of beat. So I’ll get an idea in my head then write a couple of lines or even write a whole verse off of nothing or I might hear a loop and be like whoah, I need to put something to that, and then sit down and go and write to a beat. I’ll even at times be writing to a tune that’s already got vocals on it but I’ll just maybe hear one line from the vocal and be like that’s a bit of inspiration and write to that.
sunchild: So there’s like no format to how you write then ?
Mr Man: Yeah there’s no set format it just comes as and when it comes. I like to keep it like that, it keeps it interesting,
sunchild: Awe’ so tell us about your band the illersapiens how did that come about, how did you guys come together and how long have you been together?
Mr Man: Well we’ve been together for just over a year coming up to a year and a half, and through my bredrin, (bredrin over here is a word for friend/brother), so through my friend Louie who is the drummer in the band, he said he wanted to start up something and I was like yeah let’s do this and then he found the guitarist and the bassist and that’s what we started off with originally, just drums guitar, bass and myself, and we started gigging literally 2 weeks after we met each other.
sunchild: Nice man, so you mean like it was just meant to happen?
Mr man: Yeah it was just like they had some music, I had some bars and we put it together, obviously it wasn’t like it sounds now, it started off a bit scrappy but within time it got to where we are now..
sunchild: Can you tell us about that? I’m sure people would like to know what it took to get to where you are, what inspiration do you draw from and what kind of struggles do you go through to get your sound to a point where you feel it’s what you like to hear?
Mr Man: I know it’s mad, I think as an artist you always gonna be searching for that, because as soon as you made one thing, then after that you want something that’s better than that. So as an artist you have to be prepared to kinda always be searching for the next best thing. What I would say is that really, as long as you put the work in, you’re there and you’re dedicated, then its only good things that’s gonna come of that.
sunchild: So where you do see yourself in a few years time or in the future?
Mr Man: I want to travel the world, I believe music is a gift and I want as many people to receive that gift as possible and that’s what I’m on.
sunchild: Feeling that man, so are you guys signed to any label, major or independent?
Mr Man: We not signed to a label right now, we just trying to do our own thing. We are on iTunes, Spotify and we selling our own ep’s as well. At the moment we feel that it’s not needed for us right now. If we are prepared to put the work in and we’re prepared to put the actual footwork in and go out there and do it ourselves, it can be done and I feel it needs to be done because I’m not gonna have no one telling me what I need to include in my music. I want to do, what I want to do and put it out there.
sunchild: That brings me to my next question, what would you do if you were given that opportunity right now by a major label and you were asked to compromise your music slightly?
Mr Man: No way.
Skinny G: Those kinds of offers have already come to us.
sunchild: Oh so you have already been approached?
Mr Man: We have been approached and there has been some interest and we’ve just been like, what are they really offering us and what do they really want us to do, because that’s not what we want. As soon as I have to change what I’m writing in my music it’s not my music anymore and it’s not true to what I want to do.
sunchild: I would like to introduce the producer and sound engineer of Mr Man and illersapiens and also the man behind Gorrila Tech Records.
Skinny G: Yeah I’m skinny G, aka skeenoe G, I’m the producer and sound engineer for the Mr Man and the illersapiens , and CEO of Gorrila Tech records which is what we doing right now and at the moment we are doing digital releases under G-Tech for time being before anything is made concrete.
Mr Man: We’ve got a project which is called Crooked Manuvas which is under Gorrila Tech Records; we have already taken that over to Amsterdam. We’ve done a show out there and did a promo for the guys and they showed mad love out in Amsterdam. Europe’s got love for hip hop, so with that project a European tour is what I’m looking at. We are also in the process of setting up something in France and Belgium at the moment.
sunchild: Looks like you guys are moving positively in your own right then. So what do you guys think of the state of the music industry at the moment?
Skinny G: For the most part I can say from my perspective, that it’s a big minstrel show. I mean for me who is someone who considers himself somewhat conscious, I feel it to be for the most a minstrel show, but there is a lot of talent there.
sunchild: So in that same sense I mean eventually, doesn’t all music become commercial if you want it to do well? How do you stay away from the mainstream then?
Mr Man: What I feel is a lot of people use the industry like a meal ticket. It’s like they doing their thing, then they get an offer and then they get raped for that talent that they have. What I think should happen is that you build that hype up for yourself and you keep control of that hype to the point where the offers are being thrown in from all over the place and you can just pick and choose what you want to accept and where you want to go and who you want to link with. Rather than just grabbing at the first person that gives you a offer because you want to blow, because for a lot of artists their aim Is to blow, rather than thinking about what they putting out there and what they doing. For me if I’m doing this music thing, then this is a life choice. I could be doing this for the rest of my life, and I don’t want to be making no trans electronic indie folk grime thing, it’s not me. I want to do what I want to do not just what other people want to hear.
sunchild: Yeah man I can relate to that. Now how do you feel about hip hop or rap in the way that it’s portrayed? Do you think it creates a negative or positive image for the youth? Because I’m sure you see on the streets there all these kids who want to be gangster mcees etc and want to live that lifestyle?
Mr Man: Well I’ll say this, its media that corrupts people not Hip Hop, because Hip Hop is put there because it’s put there by the media. Negative Hip Hop is put there because it’s put there by the media, and not all Hip Hop is negative. If a child is raised right, negative Hip Hop is not gonna affect them because you should know right from wrong, you should know what your morals are. You can’t blame the music for making you like that, you blame weakness of character for that, so If your character is strong you not gonna be affected by whatever music you listen to.
sunchild: Have you ever been to afrika, do you plan to go or do you know any afrikan musicians?
Mr Man: I have never been to Afrika. I plan to go very soon as we have been invited to South Africa for the world cup to do a tour out there. I also have a few friends that live out there, my man here skeenoe G is a SA native. So I should be taking a trip out there with him and we gonna go and check out some friends in Cape Town as well. So Afrika is definitely going to get touched, I mean that’s where it all came from, the drums you know.
sunchild: No doubt bra. So where can people find out about you, do you have myspace or something?
Then if you want to check out what Mr Man and skinny G are doing on a Gorrila Tech, Crooked Manuvas movement, then go to www.gorrilatechrecords.com, correct spelling in all of this no mad slang you know I’m English so I spell things properly, I don’t like the “Wack” grammer that these dudes use.
sunchild: So what gigs do you have coming up for our London readers who may want to check you out.
Mr Man: Please check out http://www.theillersapiens.com/events.html for all our up and coming shows.
sunchild: So any final words, comments or advice you want to send out to our readers in afrika and the rest of the world?
Mr man: I would just say if you have a love for something or have a passion for something do it, and if you don’t have a passion for it don’t do it because you will contaminate it.
Skinny G: Yeah man and where coming to afrika soon so we can get back to the root and touch base with where it all started for each and every one of us in our own way and where everyone’s journey really started.
Mr man: Also just know that its positivity every time, and know that if we want to raise the standard of what’s going on in the music right now. Then we need to raise the standards by which we judge ourselves. If you raise your own standards the standard will rise and if you see standards are slipping don’t buy into man. If you see something real support it and that’s the only way that we gonna get things back to how they should be yeah.
Skininy G: Yeah man don’t be fooled by all the glitz and flashy lights and the things that Hollywood is gonna try and put up and label Hip Hop because its self destruction that they’re trying to breed and there is only a small amount of people out there actually capitalizing off it. There are people capitalizing off our destruction, so we need to wise up! Mcees stop talking about how much money you have or “would like to have” how many bitc£$ you would like to do, because there is a lot more to life than that. As a mcee you need to use your number 1 weapon and build your arsenal which is your vocabulary. So people just need to wise up a little and know that being a mcees is not just a couple of abc rhymes you know what I mean? Study your craft.
sunchild: Mr Man skeenoe G thanks for your time and keep spreading the word through you music and continue to better your craft by spreading your gift to the masses, nuff respect.