Next Wave #575: Meridian Dan

Grime veteran breaking into the mainstream…
Meridian Dan by Lorenzo Dalbosco

A legendary figure on the underground grime circuit for years, scene vet Meridian Dan looks likely to prove one of the year’s most unlikely chart successes. Picked up by PMR off the back of widespread radio love given to iconic smash ‘German Whip’, Dan has also signed debut album, ‘I Am London’, to the label.

“They just tweeted me saying they liked what I was doing,” he says, reflecting on first linking up with PMR. “I followed them back straight away and they sent a private message over asking if I’d want to sit down and talk to them, and the rest is all spiced rum and ginger beer.”

Refreshingly laidback and clearly intent on keeping both feet firmly on the ground, Dan is best known for his involvement with foundation grime crews Meridian (hence the name) alongside JME and later Bloodline, as well as Big H, both of who feature on ‘German Whip’.

For all the immediacy of his newfound fame, he’s remained remarkably calm and philosophical on the prospect of his future. “I’m a very normal person,” he explains. “I just take each day as it comes, to be honest. I prefer to deal with things as and when they happen.”

People have also been quick to draw comparisons between ‘German Whip’ and the remarkable crossover success of Tempa T’s 2009 anthem ‘Next Hype’, a track that saw him go on to record ‘Hypest Hype’ with Chase & Status on ‘No More Idols’.

“When people compare it to ‘Next Hype’, it makes me feel good because I loved that tune as a fan. It’s difficult for me to see it from an outsider’s perspective at the moment, though, but I’m definitely on that same rollercoaster.”

Of course, that rollercoaster doesn’t end after the release of ‘German Whip’, with debut album ‘I Am London’ due for release later in 2014, the significance of which certainly shouldn’t be overlooked either.

“There’s a whole catalogue of tunes on the album,” Dan says proudly. “They’re not all like ‘German Whip’, but they represent me. I believe in the tunes, they believe in the tunes and I’m really proud of it.”

Regardless of impact, the fact PMR have chosen to invest in grime represents an exciting breakthrough for the genre.

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WHERE: London

WHAT: Iconic grime fare

GET 3 SONGS: ‘German Whip’ (above), ‘Illuminati Ting’, ‘Been Doing This’

FACT: He really likes strawberry jam.

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Meridian Dan online

Words: Tomas Fraser
Photo: Lorenzo Dalbosco
Fashion: Lola Chatterton

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