The Brixton rapper takes us through his ever-growing sound, perfecting his craft and how he is ready to drop his second EP.
If there is one thing for certain it’s that south London is the place for drill music right now. With the likes of S.Wavey and Sneakbo riding the wave for the past few years, we’re consistently looking for new talent and Brixton native Dex Man is someone who needs to be on your radar. Dropping his new single “So Deep” earlier this month, the rapper flexes his rap capability over the bass-heavy drill beat and sets the scene for his home town. Produced by Sam Cliffe and Kev, the rapper poignantly tells the story of sorrow and desperation growing up in his area, building up a perspective that isn’t often talked about in music.
“Coming from council housing or areas with high crime and violence, the story in ‘So Deep’ is exactly what most of us have witnessed or actually lived,” Dex Man revealed. “You couldn’t escape and I don’t think it gets talked about enough or not much is done to try to solve it. I just wanted people to know they not alone, like what they go through we all been through it, it’s nothing to be ashamed of or proud of but it shows you can change your focus and still be something. the story is deep literally but there’s always a way out.”
Already proving his versatility as an artist with his eight-track project “Dexterity”, the rapper has been serving up a plethora of tracks that experiment with trap-heavy productions and UK rap sensibilities. Carving out his own lane in the industry, we caught up with the rapper talking his upbringing in south London, perfecting his craft and how he is ready to drop his second EP.
Check out the interview below…
Hey Dex, how’s this past year been for you?
The past year has been hectic due to Covid and all the lockdown restrictions, I’ve just been trying to stay positive through it all, from being always active to being told I can’t even go out to socialise with my family and friends has been mentally hard sometimes. I’ve just been going on late night drives listening to instrumentals to meditate and it works, without music it would be so much harder. I’m happy things are getting back to how they are, I’m even back home in the motherland Ghana right now relaxing and shooting a visual so all is well.
Do you think it has affected your creativity?
Yes, it definitely has it’s given me more time to perfect my craft as I’ve been writing more, recording more music and interacting and networking with a lot more producers to experiment with different sounds. I used to hardly write, the motivation wasn’t really there, I would sometimes go for weeks without writing. I write almost every day if I’m not writing I’m finding instrumentals or I’m listening to other artists finding inspiration.
You’re from Brixton which is surrounded by talent, how do you think growing up here has impacted your sound?
All the talent from Brixton motivated me to actually want to rap. I grew up listening to the likes of Roadside G’s, PDC. Their music was about their life and the things they go through, the harsh reality. This just made me want to do the same thing and keep my music authentic which to me is the best thing an artist can do. They made me want to get in the studio and tell the world my reality.
Congratulations on your new single “So Deep”, take us through the production process?
Thank you. I’ll be honest “So Deep” just came about, I didn’t even think it would turn out like this. I basically was on Instagram and I heard an instrumental online by Sam Cliffe. I was like cool I like what I hear and asked for a pack, if I remember. He sent me a few instrumentals and I liked “So Deep”. I heard the beat and told him it’s cool but I need it to be more emotional not like the typical drill beats you hear. He sent it back to me and straight away I was blown away, I said to myself this can’t be just a normal track, I need to challenge myself let me make a story. A fictional story that happens far too often and the lyrics came to me. I don’t know how they just came. I finished writing within the hour rang my engineer and said I need to come and lay this and that was it.
It tells the story of south London, why did you choose to focus on this particular subject?
That’s where I grew up, that’s what I used to see all the time. but it happens everywhere it’s not just south London a lot of people can relate to this. It hits so deep that’s why I called it that. Coming from council housing or areas with high crime and violence, the story in “So Deep” is exactly what most of us have witnessed or actually lived. You couldn’t escape and I don’t think it gets talked about enough or not much is done to try to solve it. I just wanted people to know they not alone, like what they go through we all been through it, it’s nothing to be ashamed of or proud of but it shows you can change your focus and still be something. the story is deep literally but there’s always a way out.
How do you think this single differs from your last?
My last single was to lift you up, a feel good positive track encouraging people as one we can be powerful. I like making music people can relate to. “So Deep” is a story which shows people the side a lot may not know about. The life some people go through till this day and cant escape and some lucky enough to do so.
You previously released your music on GRM and Link Up TV before creating your own platform, what made you start your own?
I just felt I’ve released with them enough, they helped me a lot and I’m grateful for the opportunities they gave me. I just felt I needed to work and my own channel and grow as an artist, at least that way I know my supporters came to see me for me.
Who would you cite as your inspirations?
I got a lot of inspirations, all my friends that make music inspire because we all chasing the same dream. Another is Skepta, he just shows me that no matter how long it takes to reach your goal never give up and you’ll get there, he’s a prime example of that. So every time I feel down or that the music isn’t going how I want I just think of that and other artists who been chasing their dreams for years and it inspires me to put the work in.
What’s your next move? What are you most excited for?
My next move is to keep making more music people can relate to. One or two more singles then drop my second EP and show people my new creative level. I’m excited for people to hear what’s next. I can’t say too much but they are in for a surprise.