In His Zone: A Conversation With TubbyBoy

Written by Ellis Morgan

TubbyBoy, A.K.A Tubby is a Croydon based MC who has recently made his fully deserved comeback to the scene. Funny bars, flashy cars and puns for days; Tubby is exactly what you need to start your friday nights. He recently dropped his first track back, In My Zone which features some heavy dance moves and a catchy beat. Tubby has a bunch of music in store for 2017 and the Yeh Bwoi MC sat down to tell us more about his music. Check it all out below.

How would you say you first got into music?

“Mostly through my family. Everyone in my household listened to music. My mum loved gospel. My dad was really into reggae and jungle. My older brother was into bashment and dancehall. My oldest brother was into hip hop. My sister was into indie rock. So it was a major mix in my family. I just had to find my medium. I really caught on to the old school stuff that my parents used play, like James brown and Prince.”

How would you describe your music?

“That feel good music. Shit that light that ass on fire. It iss hard to describe. You know when you’re in the club and your mid-conversation and you just have to stop and dance? That’s what my sound is. It’s that feeling. It makes you feel good. Bubbly.”

Who would you say your biggest influences are musically?

“Hands down biggest influence is Busta Rhymes. He was probably my earliest influence. My oldest brother was probably the biggest Busta fan that I knew at that time. I just caught on to it and then started to realize that he’s the man. A lot was Biggie, Slim Shady, a lot of British artists too like Early Klashnekoff, English Frank, Jehst. Majority of the time though, it was all grime, everyone started with grime. Dizee, Wiley, Skepta, Ghetts, Kano, Big Narstie, D Double. All the roadside guys from Croydon too. They were all early influences. Grime was the real reason I started doing rap. Everyone started with grime. From our generation, if you’re British and you do music, grime is the first thing you do.”

Who are you currently listening to?

“Jamal Woon. He is insane. Skepta’s Konnichiwa too.  A lot of what I listen to isn’t new. It’s all 90’s:  Tupac, Biggie, early Ghetts, early Kano. But for what’s out right now, I’ve got Jamal Woon and Konichiwa, that album is crazy. Also Wretch 32, his album is sick. The list could go on, its never ending.”

Would you say where you’re from has had a big influence on your music?

“Yes. Croydon is everything. Croydon created my style. Everything is based around it. As much as I hate Croydon, I love it too. It’s one of those places that I love and hate. Without Croydon, I wouldn’t have met the people I’ve met, grown the way I’ve grown. I wouldn’t have mindset I have and I wouldn’t have gone through the dramas I’ve grown through to make me who I am today. Croydon is everything.”

What do you think about current UK hip hop scene?

“Right now UK hip hop is popping. I thank the Lord for people like Skepta, Giggs and Kano. It’s amazing that America is coming up to us now. I’ve seen it. They want to be British, they love us, and it’s about time. Grime is definitely catching on over there. All the people that are bridging the gap, people like Wretch 32, Getts, KA and Chip. I am so thankful for them. They’re the guys that are really helping the world understand how sick UK music is.”

 “As for upcoming artists, I think people need to try be different. My whole ethos behind my music is ‘feel free to be free’. You should feel free to be who you are and do what you do, regardless of what anyone else is doing. I think a lot of UK artists need to start becoming that, instead of trying to sound like and be like everyone else. I’m not disregarding anyone’s talent, everyone’s trying to turn a negative into a positive. What I’m saying is that, try express it in your own way, it’s ok to be yourself. A lot of people think to rap you’ve got to rap a certain way, on a certain beat and talk a certain way. Be who you are, that’s my thing.”

Where do you get the production for your tracks?

“Most of the production on my EP are American-based producers that I’ve made connections with over the years. I think the UK is still developing it’s sound, especially in trap music. I think the Americans have that sort of production on lock, whereas we’re developing ours. The drill, trap production that 67 are doing right is sick and it’s a prime example of how UK trap is developing. That’s becoming our sound now. What I’ve done is taken a lot of American production and giving it a British swing to make it our own. I have British production on here too. I’ve got Chris James on the EP that I’ve worked with for years and he’s an amazing producer. He’s like my brother. Amazing.”

You’ve recently signed to YehBwoy Entertainment. How would you say that’s helping your success as an artist?

“YehBwoy is a lifestyle. It’s a group of us now but it all started with just the owner and GTSolo. Years ago, I started my own label called MMI music. At this point, I actually phoned GT (I knew him because we went to school together) and tried to get something started and make something happen. GT was not up for it, he wasn’t on that. Four to five years later, he had an launch party for his EP Daydreaming 2 and I performed for it. The next day, the owner of YehBwoy called my phone and wanted to sign me. That’s crazy. Like it was meant to be. It’s funny how it works and I couldn’t be happier.”

“YehBwoy is a movement. A lot of people might see it differently, but we’re just a group of working class guys with a dream that’s come from nothing. It’s real. We’re not pretending to be gangsters or shotters. We’re not about that. We’re just here for the music and to live a dream. We’re here to show the world you don’t need to live a certain lifestyle to get where you want to get. It’s all work. The grind is non-stop, but it’s all worth it. That’s what I’m about.”

How would you and your music has developed since you started rapping?

“I think I’ve found my thing. Before, I never really used to listen to anyone. I was always following my way and never listening to what anyone else had to say. This really held me back. Ever since I signed to YehBwoy, they’ve helped me progress. They’ve shown me that I need to put my own twist on what’s out there now. To be current while still being myself and doing my own thing to reach people. Then in came ‘In My Zone’ and ‘Do My Ting’ and it worked. I’ve really found my thing, my ethos, my niche.”

What can we expect from you in the future?

“Expect more hits baby. Loads more hits. More positivity. More love. More fire. More light your ass on fire music. That feel good music. My EP, Boogie Town is out February. It’s got all of that.”

While we wait for TubbyBoy’s Boogie Town EP in Feburary, we have a few tracks to bump when we need that “Feel Good Music”. Check out In My Zone below.

Credit: Link Up TV | Music



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