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Back to Music talks to... / Mar 03, 2023

"My thing is that I never want to stay the same, but I want to keep evolving and I want to keep changing" - talks to Slowthai

Northampton rapper Slowthai has released his latest album, UGLY, and is now promoting it with a tour of pubs in the UK. Speaking in an interview, Slowthai explained how the album is the next step in his personal journey, as he continues to evolve and change his sound.

Well, thanks very much for agreeing to chat to us. I heard a stream of it earlier and it's really good. So I just got a couple of questions. First things first, though I was wondering which came first, the album name or the tattoo? 

The album name. I always wanted to get the ugly tattoo on my face because I thought it was just funny. Yeah. What's that? What do they call it? What's that thing? Not the algorithm, not Anagram, where you break down the word. 

Oh, acronym. 

Acronym, yeah. When the acronym made it more pressing to get the face to yeah, no, it's great. 

You mentioned before this album is like a next step in a journey for you a little bit. I was wondering if you could tell a bit more about that. 

Yeah. My thing is that I never want to stay the same, but I want to keep evolving and I want to keep changing and I think this is just the way through to another door. It's basically a door that I can step through and then grow into a beautiful butterfly. From a cocoon. Yeah. From a caterpillar. Yeah. I like that. Yeah, I like it. 

So I was watching your video for Selfish earlier. Did you really spend 24 hours in the mirror box? 

I attempted it. I wouldn't say I spent 24 hours, but I wouldn't say I didn't spend 24 hours. What was the light? To be honest, being in, I think quite a lot in my own. And going in there, I felt like I would have a lot to think about. But being in there and I just seeing my own reflection, it actually just seemed like very my mind became pretty clear. And when I come out, I was frustrated, obviously, being in a box that amount of time. But I had a clear end and it allowed me to create some art and think of some ideas and spend a bit of time in the room. 

You worked with some really cool artists on this album. How did you decide who you were going to collaborate with? 

I don't know. I think it tends to happen over the course of time. Everyone that I've worked with, I'm a fan of. Naturally, I suppose you say you want to work with them and then eventually you get to working with them and I was just lucky enough that they wanted to work with me, and everyone that I've worked with, I've met somehow or along the journey. And then it's that not thing, it's just like written. I suppose that when you meet at that point in time, you might not necessarily think of working, then eventually you just start working. You meant for a reason. You meant for a reason. Yeah. I like that. 

Your sound has changed a bit on this album. I was just wondering what kind of influences brought you to that? What kind of stuff were you listening to that made you want to go in those directions? 

Everything. I was listening to all the bullsh*t music that's out now and I thought, I can't handle this anymore. I want to be in this little pocket in the world and make the same monotonous, repetitive music that everyone else seems to be making. I don't know. No one in particular. That's fair. Good. Nice. 

Would you mind telling us a little bit about your pub tour? 

The one time tickets and going all the cost of living crisis and coming from a place where I didn't have much growing up and I didn't have the opportunities to go to shows and it was something I wish I did. I think it's fair to give people something to look forward to and bring a bit of joy and happiness as I can. The best way I can do it is what I do in music, so, before, once again doing another ticket with the inflated price of a pond and then giving people who really care about the music and need it something to go to and have a good time for equipment. It's brilliant. I think it's awesome. I reckon I'll do about 150,000 more of them in my life. Yeah, the next one might be 50 p. 

Where are you most looking forward to playing? 

Northampton, man. That's how many, I think, every time. There's no Place dorothy 

We just announced you're signing at one of our stores. Are you looking forward to it?

Yeah, I'm doing money in Northampton. Yeah. I always used to go in there and I remember I bought some posters from there and then I went in there on Nothing Great About Britain and the album was in there, so it was important and I think it's a blessed. And considering at one point when they were saying, hmm, shut down, they hopefully not I don't remember a few years ago, I thought, no, they can't do that. Still standing strong. Never done, because I'll keep putting the albums in there.. 

Is there anything else about the album you want to tell us about?

Yeah, basically not. Nothing about an album, just a message for people. I think people take more time in these selfish room selves and be the best version of themselves, rather than dwelling on a negative and looking and feeling ugly. Learn to love yourself, because at the end the day, you got to love yourself before you can love anyone else. Yeah, that's it. 

Own UGLY at on vinyl & CD, out now!

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