UK Grime were lucky enough to be invited backstage get to know the artists and the Bigga Fish street team as preparations took place amongst Manchester’s young MC’s and rappers on the rise. The atmosphere was buzzing as the bass of the music filtered through from the main stage and the vibe was chilled as the street team and artists were catching jokes back stage before the artists took to the stage to showcase their lyrical abilities at the Bigga Fish: Wavey end of term party on Friday 22nd July. I managed to nab a very friendly Kay Rico for a quick chit-chat before he took to the stage.
While I was staring at the tray of food backstage and deciding whether I wanted to be the first one to pig out on the untouched feast or if I should wait for someone else to dive in so I didn’t look like I’d never been fed, Kay Rico saved me from my stressful dilemma and agreed to a quick chat before he hit the stage.
I asked the Manchester MC who is currently riding a tidal wave of hype on the back of his fierce flows and quick-witted wordplay; how he got into music and who his influences are?
“I’ve always loved UK music, I grew up on it and from an early age I knew I wanted to be an MC. I grew up listening to More fire crew, Kano, Wiley, but for me Ghetts was the main one I looked up to. Ice kid and Chip were always artists I watched closely and admired. From the age of 11 when I wasn’t playing football, I’d freestyle over their beats just messing about but then people started telling me I was good, my friend who is also my manager (DJ Win who also performed at the event and dropped my favourite Grime instrumental by Rebound X, WINner!!) put me on properly and it felt right because the trust was already there, it all took off from there really.”
This led me nicely to my question of, does you have a crew like AJ Tracey’s MTP or Mez’s crew 12?
“More times, I was doing this as a solo thing and then as I started to get well-known in Manchester and London I’d bring out the people I grew up with and spat bars with on stage with me, I brought the artist ‘time’ out with me in London and in Birmingham I brought out Keekz who is my day one, we’ve come up in this scene together.”
Speaking of the home of the Grime scene I was keen to find out how a Manchester artist is received in London?
“When I’m in London I’m not just reppin’ myself I rep the city (of Manchester), when you hear my music I chat about Manchester, the people I roll with and my family it’s none of that gas talk I’m just truthful and I’m me.”
So the ultimate question I put to Kay Rico was Do you think London artists and day 1 Grime fans see Manchester artists as equal to them in terms of skill and technicality, is Manny well and truly on the map and was it Bugzy who put us there?
“Yeah Manny is definitely on the map, respect to Bugzy he saw what was going on and made it work for him and was like – ok let me pick at Chip real quick, Chip is an O.G and is respected so for Bugzy to do that was a brave move but it was good for Manchester as a whole. I think people outside Manchester don’t realise artists were doing their thing before Bugzy, like the artist Shifty for example he was killin’ it in the game too”
So it’s obvious that news of Kay Rico’s microphone mastery has spread from North to South, how does it feel to see your hard work pay off?
“I put my tracks on Insta. and I’ve just done a 1xtra street studio, it’s only been out a few days but it’s already got 50 retweets and likes. My manager (DJ Win) called me up to tell me who had liked the 1xtra session and it was Chip!! I couldn’t believe that someone I looked up to all this time and still look up to saw what I’d done and likes my work, it gives me even more motivation to succeed.”
When asked who he’d like to work with he talks about putting local talent on which shows he’s a humble guy and not about to forget his roots or let ego takeover, but of course if given the opportunity he states he’d love to work with Ghetts, Kano, Chip and Wretch as they are lyrically talented. I have to agree with his choices and hopefully it won’t be long before we hear those collaborations. Read how Kay Rico performed in my “Bigga Fish: Wavey end of term party review” Check out more of Kay Rico’s fire lyrics on his soundcloud