5 Minutes With… Elijah and Skilliam

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Co-founders of Butterz (once a grime focussed label, now something closer to a brand), the organisers of the most forward thinking specialist club nights the genre has ever seen, DJ’s, Fabric Live frequenters and Rinse FM regulars; Elijah and Skilliam have been breaking some serious ground within the UK grime scene and are showing no signs of stopping. Elijah has also recently launched a podcast series ‘Rhythm and Cash‘ in which he talks to MC’s, DJ’s and online content creators about music, the industry and their experiences within it. You can listen to the series so far below. 

Elijah and Skilliam will be performing at StreetFest 2015 this Sunday (3 May) and it’s probably pretty self-explanatory what you can you expect from them. 

We caught up with the pair ahead of the festival to talk podcasts, labels and grime, mostly. 

Elijah, you recently launched a new podcast series called Rhythm and Cash. Can you tell us a bit about the idea behind it and why you decided to start it?

It’s a podcast now but will develop into a lot more. I just want to do as much as I do for the music outside clubs and as I do inside. So people that have no access or desire to follow what we do in them can still have an insight; trying to let artists tell their own stories without a journalistic narrative.

Out of the interviews you’ve conducted so far, which have you found the most interesting? Why so?

They all are completely different. I think P Money was the most surprising to people that listened as we covered a lot of topics in depth I’ve never heard anyone talk about on record.

Can you explain Butterz to those who aren’t familiar and explain the vision behind it?

In 2015 Butterz is a record label and event. Home to Elijah & Skilliam, Swindle, Royal-T, Flava D and many other artists that I’d call family.  We focus on Grime and music directly influenced by pirate radio in London for the last 20 years.

How do you chose the artists you bring on board at Butterz?

Every case has been completely different and in different periods of time. We haven’t really had anyone new involved for two years not because I don’t like anyone because I don’t feel like they would have got my full time and attention as I was knee deep in other projects all over the world.

What do you think of the current UK Grime scene? Can you see positive things happening?

There’s always been good things happening whether it reaches far outside of the scene isn’t always in our control. Some people think nothing has been happening in the music since 2005. There’s been loads of great music and artists.

 Do you think it’s more difficult for grime acts to get booked than it is for say, house and techno DJ’s?

 Just fewer events. Smaller scene so yes. It could get shown a lot more love across the board, but I’m tired of moaning about it now. I just get on with what I’m doing. I run my own night Jamz and will start a couple of other ones soon.

How much easier is it to host a grime show in London than it is in other part of the world? 

Most of the artists are based there and a big section of the audience is here too. We have to the most venue options too. But it’s not easy. Nothing is in music events, not just grime.

What do you think the future looks like for UK grime?

Just the same as it has been. People making good music some odd things happening like Kanye on stage with Skepta new artists coming around and bringing new energy. It’s not like most other music genres. It’s a genuine UK culture it’s beyond music now.

Can you name your top five influential albums?

Grimes not really an album music for me. It’s all about the live experience.

 Is there anyone you’re particularly into at the moment?

Everyone just doing good stuff we can’t do or never thought of.

If we were to look into your music collection, other than grime obviously, what would we find?

All the roots of the sound. Reggae, Garage, House, Jungle

Have you got any exciting projects coming up that we should look out for?

I work on about 20 things at once. All exciting to me. Will see how it goes down with yourself and others across the year.

Are you looking forward to StreetFest? What can we expect to hear from your set?

Grime.

For more information and to buy tickets to StreetFest 2015, click here.

Words and interview by Maya Radcliffe (@mayarrad)