Certified UK Interview: Isaac Danquah ‘Im not the outcast, I’m just the Different Guy’

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With UK rap and lyricism being such a growing and powerful export we thought we should sit down with one that has kept the level of his work at a high level and in the space of dropping ‘The Boy Meets Man Experiment’ he has made a whole lot of music that documents his life and what is going on with himself, bringing in more structure and making sure that he isn’t doing too much more that being the best artist he can be and also planning for future moves to be as organic and moves that you haven’t seen before from him or anyone yet, Isaac Danquah.

Straight away showing his appreciation for getting to what he calls ‘vent’ to us about his journey up to now because he says that ‘Even though we met and speak in digital realms, the love is felt and from where we come from those things aren’t like that so thank you.’

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We are just doing what we are suppose to do and that is platform great talents that are on the rise and because of the surprise to see the love the next question was going to be easy.

Don’t you fell like your presence on media platforms is a big one?’

Sitting back on his chair states that ‘I mean, its something that myself and Nick (My manager) talk about and its a majority of that and now its less focus on the music and more on the individual and although it is part of the package of selling the story because as an example someone like 50 Cent and his music was banging but he didn’t get the looking until her got shot 9 times, but yeah definitely feel like its a focus on the spotlight artists & in London in hindsight and if we go back to 93 to like the London posse there has been a progression from garage to grime and then there were many artists that were very expressional in terms of the music and they were creating waves and it had nothing to do with popularity its was just about music and you will get the looking.’

With that we dove into the state of how many artists worry about what their numbers are actually saying & one of the questions put to Isaac is “do you think people care about the retweets rather than content?” and he definitely thinks so.

‘I feel like you have to be a personality more now than you did before and with me I’m a bit of the old and new, so some of my favourites i look up to never had social media so there are good and bad to it; so its more of a direct to consumer and you can really speak to your fans where as them back in the day you would have to set up a PR meeting with all of the publications, have street team and I was even looking at an interview with tribe called quest all they had to worry about where they were going on tour and their album artwork.’

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Independence is very important to Isaac and there are positives and negatives to it all also ‘Your very much in control, but there is limits to how people look at you and there are a few independent people killing it right and may of them have been doing this for so long & I do feel like that your look at like the ‘Spotlight’ artists but that won’t stop the quality.’

When it comes to the music Isaac makes you can see the growth over time, the influences from childhood and also the ability to experiment when he wishes to do so.

‘Ive been making music since 11 years old, but took it as the profession and took it serious for about 5 years now and although Nick stepped into the management position recently he has been my friend for some time now and you can seen from my recent releases, I’ve really honed in to my sound and decided to go into the experimentation of sounds and build further. But but prior to that and in 2010 I’ve always been spitting and using the influences from grime and was in a collective called Mucky Wolfpack and was really in this from early and what I’ve noticed now is that i was making music in a Desperate place and London in 2010 was a different environment as a whole and I’ve always felt like not the outcast but the different guy.

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in 2010 i can say that I was at my lowest point and didn’t even try to talk to anyone and my mind state was elsewhere. Then got to a point where i was like i can’t do this anymore and started putting pen to paper and writing it all down again.

So as I was in a situation to getting out of that dark place and noticed a lot of music at that time was people talking about that dark place, even when they weren’t living it and me knowing people from that environment they weren’t encouraging that life they wanted to get out and the story that was used to be told was real but everyone was saying the same stuff. Like back in the day you really couldn’t just go to ¬†certain areas for real and then it was just a notion to me to want to do something different.

From alterations from where i can show you the outcome of it’ as he is points at scars created ¬†‘and I’ve been in the situation where it was just a lot of mad things but i always knew i had a different calling and even my musical influences were different from what i listened to at home and what was shown to me from the likes of Michael Jackson, Spandau Ballet, David Bowie, Bob Marley, Luther Vandross and it also spilled into gospel and can honestly say that the music has always been around me and even when it wasn’t a focus there was a soundtrack to my life at that period of time.’

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One thing that i needed to do in order for the change was listen to the greats and the one album that related to me and i took in the most was Nas – illmatic. Also listened to a bit of Tupac and only thing that i remember was playing GTA Vice city and they had a real wavey soundtracks and your real young and you doing these missions and jumping in the cars driving away but your listening to the soundtrack like this is a wave so that became an influence for me as i drew inspiration for that when putting together the artwork for my work so you will see the neon lights a lot of 80’s themes and then i jumped on a Pete Rock instrumental and was picked up by DJ Target and spun it consecutively on 1xtra and started doing shows, building a buzz and then i got a phone call and i was asked to do Hackney Weekend which was aligned with the 2012 olympics and i was on the same festival line up with Jay-Z & Kanye West and to me, God forbid if I pass today I can put that as one of the best things that have happened in my life and especially coming from a place I come from those opportunities don’t come every day.

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With the music growing the brand of Issac grew and he knew that he will have to dive into different waters in entertainment.

‘I got into the fashion scene as my name grew and people might of saw it as gentrification but I also draw influences from the likes of Pharrell & Kanye West and that goes back to the point of not being the outcast but being the different guy. Even in the UK there were a few that lyrically spoke to me such as Kano with his Layer Cake album to Ghetts, Wretch, Scorcher; The Movement really were lyrical and to be that was very impressive to me.

All these influences makes me as well as the sonically pure sounds created in my head.’

With so much influence from his he draws the question is does his city play his music and he states ‘In all fairness i have a level of support and one thing I’ve noticed is that people have come up to me on foot, bus train and say “Your that rapper guy, if seen you about” and that is a good feeling in itself but I’m not at my podium stage yet as we still have a lot to document. Yes i may be at an industry event and many may know me but we are trying to engage the typical listener and lover of music’

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With all the influences that have made him who is is today Isaac can name them who where the people that were his soundtrack to his life he is hoping his music does exactly the same for . ‘ I feel like that there are many individuals in our environment and because of the status quo they want to fall into a bracket that they want to be put into and for me that means i want to speak to the person that is from the hood but not of the hood, because i feel like some people never make it out and because there aren’t many that make is out and show others that your outcome can be set differently and i look at myself as that individual.

When it comes to the music I’m not one type of artist or hold one type of sound because i started and the music was quite introspective and i can admit that but I’ve know i can do anything if i put my mind to it.

Think about this, when your a kid you do art and your very creative in school and when you get to secondary you do heavy multiplication and equations then have to have art as a option and it shows me that we all have a creative output from birth and we use it as a form of expression no matter what the talent is and our environment does allow us to embrace it as much and being from an African home, it gets to a certain point when they say “Make your money, do something serious” and one thing i had to do was fight for my music at home and it is now in a place where my mum has seen the shoots and sees people coming into my house as I have a studio at home, and the one person i can definitely say i am talking is a dreamer and the message is to embrace yourself!

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You will get aspects of my story until i get to a grand scale of things and that stage is when you get the album stage and you will get that when i feel ready and i feel thats a soul connecting thing so we will never know when we its ready until that comes.’

Until then Isaac continues to drop aspects of his life and pieces story throughout the course leading up to the album.




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