Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: RIMZEE

The Clapton rapper and entrepreneur talks latest project Cold Feet and taking over UK rap.

Rimzee is in many ways, something of a UK rap veteran. As he ventured across the country recently on a promotional tour for October mixtape Cold Feet , fans still raved about his “2010 Freestyle”, and his seminal 2012 debut Upper Clapton Dream places him firmly in British rap’s canon of greats.

However, he’s also very much an artist of the 2020s, as evidenced in recent weeks by the demographic of fans from whom he was praised. “The maddest ones were the people I met that were young,” he explains below, “and when I asked them their favourite song, they said my “2010 Freestyle” that came out 12 years ago. I was like ‘you would have been six when that came out.’ For them to have gone all the way back to those times was quite impressive.”

Something of a come-back kid, an intervening period spent in prison following his debut’s release saw an interval between his work of the early 2010s and re-emergence in recent years. However, as epitomised on the ambitious 18-track Cold Feet, replete with collaborations with some of the most prestigious of his genre’s figures, the rapper’s still in the early stages of what looks set to be an enduring and storied career.

Head below to read our chat with Rimzee on everything Cold Feet, attending the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiere, and just what his future may have in store…

Congratulations on Cold Feet! We’re almost a month into its release. How have those first few weeks been since it came out?
It’s been kind of hectic, because, most people promote for the first weekend, and me, I’m just trying to continue pushing. I went to 35 cities. The first week I went to 24 cities in a week, and then we did another 10 cities, so I was all over the UK really – Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Derby. I was doing pop-up stores so fans were getting to meet and greet me, I was selling merchandise and unsigned CDs, taking photos and whatnot.

Tell us about some of the interactions you had with fans on the ground!
The maddest ones were the people I met that were young and when I asked them their favourite song, they said my “2010 Freestyle” that came out 12 years ago, so I was like ‘you would have been six when that came out.” For them to have gone all the way back to those times was quite impressive. A lot of people were also asking me for entrepreneurial advice as well.

Can you break down the project’s title: Cold Feet? What was the inspiration behind the name?
So, my first thought was to call it “Cold Feet” because I’m basically warming up to something great. Because if your feet are cold then you want to warm up so that was the first initial thing. And, in the dictionary it means ‘to be scared’, so then I thought, I want to flip the meaning, so I’m calling it that because I feel like the industry is afraid of me. Because, my social media photos, for example – I’ve got over 100k followers but my interactions will be the same as someone with 300k. And then, I’ll go to The Rated Awards, premieres and all of these people that everyone looks up to will be coming to me talking about my music. So I kind of feel like a hidden talent.

Why do you think you occupy that kind of role in particular?
I’m a threat. I’m independent, I’m talented. I’ve got the look, I’ve got the story. I’ve got a lot of things.

The respect you have among the industry is exemplified by the calibre of figures who appeared on your album, such as, Emeli Sande, Maverick Sabre and Giggs, to name but a few. Tell us a bit more about those relationships!
They’re all people who I’ve listened to and thought they were talented from when I was young, and then when I reached out to them, when I got them on the tape, it was sick. Giggs is cool! He understands it, he gets it. I felt like I could relate to him in a lot of ways. He was in America when he did his part, so he sent it from America. Emeli Sande was proper cool. I was actually surprised as well as I didn’t know what to expect because she’s a proper superstar, but she was proper nice.

You will be meeting even more of your fans when you head on tour next month! What should fans expect from a Rimzee concert?
I’m just trying to make it the best experience possible. My London show’s sold-out, so I could upscale but I don’t really want to upscale yet because I want to put my energy on the rest of the shows like Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow and then go back and revisit it and grow. I want to be able to put on a great show for everyone before I start going crazy and having more people. I want it to be the best experience it possibly can be.

You attended the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiere recently! How are you finding going to events like that?
I went with my older brother and it was a nice experience. When we walked through the red carpet, people wanted pictures of my brother. He’s not involved in anything but they wanted pictures of him as well so it was funny and it was nice to be there. It’s nice to take them along to stuff like that because they don’t see stuff like this.

You’ve been on quite a journey to get here, however, including some time spent in prison. You’ve referred to it in the past as being like university – can you tell us more about that?
Basically, when you go to school, you learn different subjects and so when you go to prison, you learn about different people and learn different things. It’s just the same thing. You take what’s good for you and you don’t take what doesn’t sound good.

And, you’ve spoken before about when you were on day-release, you would record at the studio. So, your career was still very much something you were thinking about even whilst being inside?
Yeah, because I wasn’t gonna rap no more. And everyone was just wanting me to continue rapping, so I thought, I’m going to learn the business, and then what I was doing was going to the studio [when I was on day release] so that when I came out fully I was prepared.

Finally, getting to number 11 in the UK album chart with Cold Feet must have been a big moment for you? Tell us about the moment you found out the chart position!
I was disappointed because on my last day, we sold so many CDs, so I was thinking, ‘Yes, I must be like, eight now.’ And I was thinking, I don’t even need to sell more, I’m like, number eight right now. And then when the results came in the morning it was 11. So, I had a plan in my mind, I had a goal, and I never hit my goal. But, it was very close!

You can purchase remaining tickets for Rimzee’s tour dates here.

NEW NOISE: RIMZEE

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