Lets introduce you to the very laid back and chill Vociferous Sly, the brainchild of interdisciplinary artist Assemblist, another product of Croydon, South London. Currently working on his debut mixtape ‘The Trials and Tribulations of Vociferous Sly’, Assemblist and his alter-ego are storytelling and sound.
Developed as a conceptual framing for familiar conversations often played out between him and friends the comical and lyrical side of him is displayed in this video and to gain more clarity we spoke to him and asked the questions we had when watching the video:
So first thing, what were you doing to think of a name like Vociferous Sly?
So, I’ve been a producer/musician for some time…producing all kinds of genres, and ultimately just experimenting with sound design and composing beats. However, I’ve always been a rapper too – from like 16 or so – but it never quite fit in with my identity as a producer under Assemblist….and a lot of people came to know me exclusively under that name.
Vociferous Sly was born out of an alter ego in that way. Vociferous – to be vocal, in protest, loud, clamouring and Sly – to be cunning, wise, elusive. I’ve always been one to remain quite lowkey, but anyone who knows me knows I’ve got enough to say – or rap – about. Also the etymology is involved, ‘vox’ is Latin and ‘sly’ is actually a Norse word (in the English language after all those Viking invasions 😂) I’m Italian/Irish (and a few other things) so it was also suitable for me…as both the words represent that mix too.
However, the name might disappear as fast as it appeared. As the first mixtape I’m working on (entirely self-produced as Assemblist alongside some other lo-fi artists) is titled ‘The Trials and Tribulations of Vociferous Sly’. As a kind of journey/story of myself in that way…maybe it will stay there in the project, or maybe it will grow. We’ll see how it’s received
We get all the different types of rap identified and yours in this track is psychedelic, lo-fi rap. What will is the focus when making this style of rap?
Hmm, good question. I would say that rather than making the track to specifically fit within a genre – I drew from myself as an artist and as a person… I guess I can be a kinda esoteric psychedelic person myself. I’ve lived a very mad life and had experiences in places/with people who inspire me to make the music I make or have the tastes I have , as we all do – but I guess the difference is that I’m, well, different. 😜Haha.
But also I’m pretty DIY, and that’s what I love about the lo-fi hip hop aesthetic. It’s just very honest, raw and authentic…people in their bedrooms making emotive, expressive sounds and beats. No ridiculously expensive studios or setups. And that’s something I’ve fallen in love with a bit. Especially as someone who does everything myself; mixing, mastering, visuals, performing etc … So I guess the focus when making this style of rap was ultimately ensuring that it remained experimental, creative and fun…for myself more than anyone else!
I’m guessing summer in Croydon is always lively and full of culture how was it showing it through this single
As with many artists, I think I wanted to represent the essence of where I’m from in the visuals for this track …. especially as the lyrics are a conversation between friends, one that I’ve had many times growing up where I did – in various parts all over Croydon: from the parks, to the car parks, from sunny days to bitter cold nights – it only felt right to film the visuals there! 🏙
I feel the song really represents that cheeky and playful quality to Croydon, and I wanted to also represent that visually. I feel it’s a place that has mad potential – there are so many vibrant, creative people there – but it just lacks the platform or the funds maybe more inner city places get…
So various filming locations feature different parts of Croydon that many locals will recognise; I got some youngers and olders I know involved too – I had to have some friends involved to add that personal touch, but without taking it too seriously ! I.e No gang shit, or stuntin in the background of the performance…just kinda honest, raw but rowdy vibes. I mean, life isn’t always roses and sunshine there, and the place can be a truly mad place to live sometimes…but people are great making the best of bad situations and there is a unique sense of spirit and identity I think. That really comes through in the visuals and lyrics of the track too, especially in the last section…and I hope it portrays that aspect of life here well