Grime producers are in abundance. The sound allows them to really experiment, pushing boundaries in the process. London-based Sh?m is but another example of someone with a burgeoning talent. Listening to Sh?m’s EP, you get an immediate sense that it lives up to its name, it’s both warm and gritty.
Prior to the release of the Symphonies of Love and Destruction EP, we sat down with the London producer to discuss the project, his musical background and creativity.
CM: How did you first get into producing?
SH?M: My family's quite musical, my uncle's in a reggae band and my stepdad had his own set up. I would always be around them and the music. I was seven or eight years old when I was given a chance to go and make music in their set ups and they had a lot of hardware, like MPCs, synthesisers, everything you could possibly think of at the time. That sparked the interest in music for me and as the years progressed, it turned into more of a passion because I was doing it at a higher level.
CM: Was producing the next natural step for you or did consider other routes as well?
S: I did, there were times where I felt like I should write some lyrics or try singing, but I felt most comfortable with producing.
CM: Are there any particular sounds you enjoy playing with?
S: I always make new sounds when I produce. When I go into the studio, I’m always making something that sounds different than before. However lately, I’ve been into making raw and gritty sounds.
CM: So what inspired the making of your EP?
S: Well, the EP is a somewhat personal kind of project, that’s what Symphonies of Love and Destruction is. It has two sides to it, there’s the angry side and the loving side which is obviously more emotional.
Those two sides have definitely come from the soul, you know? The energy that you hear in the music is all from me. It’s all real and it’s translated into melodies and rhythms.
CM: That sounds interesting. So how do you want people to feel when they listen to it?
S: There isn’t one way to feel about the EP because to me, it’s art and it’s subjective. Everyone has a different perspective about what they feel. For me, I feel like there’s one side that takes my mind away and takes me on a journey into creativity and the other side which wants me to get up and go crazy in the club.
CM: I listened to your remix of Maxwell’s ‘Ascension’, what made you choose that song in particular?
S: Me and aywy have been friends for a while and we had discussed collaborating on a song and then he came up with the sample, then I was like “yes let’s go for that” and we just went with the flow and it turned out beautifully.
CM: Yeah, it did. We thought the remix was a great follow-up to the original.
S: Thank you!
CM: You’re welcome, so what do you enjoy most about creating?
S: There’s so much I enjoy about creating, I feel like the freedom itself to just wake one day and create whatever I want is what I love most.
CM: Does your environment and surrounding help in that process?
S: Yeah, definitely.
CM: And who are you listening to at the moment?
S: There’s a lot but in terms of grime, I’ve always been listening to Skepta and Wiley. Even going back further, there’s Musical Mob and Terror Danjah. I’ve also been listening to a lot of experimental music as well, like Flying Lotus.
CM: What did you think of his latest album?
S: I think it’s absolutely great, everything he puts out is amazing.
CM: You have to make a superstar album and you have one rapper, two vocalists and a producer. Who would you pick?
S: Wow [laughs] you have to list all the vocalists and producers?
CM: Yeah so two vocalists, one producer and a rapper.
S: I’d love to do a song with Etta Bond, Skepta as well and producer, maybe Joker or Swindle.
CM: You’re allowed to say yourself as well [laughs].
S: Oh yeah definitely, I’d already be there! [laughs].
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Interview by Jesse Bernard (@MarvinsCorridor)