Interview: NE-O | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Prolific Geordie rapper and recent recipient of the MOBO funded Help Musicians grant, NE-O, drops a brand new track (and his fifth single of 2021) entitled Rich. This ‘melodic drill banger’ was produced by Newcastle contemporary John Dole and features Hull rap talisman Chiedu Oraka on chorus duties. It’s a slickly produced offering with succulent bass, cutting beats and a synthy hook providing a vibrant platform for some razor sharp deliveries from NE-O that contrast nicely with Chiedu Oraka’s silky vocal work.

We caught up with NE-O to find out more about this latest release…

What made you want to start rapping and how long have you been doing it for?
I’ve wanted to rap since I was about 10 years old when I used to listen to Dot Rotten and Dizzee Rascal on my Blackberry, but I never actually wrote anything until I was about 18 and then I put a little track together for a laugh and put it on Soundcloud which actually managed to get a decent amount of streams, then once me and Castle started hitting open mics it became apparent that we had the potential to make something a bit more out of it. That was 4 years ago and I feel like I’m hitting the next stage of my career as an artist.

You have recently been backed by the MOBO funded Help Musicians grant. How has that helped you progress as an artist?
It’s opened my eyes a bit to the types of funding and support that artists can receive if they just apply themselves. As well as that it’s given me an insight into the business side of music, I’ve always thought I was doing quite well as a self managed artist but the tutoring that I’ve been given through the grant has really helped me understand the little things that I wasn’t necessarily doing before.

Tell us more about your new single Rich. What is it about and what are some of the track’s sonic influences?
It’s an upbeat melodic drill track, about our determination to make something more out of our music than just being on top of our respective regions. John produced the track and performed the chorus and I think he really created the vibe we were going for 

This release sees you teaming up with Chiedu Oraka and John Dole. How did that come about?
Chiedu’s an artist I’ve respected for years, we come from similar areas where the rap scene just isn’t as apparent and known to the rest of the country, so when we both got selected for the MOBO grant I saw that as an opportunity to make a connection and link up on a track together. 

John’s another artist who I’ve respected for years, and I knew he’d be the perfect guy to perform the chorus. He also produced the beat so he really brought this track to life

Is there anything else on the horizon that you can tell us about?
I’ve got a few tracks on the back burner for now which I’ll announce when the time’s right. 

I’m also supporting S Dog at Think Tank on 24th September, which will be my first gig as a solo artist (Expect Castle to make an appearance though)


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