Ragz Originale is in pursuit of something different. The North London rapper, vocalist and producer wants to make you feel something new - to the point where he scrapped an album after a friend didn’t react to it.
“The album before this version was a lot more rap-based,” he says. “I went to LA and I remember playing my album to [No Vacancy Inn’s] Acyde. I’m playing it thinking, ‘This guy is going to die when he hears this stuff!’ And he was just on his chair, chilling. He was like, ‘It’s cool, but I feel like you’re trying to compete with other rappers.’ I’ve never been an artist that’s trying to compete.”
Returning to London, Ragz went back to the drawing board. “I want to you to listen to it and be in your own world,” he says of the resulting album ‘Nature’. “There’s no ‘them man there’, ‘take your girl’ or ‘I make more than you in a week’. There’s no lyrics to make the listener go back and think, ‘I need to step my game up.’ I wanted to take that feeling away from the music and allow you to escape.”
The experience, he says, should be a hot shower, cleansing his listeners from the monotony of current mainstream music. “Sometimes I do hear music on the radio and go, ‘I’m going to go to the studio and show these lads how to make music’,” he admits, with a smile. “But at the same time I think people deserve to listen to new types of music. That’s what excites me the most.”
‘Nature’ proves to be more than just gas: a transcendental rap record that immerses you into Ragz’ otherworldly realm from the rainy, late-summer scenes of its opening track. It’s difficult to believe that the expansive sound was masterminded by one guy, sat in a shed at the bottom of his garden, with some co-production from his brother E-Whizz and friend Benji Flow.
“Every single idea I had in my head, I managed to get down,” Ragz reveals proudly. “I’ve done everything in my power to make sure I got the album as perfect as I could get it.”
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Words: Grant Brydon
Photography: Joel Smedley
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