Wow, what a week so far…Following the wake of Skepta placing Grime on the map with his “Konnichiwa” reaching No. 2 in the OFFICIAL UK ALBUM CHARTS, came the infamous Azealia Banks placing UK Rappers with her very unpopular rant that cost her loosing her headline space at Rinse FM’s Born & Bred Festival.
Make no mistake – UK music is seriously on the come up and we are taking no prisoners while we continue to shine a light on the amazing talent born and bred here on UK soil.🙅🏾 With that said it comes as no surprise that we was invited to the exclusive launch of Hip-Hop Artist Haze’s new visual album “Thinking Out Loud”. The launch was something more intimate with Haze and director Sheridan DeMyers mingling with other press but also family and supporters at the coolest W Hotel in Piccadilly Circus.
Invitees were treated with some nice drinks, private screening and yeah – more drinks. After the screening of “Thinking Out Loud” fierce questions followed. But Haze was readily intellectually prepared and wasn’t hesitant to answer. Seeing that he, (just like Skepta) has been in the underground music scene for time, Haze highlighted issues that most British artists from the grime scene face. Which indicates to us one thing: what’s happening in the UK is something great, but there’s still more to be done before it becomes a culture. To us Skepta is a success, but in America he had to make himself known from the beginning due to being in a different demographic by interacting with the audience and performing at gigs. Even Haze reflects on many previous material that was great in substance, but wasn’t being give the right nudge in the US.
“Skepta is the leader…of what’s going on right now. Me personally, I couldn’t have picked a better candidate – he’s just so real and authentic. Him being the leader of it and putting out that authentic ****, and him being who he is, is going to trickle down to everyone. Everyone should get that from it and everyone should stay doing what they do. If you’re rapper; rap. If you do Grime – do Grime. Just do what you’re doing for the culture because there’s a big culture out here. There’s stupid amounts of talent! “
It’s something great to learn from a pioneer who’s seen the growth of Grime, becoming a household name an a potential internal market in the UK that the mainstream likes to overlook – simply because “these artists are the type that aren’t your stereotypical Adeles or Sam Smiths” (quotes from Big Narstie).
“Everyone just has to do whatever they do in an authentic way…”
Despite noticing the successes, Haze highlights that the UK urban culture scene needs to develop it’s own international brand in the same way as Hip Hop went from the the streets of Brooklyn to become a commercialized culture in itself. From the fashion, to the artists, to the slang etc.
“Hopefully we’ll get like…I don’t know I just want us to get out the UK culture to be what the West Coast was or what the Down South was; what the East Coast was.”
External from that, “Thinking Out Loud” was always in Haze’s mind, as he’s always had a sense of passion for filming, and since he knew DeMyers for a while, his first project was underway. Haze describes DeMyers as an “all round good guy”, and appreciates the fact that he was humbled enough to work on this project. Afterall, we can easily assume that the Running Films director is one busy man.
The short visual gave an insight into the life of the streets, it’s the inside thoughts of a man who is trying to do right for his family. The film was part of his recent album release of the same name that has all of the “turn up ****, real life and the spiritual stuff.”
Looking from Beyonce’s two albums (Beyoncé & Lemonade) visual albums has become a thing now. Although, Haze considered this specific project special because he’s seen his idea become a reality. Also, Haze adds that he didn’t want to just provide a visual experience, but also an audio one as well:
“Thinking Out Loud” is just my thoughts out loud depicting what I’m going through. Before I met Sheridan I had in my head to have audio experience and a visual experience I wanted to make a film that provides….where people can see it visually and hear it.”
The album has stunning artwork and collaborations from the likes of J Spades, Maverick Sabre, Kyla as well as upcoming Hooligan and vocalist Jasmine Knight who Haze describes as a “super sick vocalist” .
@hazethetruth #ThinkingOutLoud Official Film Launch Party. Shame there's no more of the CDs, but can we just appreciate the brother collaborating with @sheridandemyers and producing we like to call the realist-of-the-realm piece of work. #ukfilms #uktalent #UrbanCinema #movies #BritishCinema #films #music #ukmusic #rap #hiphop
After the excellent execution of the film. DeMyers gave us an exclusive peek into the OFFICIAL TRAILER of “The Weekend”. We’re keeping our lips tied up for now, until the official release of the film. For now, Haze’s got more concepts to introduce and had already started thinking about screening his film at a concert in July.
“Thinking Out Loud” is available to purchase now. You can also get a hard copy of his album via his website and the short film.