Singer-songwriter Shakka from London, is definitely a rapper on our radar, having just released “Say Nada” featuring grime’s poster boy, JME.
He’s received a MOBO nomination for Best Newcomer in 2013 and has collaborated with some of the hottest names in the urban scene – Shakka is one to watch. Wonderland suspects that this guy will soon have an amazing break-through into the musical scene, especially after having heard his latest track “Say Nada”, featuring seminal grime artist JME. The track has received some amazing attention, with many pronouncing how much of a ‘banger’ it is. His raw talent oozes out of the way he manages himself on screen and his potential comes through the minute he speaks about translating from Portuguese and tasty meat.
Party vibes and some super colourful animation, together with some lyrics that are hard to keep out of your head, make “Say Nada” one of the hottest tracks of the year. The feel-good summer vibe make us even more excited for Shakka’s forthcoming EP: The Lost Boys. Where was our invite to that house party Shakka?
So you’re from Notting Hill? That’s the home of Wonderland! Do you think growing up in London has influenced your musical style?
For sure. I grew up in a flat with my parents just round the corner from Portobello Road. One journey up that road and you can hear music and and smell food from 20 different countries. Both my primary secondary school had the attendance of students from all over the world. Romania to Vietnam, from Ghana to my home country Dominica. Plus my father was a reggae musician, so as a child I went with him to the studio and to rehearsals.
You’ve collaborated with JME in your hit “Say Nada”. What was it about JME that made you decide that you wanted to work with him?
He had unorthodox methods of describing the things that people wanted to say and hear. “Don’t @ me”, “Man Don’t Care” and “No You Ain’t” we’re constantly on repeat from his Integrity album. Plus Frisco told me that he would understand my nerd-dom and boundless energy.
You have achieved so much so far and have many followers, with some big people in the music industry behind you. What do you think you’ve learnt so far in this journey?
I’ve learnt that most famous and highly talented people I’ve met have no egos. It’s like they’re as eager and as hungry to make cool stuff as they were when they first heard the thing that made them want to make music in the first place. And in turn, I’ve also learned that all that matters is how much your music moves mankind. Everything else is secondary.
And what was it like working with Wretch 32 a few years ago?
I realised it was easy to see rappers as just rappers and not musicians like Stevie Wonder, or Bob Marley. It hit me when I saw him pacing up and down the room when writing his lyrics for “Blackout”. Watching him conjure up flows and putting together patterns and such, was just like how I saw Labrinth or Raf Riley put chords together. Plus he’s a fun guy to vibe with and bounce ideas off of. We share the same excitement for music haha.
Can you tell us a little bit about the process you go through when making music? Is there a particular place you work best at or something that you do to get creative juices flowing?
Simple really. Airplane mode, a warm room, and the fattest mug of earl grey. If I don’t start from a voice note in my phone that I’ve hummed or beatboxed, I’d start from scratch grabbing the first rhythm or melody that comes to my head.
Then my body goes fishing. Words, cool chords, sound bites from a distant time period. Anything to help take the person into the world of the song. They’re all thrown into the mix until I’ve got something remotely comprehensible.
Who are your main inspirations?
Chris Martin, Andre 3000 and Bob Marley. For sure.
And what’s the dream – the light at the end of the tunnel?
Aside from greatly contributing to eradicating world hunger, and the equal distribution of wealth across the world, I’m not sure. With music I wanna put our accent on the map; the Wiley version rather than Michael Caine. Wanna sell out Madison Square, maybe make a festival in the favelas of Brazil. Definitely direct movies, write and act in ’em. Make a creative agency, like Saatchi or DONDA. Got a few ideas I guess.
How do you make sure that you will #NeverLiveABoringLife?
Add to a list of things that scare me. And do em once a day. I’ve also gotta put money aside for an elephant, a tiger and a panda named Chicho.
So Wireless? That must have been cool! Tell us about that experience and what it was like being on stage with Wretch 32?
Again, his energy and animation on stage is like few other people I’ve shared the stage with. It ain’t like he wants to pick up the mic, recite his words, get paid, and leave. He has a hunger to giving the people a good time. However large the stage, and whoever he’s performing with. He wants to give it 110 every time. And that vibe is infectious.
Are you excited for your EP release Lost Boys? What are we to expect?
Hella excited for Oct 16th. I’ve created a world set in a dystopian London, where music is banned, women have been relocated, humans are controlled by a serum, and my boys and I try to escape the madness. So this is my attempt at making a Mad Max without visuals. Tom Hardy/Mel Gibson, eat your hearts out.
‘The Lost Boys’ will be released in October and you can pre-order it now.
Words: Marianna Mukhametzyanova