Hip-hop duo 838 are making their presence known as they drop their explosive debut EP “Before The Storm”. A stellar example of a unique take on modern-day hip-hop, 838’s Kay and Astro lend their melodic flows and fiery ad-libs to rapid and animated production layered with grime and R&B sensibilities hacked from their childhood musical diets. As with all noteworthy hip-hop tracks, the project’s lyrics are laced with deep emotions, skilful wordplay and the pair’s infectious good vibes, ensuring that tracks such as “Lose My Mind” and “Pride” draw listeners into 838’s unique sound and emotive stories.
“The inspiration definitely came from our experiences and it’s so iconic to me because I can literally remember every session each song was made in and how we was feeling at that time,” explains Kay when talking about the meaning behind the contents of the EP. “Songs like “Games” and “Lose My Mind” were made at a time where we was going through our own stuff. The rest of our songs were just made when we were hyped and turnt up and it definitely reflects in the finished products of all of the songs! Most of those songs were recorded in a bedroom or a hotel room so it’s crazy how good they all sound quality-wise – it just shows you that you don’t need a crazy setup to make hits.”
While the pair’s previous acclaimed releases have seen them gain a rapidly increasing following, their latest project stands as their first multi-track introduction into the music scene. And, with a rise to stardom on the horizon, 838 sat down with us to discuss all things “Before The Storm”.
Check out our interview with 838 below…
Hi guys, how have you been?
Kay: We’ve been good, just been busy working hard behind the scenes to bring this project together! It’s a great feeling finally having a body of work to put out there after 2+ years of just singles and I’m happy the fans can hear the new sounds all at once. Now we’re just waiting for clubs to fully go back to normal so we can turn up and maybe do some shows now that we have a good amount of tracks out.
Astro: I’ve been great thanks. We just released our debut project so fans get to hear new music, outside is opening up again so we can celebrate moments together, things are finally becoming clearer as opposed to last year when I didn’t have a clue what the future held. I’m genuinely excited for what’s to come!
Do you think growing up in London has influenced you musically?
Kay: I feel like it definitely has. When I was younger I listened to Grime and I think the fact that it derives from London kinda shows you that you can really create and develop a whole sound – and now grime is a global music genre. Even bands like the Sex Pistols, Queen etc. It just shows you how versatile London is and how much talent has come from here – I can definitely say it’s inspired me to take our music all the way to the top. The sky is the limit for 838.
Astro: It has but not majorly, my musical influence started from home. From as young as I can remember my whole family have loved music, growing up there was definitely a diverse taste for music, many unique sounds were enjoyed and they influenced me in infinite ways which result to what I create today. I grew up on rap, grime, R&B, afrobeat, fuji, pop, soul and even rock. I would hear Dizzee Rascal being played today then tomorrow it could be Wasiu Ayinde, Fela Kuti, Whitney Houston, Seal, Nancy Sinatra and so on. It really just depended on the vibe we were feeling that day and the beautiful thing was that we had respect for each other’s taste, we would sing together like a choir, in harmony.
Who in the rap scene would you cite as your inspirations?
Astro: Dizzee Rascal, Kanye West, Drake, Young Thug, Juice WRLD, Lil Uzi Vert. I remember listening to Dizzee Rascal’s song “Imagine” from his album “Showtime” when I was like 7 years old, the day I heard it it stuck with me. I loved the beat and the rhyme scheme I didn’t know exactly what was being said but I felt like I could relate, I was simply moved by the melody, moments like those where I would attach myself to one song and rinse it out till I got bored were what sparked the dream of me becoming what I am today. They formed the desire and passion that I possess.
Kay: I’ve listened to so much music in my life of all different genres so it’s hard to just say who my inspirations are in rap. From I was around 7 I’ve been listening to old school hip-hop like Big L, Biggie, Public Enemy, NWA, Eminem, Tupac… the list goes on. At the same time I listened to a lot of rock and heavy metal music such as Rage Against the Machine, System Of A Down, Korn, Slipknot and Guns & Roses. I feel like rock music has equally inspired me and you can definitely hear some of my melodies that were inspired by rock music. As for the newer generation, Juice WRLD, Lil Uzi Vert, Future, Young Thug, even Famous Dex! They all changed the game and showed that you can make fun, turnt up music and not be too serious all the time which is the kind of music 838 makes too. Juice WRLD really inspired me since he was so young, so talented and had the maddest work rate I’ve ever seen when it came to making hit songs!
Congratulations on the release of your debut EP “Before The Storm”! How are you feeling about releasing your first project?
Astro: I’m excited, this is an introduction to us, our energy and versatility. I’m glad everyone finally gets to hear us in this way. We create so much music consistently so putting these 5 tracks together alone was a journey in itself, “Do you think they are ready for this one?”, “That one may be a bit too ahead of its time we should probably wait it out.” This EP is a great representation of what we can do, from turning all the way up and having fun to exploring our emotions and opening up, creating songs about real situations that we feel many can relate to in one way or another.
Kay: Like I said before, it really feels amazing as it’s been something we spoke about for such a long time and finally it’s come to fruition. It’s perfect because every aspect – down to the songs, the name of the project, the artwork really came about naturally and I feel like “Before The Storm” was a perfect theme because it’s like – the stage that we’re at in our career now is the beginning stages of the complete wrath we’re about to have on the UK music scene. So this right now is before the storm that is going to ensue.