The South-London rapper combining raw lyrics with heavy bass rhythms.

Linguistics press photo
Linguistics press photo

It’s rare to find an artist prepared to be so bluntly honest, so early on in their career. But Linguistics is the South-London rapper making waves due to his honest, lyrical reflections.

Starting out in Bristol’s drum & bass scene, and inspired heavily by UK hip hop, his profound wordplay (tackling the rapper’s struggle with depression and anxiety) is fuelled with the pounding energy of bass music and fresh instrumental compositions.

Tying in with his new EP, “Self-Medicated,” we chatted to the artist about his journey…

Why the name Linguistics?
When I was at college I needed a job, so I got a place temping at a university, working in the admissions department. One of the applications was someone applying to study Linguistics, that’s pretty much it really. I sort of wish I’d picked something simpler to be honest, some promoters seem to have a hard time spelling it!

How would you describe your music?
Happy. Sad. Chilled. Emotional. Honest. It’s an organised mess. My brain turned into sound.

How did you start out making music?
When I was about 15, things weren’t working out for me in London, so I moved to live with my dad. He lived in the middle of nowhere and there wasn’t much to do. So I’d just write for hours and hours every day.

Where are you from and how has this affected your music?
I grew up in London, lived in Oxford for a bit, then Bristol, now I’m back in London. London has felt like my home no matter where I’ve been. My environment has always influenced what I write about. Living in different places throughout my life gave me the chance to meet people from all walks of life, and I draw inspiration from the experiences I’ve had with those people.

Linguistics stairs
Linguistics stairs

Who did you grow up listening to?
I remember seeing Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” on Top of The Pops but I was more into bands when I was at school: Blink 182, Greenday, Slipknot etc… Like everyone else I was a fan of Eminem though, his story-telling blew my mind. I started doing my research, listening to Dr Dre, found N.W.A, then Tupac, Biggie, Mobb Deep, Mos Def etc. When I was about 15 I heard JEHST’s Return of The Drifter, and that’s when I realised UK hip hop was a thing – I fell in love with it through listening to Jehst, Brain Tax, Chester P, Klashnekoff, Kyza. The list goes on and on.

How personal do you get in your music? 
On some tracks like “M.A.X” I get very personal. I try to not hold back. I try to ignore the voice in my head that tells me “you shouldn’t say that because some people might find it difficult to hear” or “thats not going to sell.” Fuck that. I always want to stay truthful and honest as a person, and I always want my music to reflect that.

Do you find the creation of it therapeutic?
100%. My most recent EP, “Self Medicated” was literally my therapy through a pretty tough time. Writing has always been a way for me to offload. If I write something down for a song, and look at the words on the page, I process whatever I’ve written in a completely different and (I think) more effective way.

Who would you love to collaborate with?
I suppose a dream would be J. Cole or Kendrick, and I recently discovered Frankie Stew and Harvey Gunn – really like what they’re doing. I haven’t really done many collaborations with people, I’d love to do more though.

What’s next for you?
I’ve taken a break from writing over the past few months, but I’ve got the bug again now so I’m going to get back in the studio and write more. I’ve got another single lined up for release at the end of this year and a drum & bass EP I’ve been working on. Non-music related, I’ve also helped to organise a mental health and wellbeing festival this year, with an amazing bunch of people. It’s called Getahead and the first one was at Omeara in London Bridge. It ended up being really successful so I’m going to be helping out with the next one as well.

Linguistics bench photo
Linguistics bench photo

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