Fresh off the drop of his debut EP, The Agenda, we sat down with East London producer Nikhil Beats, alongside rappers Matty D of the Enfield Collective and YS Tekdinner, who both feature on the tape. We get to know the up-and-coming artists, and get exclusive insight into the EP itself.
Hi guys, it’s great to sit down with you all. Tell us a bit about yourselves, how did you get into music?
Nikhil Beats: “Pretty much since I can remember I’ve always loved music. I started playing the piano when I was about 5. And then I played several instruments, and I always knew I wanted to be in music in some way. It wasn’t really until my second year at uni where I actually got into producing. So I’ve only been doing it for about a year and a bit, but I really fell in love with producing. I feel like it’s what I’ve always supposed to have been doing.”
Matty D: “I’m a 22 year old artist coming out of North London, Enfield. Started doing music when I was about 17/18. It started out as a bit of a joke between me and my friends, we’d go to each other’s houses and pretend to like clash each other, and then one day we decided we’d make a load of tunes when we got the chance, ended up buying a real crappy starter pack called Audacity to edit the music. Then we took it more seriously from there.”
YS Tekdinner: “I was born and raised near Old Kent Road, near Camberwell, I got into music from young, with a friend of mine. We just rapped over old 50 Cent beats and stuff and it progressed from there. We started going studio and that.”
So you’re all just starting out as artists, who are your main inspirations and/or influences in your music?
Matty D: “My main inspiration is Skepta overall. The process that he went through, from being someone in grime who was only doing small sets and is now a household name, not only in music but his fashion. He’s established an identity.”
NB: “Herbie Hancock – I remember this interview with him saying about how his Buddhist practice correlates to his musical practice. He understands that even though he’s a musician, its only one part of who he is, he’s also a human being in society, and I like that way of thinking. In terms of my music I’m influenced by so many different things, and I think you can hear that. A lot of the melodies I listen to come from the music my parents listened to, like disco and soul.”
YS: “I’m inspired by everyone around me, like family, friends, just life in general - past experiences. I take influence from all types of music, everyone has something to offer.”
That’s a real mix, so how would you describe your individual sound in 3 words?
NB: “That’s difficult. I’m going to say compact, melodic and definitely bass-driven.”
Matty D: “Urm, quirky, positive, and adaptive.”
YS: “The best ever.”
Haha, I like that confidence YS. It feels like you all have your own unique styles, so what’s the EP going to be like? In fact, first off, why did you guys decide to call it ‘The Agenda’?
Matty D: “The name Agenda came about from our music being in relation to the way we live our lives at the moment. So you know, a lot of partying, chilling, doing that sort of stuff.”
I see. And what kind of sound and energy can we expect from the project?
NB: “I guess to be honest, throughout the whole thing, although it’s a collaborative project, you can hear all our sounds, and it’s like an explanation of what we’re all about as artists.”
Matty D: “Yeah. It’s a good mash-up of different tracks – it’s got a lot of styles on it, all put down into one big tape, which I think reflects the way we like to work. We’re never limiting ourselves to one style of music or one way of performing. I think that we can do a lot with whatever beat is given to us. Once you catch the vibe, and the vibe’s there, then you know, you can always make great music.”
"It's a good mash-up of different tracks - it's got a lot of styles on it, all put down into one big tape"
The Agenda, set over 6 tracks, is an impressive debut from East London producer Nikhil Beats, with appearances from equally promising artists Enfield Collective and YS Tekdinner. The collaborative project is full of character and variety, producing party bangers as well as more gritty, grime influenced tracks.
Enfield Collective are first up on “The Intro”, a slower-tempo track that eases you into the EP, followed by “Next Up”, featuring YS Tekdinner. The rappers’ punchy flows over the smooth, synth-infused beat create an irresistible sound that characterises the project throughout. Garage-inspired “Flavours (Freestyle)” is fun and light, and “In for the Wong” boasts an undeniably catchy hook, from singer ỌLÁ, that’ll definitely get stuck in your head. Title track “The Agenda” is a highlight, and in particular showcases the quality of the beats on the EP – the pitched-up sample blends perfectly into the vibe of the song, providing an extra dimension to the rich, layered sound Nikhil Beats creates throughout the EP. “The Outro” is bold and full of energy, with features from both Enfield Collective and YS Tekdinner. It brings the project to a close nicely, and captures what the guys are all about. The Agenda provides a nice contrast to the predominantly Afro-swing/Trap sound in the UK scene right now, offering variety and a fresh new sound.
Must Listens: The Agenda, In for the Wong
Follow the guys on their socials: @nikhil_beats, @YSTekdinner, @manlikematthew_ and @oawolesi_ldn
Stream “The Agenda” now:
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