INTERVIEW: E-Mence | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Rob Irish

E-Mence’s new album is a bundle of the best bits from the Sunderland rapper. Sitting somewhere between Ocean Wisdom and Hopsin, there’s not many artists in the world with a better handle of flows while being able to depict vivid pictures with a throwback to the fading hip-hop subgenre of horrorcore. Ambitiously Unambitious is dark and moody with a few glimmers of optimism as E reflects on being talented and surrounded by loved ones, but there is a flipside of not being more successful as an artist and dealing with his mental health.

“I get myself into good positions, make a wave in the scene, get everyone talking about my name, then never capitalise on it. I create tracks I think could be really big and then don’t do anything with them. I have the complete means and ability to do better things with my music but don’t. I suppose that’s the beauty of this whole thing, being able to keep it just for yourself, but with this album I’m hoping to change that.”

Many artists struggle with being talented enough to create exceptional art, but not business-savvy enough to market their music. Fortunately for E-Mence his talent is recognised by Nathan from Legitimate Anarchy. So was signing to a label a difficult adjustment for E-Mence given his past extra-DIY approach to music? “To be totally honest, I haven’t relinquished any control. There have been discussions, and I’ve taken advice from Nathan on what he feels would be the best move for the project, but I have had full control over the project.

the future is a big wide open space and I wanna explore it all

“The hardest part to adjust to has been the fact that other people are working on the project with me as opposed to doing everything completely alone, if something were to go wrong it’s now not just on my head, which is weird to get to grips with, but Nathan has been fantastic and incredibly accommodating with me since joining the Legitimate Anarchy family, and that’s what we are, family.”

Family is something obviously important to E; whether he’s rapping about blood relatives or alongside close peers like Zico MC, Endem, Max Gavins and Claymore, or incorporating Hash Rotten Hippo on the album’s cover art.

“That is my brother! After my three year hiatus, Hash was the first person from the scene to welcome me back with open arms. We built up a fantastic friendship and bond that hasn’t died to this day. With my second full length release since coming back I wanted to pay homage to the dude who pushed me to keep going and working after I felt like giving up.”

Far from giving up, he’s got big plans for next year. “I’m ready to let Ambitiously Unambitious run its course and then come back hardest in 2020. Who knows?! An E-Mence tour? An E-Mence TV show? An E-Mence range of short shorts? Maybe a collaborative album, or a completely new style is coming. Next year I might make a grime album, or a soul album, the future is a big wide open space and I wanna explore it all. All I know for 2020 is it’s going to be jam packed with E-Mence and I for one can’t wait to kick it off.”

E-Mence releases Ambitiously Unambitious via Legitimate Anarchy Records on 1st November. He plays Avalon, Darlington on Friday 20th December


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