My Favourite Game

The UK mu­si­cian on his videogame-ob­sessed mum, the glo­ries of Los San­tos, and the trou­ble with Liver­pool FC

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Mu­si­cian Ghost­poet on tapeload­ing screeches and GTAV

Obaro Ejimiwe, AKA Ghost­poet, has had a lot on his plate lately, what with putting out three al­bums in four years, tour­ing all over the world, and lend­ing his tal­ents to other projects, such as Body Of Songs and Africa Ex­press. In be­tween it all, though, he’s still made time to pick his way through Los San­tos. Grow­ing up, what was your favourite gaming plat­form? Ac­tu­ally, my in­tro­duc­tion to com­puter games came through my mum – she was ob­sessed with them. She would buy all the con­soles, so we had a Spec­trum, a NES, a Mega Drive and a Master Sys­tem. We also had that one with the con­trollers that you turned like a dial – the old ta­ble ten­nis thing. It’s funny, be­cause nowa­days I’ve ac­tu­ally got this app on my phone that recre­ates those ZX Spec­trum sounds that it’d make when a game was load­ing. I just love that sound. It’s like a mix­ture of a fax ma­chine and some mes­sage from outer space. With all of those ma­chines to hand, you must have been a popular kid in the play­ground at school. Not re­ally! My mum only re­ally bought plat­form games, so we had Mario, and we had Sonic, and… What was that one on the Spec­trum? Bub­ble Bob­ble! Yeah, we’d play that… They were good games, but I did get a bit bored of them. I wanted a bit more of a chal­lenge. Did any of those early sound­tracks in­spire you to­wards a mu­sic ca­reer? Well, I’ve never been re­ally both­ered by the chip­tune scene. Some of those old sound­tracks were amaz­ing, though – Street Fighter and Streets Of Rage, and the old Mario and Sonic games. They could be great. Once upon a time, the game in­dus­try was dom­i­nated by Mario ver­sus Sonic – which of those games did you pre­fer back then? Sonic was speed­ier, with all the loops and stuff – it was roller­coaster fast. But Mario had some­thing more to it. It wasn’t just about speed. But I liked both. You men­tioned the ZX Spec­trum app on your phone – do you usu­ally use mo­bile de­vices to play games nowa­days, or do you have tra­di­tional con­soles at home too? I usu­ally play games dur­ing down­time, when I’m not work­ing on a record or gig­ging a lot. Right now I’m be­tween things, so I’ve got the new Foot­ball Man­ager. It can be quite life con­sum­ing! I’ve spent a lot of time over the years try­ing to get Liver­pool to win games – it’s not as easy as just buy­ing up the best play­ers. I play FIFA on the PS3, too, and I’m re­ally into that EA box­ing game se­ries, Fight Night. When are they go­ing to bring a new one of those out? They’re due one now. I’ve played around with Call Of Duty, but I just don’t have the speed you need in your re­ac­tions to play that – ev­ery­one is way bet­ter than me, and I get frus­trated, and then I can’t be ar­sed with it. I’ve got the lat­est Grand Theft Auto, too. I clocked that. Is that what peo­ple call that, still? “Beat” is more popular. Beat? Nah, I still use “clocked”. “Beat” sounds weird. But, yeah, I’ve fin­ished

Grand Theft Auto. I liked LA Noire, too – I like games like that, where you have to use your brain a bit, when I do get the chance to prop­erly sit down with them. Fin­ished I Ain’t fea­tured on the sound­track to Sleep­ing Dogs. Do you see games as a valu­able out­let for mu­si­cians th­ese days? It’s a good thing that mu­sic is get­ting into games like that. My dream would be to get a song on FIFA, be­cause I love that game. Games can sell in ridicu­lous num­bers, and they rep­re­sent great op­por­tu­ni­ties to have your mu­sic heard by mil­lions of peo­ple. I’m al­ways pleased when I hear mu­sic by peo­ple I know in videogames. And what’s your favourite game of all? Prob­a­bly the new GTA, you know. I love the ra­dio as­pect to it, com­bined with the graph­ics, and the whole world of the game. But I love the fran­chise. I’ve been big into it for a while, and I love the sto­ry­lines – it’s like a Hol­ly­wood film that you can play. It’s great to just drive around the city, hear­ing ev­ery­thing that is go­ing on, and see­ing all th­ese dif­fer­ent things. It’s just so huge. There are as­pects of it I’m not so into, but you have to ad­mire that level of crafts­man­ship.

“I’ve spent a lot of time try­ing to get Liver­pool to win games – it’s not as easy as just buy­ing the best play­ers”

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