The South London rap scene has smashed it again with Poundz. The 22-year-old MC has been around for a minute, but his addictive Top 40 hit ‘Opp Thot’ has prepped him to be the next big thing and he’s got even more bangers, like ‘Boujiee Drillers‘ and ‘Who’s Laughing‘, to back him up.
NME spoke to him about faking it until you make it, why ‘Opp Thot’ is only the start and how he’s got his sights set on both Wireless and Glastonbury 2020.
‘Opp Thot’ has gotten huge, did you know you had something special before you released it?
Poundz: “100%. Always. It’s the catchiness of it. It’s the vibe I put on it because if you break it down, it’s a simple beat, but the flow I put over it just makes it so jumpy and so rememberable. I always knew that song was gonna go big.”
What motivated you to start rapping?
“Basically I faked it that I could rap until I actually started rapping. And then I realised that I actually had a decent flow, so I kept following it.”
What’s your creative process like?
“I’m more of a nighttime writer, so whilst everyone’s sleeping, I put my PS4 on, I run a beat, I get my phone out, my memo pad and I’m just writing lyrics. And I just catch a vibe and go straight to the studio to record the next day.”
How do you feel like your represent yourself and your heritage in your artistry?
“I represent it through my bars. Like how I’d slip in and out of the patois ting, back to British. In and out, you get me? I like the sounds of [the Jamaican] accent. That puts a little twist on my music. That’s what influences me: being different.”
So what makes you different to the rest of the UK scene?
“My energy. My flows. My vibes. No one can have my sound. It’s evident. Plus, what makes me different is that I have no limits. I don’t put limits on anything like I believe I can conquer the whole scene and take it global and conquer everything there is to achieve.”
What would you say to accusations that UK rap is getting repetitive?
“I feel like it depends on the type of artist you’re looking at, because everyone comes with different ideas. I mean, before it was because you get everyone talking about the same drills. Saying what they do. Obviously that’s a bit boring. Now it’s different, people are starting to show themselves more. They’re starting to put their personality in the music.”
And who other than you does that?
“Young Adz [of D-Block Europe] does that. He’s not shy to say whatever he wants to say. A lot of people put a cap on what they really want to say. They don’t really show the ins and outs of themselves. But I don’t really listen to too many UK artists because I like to just focus on myself.”
You did Fire In the Park and Parklife festivals this year, how were they?
“Those were mad. Those were my highlights of the year because I’ve never been to a festival. Not even to watch other artists. The crowd was mental. It was fun and I’ll do it again.”
What’s the next festival you want to do?
“I want to shut down Wireless next year, 2020. That’s the goal. Then Glastonbury. Just get bigger and bigger.”
What are you proudest of so far?
“I’ve achieved a lot, you know. I’ve surpassed 100,000 followers on Instagram; I’ve hit a million views on YouTube countless times. Now it’s about breaking out of that UK zone and I’m gonna do that by bringing constant bangers. You can’t rely on one banger, so I know ‘Opp Thot’ is killing the streets, but I’ve got even better heat coming after that. That’s my plan. I’ll get my next single out by December latest. Then I can prove that ‘Opp Thot’ isn’t a one hit wonder.”
In five years, where will you be?
“I want to sell over a million records. I just wanna do mad numbers. I wanna do all my headline shows, performing with the biggest artists like Stormzy, Jorja Smith, or to switch up the genre, Adele. Maybe in five years I could have my own record label as well.”