12ozProphet Exclusive: Edward Scissortongue interview
“My name is Edward Scissortongue and I write weird rap music. Not your typical rap music, in fact, my new stuff sounds more like a Roxette album than Mobb Deep, but still, on the whole I write rap music for rap fans”
I first encountered Edward Scissortongue on a rainy day inside a library, my head was stuck between the pages of a book and absorbed in a Youtube playlist. His acclaimed single ‘Fluids’ had just been released and it sunk into my pores from the very first listen. Ominous, perfectly crafted, eloquent Hip-Hop which flickered constantly in my movements for weeks upon end. His music is not something you forget, his dense lyricism combined with Lamplighters heady beats are meditation music.
I was lucky enough to catch him live last year and subsequently had the chance to interview him. What I found was an artist whose attention to detail & care regarding his craft were of the utmost quality. Edward Scissortongue is a project which is forever progressing and expanding upon endless ideas & possibilities. Watch his video and then check out the interview below.
How did you get started? And could you tell us something about your primary influences during that time?
I got started with the whole music thing because of what was at the time an obsessional desire to chase the best drum and bass raves up and down the country. At the time I thought the MCs in the big raves were the coolest people on the planet so I took to writing jungle bars in order to emulate them (Skibadee and Shabba especially). I can still get down with that side of things, however, it doesn’t pickle my cockles as much as it used to. My primary influences have always been the very word heavy, dense lyricists – for example the EL-P’s & Aesop Rock’s of this world – however, I take as much from indie artists as I do hip hop lefties. I take inspiration from all places and all things to be honest; I was at a spa just yesterday eating green apples and reading a book on the effects of mescaline. That was pretty inspiring.
What keeps you in to Hip-Hop? What do you find so alluring about it?
The ARTFORM is NEVERENDING. It drives such a massive chunk of popular culture nowadays and it has been a large part of my life for years now. My ‘hardcore’ love for it may have wained a little, however, the spirit still burns bright. For me, it is all about diversification and looking forward and how hip hop is ever fluxing.
High Focus is one of the most esteemed record labels in the country at the moment, how did the involvement with them come about?
I met Fliptrix on the ‘party bus’ to the first Outlook festival. The gang that went to the festival all came together and the rest is history. Simple as that.
“We are the people, chapters of history, and this chapter is compost literally compost, flopping like a lost dog wandering the constructs following a dump truck awful. Runners in a non-stop ruckus where the bombs drop promising we’re mortal. Muzzle who you once was cause you’re different now, one face in the midst of a shitty crowd, one wager away from a winning sound, one train from the greyness of tinsel town. “
– Please Say Something.
Your music often features dark imagery; the struggles of humanity against vices, deep post-apocalyptic scenarios or a knowledge of the transient nature of it all. Would you highlight anything that draws you to making music of this kind?
I like writing dark stuff, that terrain is where my brain finds most joy. Having said that, I have written a bunch of happy stuff but it is heavily outnumbered. Even on the new stuff I am working on, the darkness is always there, simmering behind even the most jovial moments. I am a big fan of pursuing things that feel right straight off the bat. When I believe something will work then I go for it without thinking twice. The results are varied, there is something in that belief and conviction that I really buy into. Maybe this is why the majority of my work comes out dark (because that is the first place I instinctively go…)
What appears to be coming through is the love of the process, of instinctively pursuing a feeling into an idea and following its journey. Would you say this is correct? Is it something you find more interesting than the end product?
The process you detail above is spot on but is ever tightening. There is no limit to hunting for a level of perfection in music making. From the writing to the recording and beyond – the process is infinite. It helps to have the right people around you. The process is definitely more interesting than the end product; once it is ‘finished’ it is finished.
You released The Theramin EP last year to much anticipation and it feels like an evolution on Better Luck Next Life, a more refined record where you’ve chosen to concentrate on the atmosphere surrounding the whole as opposed to individual songs. Is there anything specific you were aiming for with the record?
With Theremin I wanted to write a concept record. I had always wanted to do that and am happy with how he turned out, he was pretty right from top to tail I reckon. I like The EP as a whole way more than any track individually. Every single element is in sync with the next I feel. There was a handful of tracks that didn’t make the release as I didn’t want to dilute the finished product. It could have been an album. I do love The Wipeout Soundtrack – in terms of process he was mega satisfying. The inclusion of Toyface, the change in tempo and rhyme structure at the end. He is a big track. I’m very close to finishing my new album which is entirely dedicated to love, pain and agonising heartbreak.
“I have dreams that i’m standing alone at the steps of the next life and my last words harness the murderous targets missed before my next big breath dies split second respite”
– The Wipeout Soundtrack
Is there anything else you occupy your time with creatively away from music making? or interests?
I exercise a lot. That is a pretty creative practice if you ask me. I am just one of those people who tries to busy himself in as many creative circles as possible. I have grand ambitions to direct videos, design clothing lines etc. etc. but it always comes back to songwriting. I am currently in the process of re-jigging my live show which is a pretty significant undertaking…
It sounds like you have plans to make Scissortongue into an overall experience rather than just a musical outlet? What can we expect of you in the future?
I wouldn’t say that. What I would say is that I am considering everything now, from top to bottom, rather than just writing songs and pissing about. Everything matters now and in my humble opinion there is nothing too small worth considering in terms of shaping ones artistry.
What influences you at the moment?
Currently I am revisiting artists like Common, Q-Tip, The Roots, Mos Def, pharaoh Monche on a nostalgic tip. The era if those guys all at full tilt was arguably the finest for me, Rawkus records etc. However, I love that trill, ignant, nu-wave rap stuff more than anything nowadays – I love Drake. I just like big songs, it doesn’t matter what they say so long as they are potent for one reason or another.
Any Artists or things you’re interested in that you feel the world should know about for 2015?
Linda Perhacs, Ocean Wisdom and Drake.
Thanks a lot Edward!
You can check out High Focus Records here
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