Mike Skin­ner on how he came up with his pioneer­ing hy­brid of garage and hip-hop and why his next move is be­com­ing a West End mogul.

Q (UK) - - Awards 2018 - Pre­sen­ter: Pro­fes­sor Green NIALL DO­HERTY

Hello, Mike. Con­grat­u­la­tions on your Q In­no­va­tion In Sound award. When you started, did you feel like you were cre­at­ing a new sonic tem­plate? My whole plan was to cre­ate a new sound but I had no idea how pop­u­lar it would be. It felt quite straight­for­ward to just join real rap with garage, but the way I did didn’t turn out the way I ex­pected – and those faults be­came its strength, I guess. I’ve al­ways been a pro­ducer. I’ll tell any­one who lis­tens I’m a bet­ter pro­ducer than I am a rap­per, so if you want beats… DM me. The Streets’ come­back tour ear­lier this year was a tri­umph – what were your high­lights and did it feel like there was a new gen­er­a­tion of fans present? It was amaz­ing to have peo­ple like Jaykae, Bowzer Boss, Dapz, Murk­age Dave, Teef, Grim Sick­ers and even Kano jump on­stage. I had to find out if I could still get on­stage and be that per­son. I’ve been a DJ for years, but it’s to­tally dif­fer­ent. It was hard to tell who was in the au­di­ence, man, it’s dark up there. When I crowd-surf I’m too busy sur­viv­ing to clock peo­ple. But I love the tour­bus – I can’t tell you how much I love bunk life. I know it sounds weird, but it’s like be­ing in my dad’s van when I was a kid. There’s a gen­er­a­tion of artists who cite you as a ma­jor in­spi­ra­tion, from The 1975 to The Rhythm Method to Slaves and Rat Boy. Can you hear your in­flu­ence in those acts and how does it make you feel for your mu­sic to be held in such high es­teem? Yeah, it was su­per in­die at first but then in re­cent years I started hav­ing the rap­pers re­ally fuck with me. Rap mu­sic has got so much more in­tro­verted and drug­gie now that what I did feels pioneer­ing. But I also fuck with Rat Boy, too, and the other DIY peo­ple. You’ve been work­ing on a film. How’s it com­ing along and what can you tell us about it? I’ve writ­ten a load of drafts and an al­bum. Mak­ing the record was so straight­for­ward work­ing from the script, be­cause the songs had to form a func­tion in the story. Also, the fact that it’s a story means you can think in char­ac­ter more, which, weirdly, makes you more hon­est. The story is al­most as if my char­ac­ter from A Grand Don’t Come For Free has got older and be­come a DJ, with all the things that could go wrong there. It’s all of the things I’ve seen and done while DJing over the last eight years, ba­si­cally. What’s next for you? Will there be new mu­sic and what are the plans for the next tour? I’m go­ing to be re­leas­ing more mu­sic as and when I feel in­spired in the lead-up to the film. I’ve got a track that will be out by the time this runs, I think, called Call Me In The Morn­ing with Chip and Grim Sick­ers, which is re­ally good. And I’m plan­ning a mix­tape dur­ing 2019, as well as get­ting back into the swing of fes­ti­vals. Then I’m go­ing to make my film, re­lease my al­bum and af­ter that we’re go­ing to buy the West End off An­drew Lloyd Web­ber.

“I’m go­ing to make my film, re­lease my al­bum and af­ter that we’re go­ing to buy the West End off An­drew Lloyd Web­ber.”

Good vi­bra­tions: The Streets’ Mike Skin­ner ac­cepts his Q In­no­va­tion In Sound award as pre­sen­ter Pro Green looks on.

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