Q&A: Scroobius Pip
The Essex-based rapper and spoken word artist performs in a double act with electronic producer Dan Le Sac. The pair will be bringing their unique show to The Limelight in Belfast on February 14
After more than seven years of working together, how would you describe your working relationship with Dan?
We started off as, and have always been, solo artists. Thou Shalt Always Kill in 2006 was the first song we wrote together, and it blew up on MySpace. Before we knew it we'd made two albums and spent five years touring together! There was hardly any time to take a breather.
It's a good system we have; Dan sends beats over to me and I talk over the top. I can't really say that I don't agree with any of his beats, because he knows better in such areas! We're both into different music, which we've explored on our solo albums, but at the same time I've learnt a lot about dance music from him, and I've told him about great rappers.
On a personal level, how have you kept up your friendship with Dan through the years of touring together?
I'm quite a quiet person in general, and having worked with and known Dan before, it's nice that I don't have to explain to him on the tour bus 'Right, I'm going to be quiet for a while now'.
Before a show we used to play Scrabble, but now I like to install more energy into myself to get to a good level.
A review of your new album, Repent Replenish Repeat, said your lyrics blend ''maverick articulacy and feral antipathy'. Do you agree with that summary?
We've never made a conscious effort to come across in any particularly way throughout our entire career. But that description sounds good to me! I do think that it can be bad news if you set out with any particular goal for your writing, though. I write because I'm excited about what I'm writing.
The song Stiff Upper Lip on the new record is effectively a protest song. Are you a politically-inspired musician?
Within that song, I've tried to make clear that it's the last political song I intend to write. I've not been on the streets actively campaigning for about three or four years. It's not enough to be sitting around making Facebook campaigns, and it's just as bad to be sitting in a studio talking about political matters. If I feel a change needs to come politically, no longer will I be talking about it on a record, I'll be going out on the street and actively trying to change things as an individual.
I've written some songs I've used on marches and demonstrations, so I've said everything I can say.
As a rapper, what do you make of the hip-hop scene currently?
I've got a weekly rap and hip/hip show on (London radio station) XFM, so I have to keep on top of it. It's a great thing, because I've always been really into it, but now I've got to be really on my game and know everything that's going on in that world. It's always been hard to balance the radio show, my club night in London and obviously touring and recording, but I'm used to being busy!
Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip play The Limelight, Belfast on February 14. For details, visit www.limelightbelfast.com