We sat with Reece West to talk music, goals and more. Check out the full conversation below.
Bespoke: So.. Mr. Reece West, how are you?
Reece: I’m good bro, what you saying?
I’m good man. Let’s start with you – what’s the latest, how’s life, how’s 2018?
Obviously, summertime in London – the best time to be in London. But yeah, it’s been good and it’s refreshing because I’ve been working on a lot of music in 2018 but I’ve only really dropped ‘filler’ stuff so now I’m looking to put together a proper project – which is about 80% done.
Cool. And we’re expecting a track with an ‘international’ music video from the EP tomorrow? Can you tell us more about the track and vid?
Yeah, It’s called ‘Walk on Water’ and the story behind it is I had a booking in Barcelona and I wanted to shoot a video out there, I had a few tracks that were recorded, so I hit up Saoud Khalaf (SK) and we planned to do a video out there on a Saturday with me touching down the day before. I touched down, picked up my loud, grabbed a bottle, went to my homie’s hotel and literally dropped my stuff down and went straight to the studio with a load of Spanish guys. We were in the studio just vibesing, drinking and they started playing a load of beats to me – one of them was like ‘wow, what the…’ and I ended up recording on that beat that night, made ‘Walk on Water’, phoned SK and was like ‘the songs changed bro, check your emails..’.
So we linked up, shot the video. I flew back two days later and SK already had the edit done for me. So yeah, the product was done in less than a week.
Available on all platforms?
Yeah, yeah. Spotify, Apple (Music), Tidal, Deezer, everything. Available on the 27th.
Any shows or anything coming up that you’d like make people aware of?
Alright so, I don’t want to give any dates yet but I’m putting together a tour kind of corresponding with the tape dropping and the singles I’ll drop this summer so yeah, I’m working on a few things not just the tape. I’m working with Tim & Barry.. I’ve also done some stuff with 1xtra as well. I’m just trying to put it all together so it comes to fruition this summer.. So I reckon in regards to the tour there’ll be like a headline in London and two European dates.
That gives me the sense you’re pretty confident with yourself and your music at the moment?
Yeah, to be fair I’m big on planning and like the way that I do everything in life generally, it needs to be planned out and it needs to be jotted down. I need to have my goals and everything set out and to be honest I kind of had an idea of everything I was going to be doing this summer back in December but I didn’t have the music recorded then so it wasn’t set in stone. I just knew the goals I wanted to reach and I knew the plan to get there.
What were those goals you set yourself 6 months ago?
To get everything that I’m doing under the same umbrella really – getting my logo, getting my fashion stuff together, getting not just my grime music but my live shows sorted, getting a booking agent, getting everything together. I think a lot of people get confused with all of the different Reeces – there’s like the fashion Reece, then there’s the grime Reece and then there’s the Reece that can do other stuff and I wanted to start showing people everything under this umbrella.
That’s cool. So the logo will cover everything you do basically?
Yeah, basically, the logo itself will be in the bottom right or left of everything I produce.
How long has it taken to get to this point?
Well, I think I’ve been doing music properly for the past three and a half years now and I never knew I’d be here when I first started – I’ve just been making lemonade with the lemons that I’ve been given. So now, I’ve got a to point where I know Reece West and I know my sound and I know like my styley and the direction I want to go in. I’ve basically got the recipe sorted and now it’s just cooking up in the oven – I’ve left it to marinade in the fridge for time, 24 hours a day.
Interesting.. You say you’ve been doing music for about three and a half years now? I’ve seen tunes from you dating back to 2011. That’s seven years ago.. What was going on then musically?
Hahaha, my guy. I think I’ve always loved music, like always, always. I used to play instruments in school and when I left school and was partying and that I always wanted to be on the mic, do some hosting for a little bit but I never really saw it as my job or what I would do for a living. I thought it was all just life and circumstantial stuff. I always wanted to be Thierry Henry mate.
Speaking of the gooners. Arguably your biggest track ‘Arsene Wenger’ featuring the line ‘No I won’t leave like Arsene Wenger!’ – he’s left now after 22 years, what you saying now haha?
I know, I know, 22 years! I chose to do the tune on his 22nd year, mad guy. It’s cool though, I made a lil’ remix and you know what I actually deeped? ‘No, I won’t leave like Arsene Wenger’ still works… If you actually deep it.
Back to you. Your flow is iconic in opinion. Definitely yours and obviously copied when others try and use it. Did you come up with it naturally?
Yeah, it’s just naturally how I spit to be honest, I would like to say that I have taken influence but to be fair I don’t really listen to grime like that anymore, do you know what I mean. I more time listen to anything, not just grime so my influences have come from everywhere. I also get bored so easily. I’m always coming up with new flows, it’s my thing, just writing and coming up with new flows naturally. This styley I have now definitely won’t be my finished one. It grows with me, if you get me?
I know you’re a bit of a baller. Where’s that at for you?
Oi, I’m so unfit. I haven’t played in a team properly for about a year and a half but good news is I’ve got pre-season trials on the weekend, with the team I use to play for when I was young, so hopefully that goes my way.
It’s clear that your music is more than just grime. With the boom in new sub-genres like drill etc.. Where do you place your music? Do you like being categorised at all?
I don’t really like it still, I don’t like being called a grime artist, I don’t mind being called a Grime MC because I love to MC over grime beats and those are my roots but I’m a music artist now which is the whole thing I’ve been saying about this year, branding and bringing everything under one umbrella and brand.
We won’t speak too much on it, but beefs. You’ve had a couple in the last year or two, dealt with them well. What’s your view on them?
I feel like the last one was not personal, with Micofcourse I had to just make an example of him. He’s one of a few people that have been sending for me. It’s bless though, I hear everything – My ears are to the ground. I just had to show man that if you send for me I might reply and it will have collateral damage for you.
Do a lot of people think your from West (London)?
Yeah I do get that alot still. Less now though ‘cos I think people now know my main bar which is ‘raised in north, not west.’ and on my Twitter it got ‘London North, not West’.
And Reece West, that’s govs (government name) yeah?
Yeah, yeah. Nothing to hide bro.