Having just completed a UK and Europe-wide tour with plans to do shows in America, slowthai is the 23-year-old Northampton-born rapper to get to know. In recent months, everyone from i-D to Dutch streetwear brand Patta has bookmarked him as The Next Big Thing in UK rap, so we sat down with the scene’s most energetic newcomer to talk about his career so far. Read the full interview and more in the latest issue of ASOS Magazine, available here.
STYLE AND CULTURE
ASOS CHATS TO SLOWTHAI
By Sam Higgins, October 12, 2018
On his first steps to becoming a rapper
I always said to people, "I’m gonna be an artist." I needed to do something better than just feeling complacent in my everyday life. Back in the day, you wouldn’t have been able to do anything unless you had a good voice, but now anyone can make something cool. Just have fun and show your personality and you’ll go far.
On his hometown of Northampton
I don’t think I’ll ever leave. It’s in my heart. They’re knocking everything down though. All the pubs and youth clubs I used to connect with have gone.
On the way that music has changed his outlook on life
I don’t get angry anymore. I used to get really p****d off, but now [music] is my outlet. Now things are starting to grow. I can see there’s a route where we haven’t got to do dumb s**t [to make money]. Just find something you enjoy and do that. Who wants to be in a 4x4 cell with a plastic bed and cardboard duvet watching channels one to five?
On gender discrimination in hip-hop
I don’t think there was ever a point for me when I thought that there shouldn’t be female rappers. They’re dope — the tone of voice, the flow and the pockets they can fit in, changes it. I feel like anyone should be able to [rap].
On his joyful, energetic disposition
There’s times when I’ll be serious to a point, but I love laughing, I love smiling. Deep down everyone’s a loveable person who just needs a hug or a laugh.
On the impact he hopes his music will have
I want people to be inspired. To see and realize they have so much good around them and appreciate it. I want people to enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t play it. Put on something that makes you happy.