Walking across Wimbledon park on the afternoon of a warm Wednesday, I am on my way to interview Eddie P, the South London rapper with Northern influence. First appearing on Spotify in 2018, Eddie P has 16 tracks uploaded onto the streaming service – plus a bonus few on his youtube channel. All of these coming out in the last three years, starting in 2017, put Eddie P as an active up-and-comer. His tracks are consistently melodic, emotive and forcible. The main variance in his oeuvre is between the three themes of love, sorrow and youthful verve, which all alternate between his songs. This trinity of themes creates a variation in the emotional tone of Eddie P’s body of work, making him an artist whose songs suit a variety of moods.
I spot Eddie P sitting with a friend, their bikes lying on one side. I walk up; Eddie P is sitting with a baseball hat on backwards, shorts and a Fulham shirt, incidentally his favourite football team. After a brief chat, we start the interview.
Joshua: I’m gonna start with an easy one. How did you begin your music?
Eddie: I’ve always been a fan of rap music, even since I was young. I read a lot of books as a kid. From that… I don’t read anymore, ever. But from that, I had quite a big vocabulary. I found it quite easy to come up with rhymes and stuff like that. Songwriting came quite naturally to me. It is one of the things in life that I do actually put a lot of effort into, and it doesn’t feel like effort. I write songs every single day, just because I enjoy it.
J: So, when you write songs do you have a specific inspiration?
E: What I try and do is be completely honest in everything I write. It is more a stream of consciousness than anything. I find a lot of people have these big crazy metaphors and long crazy stories and things. I literally just write what I think. Whatever comes into my head, what I am feeling at that time, is what goes down onto the page. What I like about that is when I go back to a song I wrote a few years ago, I can completely remember the time that I was in and how I felt at that time, because I wrote my literal feelings down on the page.
J: Your latest track, ‘Zoot with Me’, came out during the pandemic we’re currently experiencing. How has the pandemic affected you and your music?
E: I understand, obviously, it has been a horrible situation for so many reasons. But, for me personally, it meant I was able to focus all of my energy on being productive, music-wise. I have written songs every day. I did a series on my Instagram, (@eddiep.tho) I called “Quarantunes”, where I recorded a freestyle every single day. I did that for eighty-seven days. If you look back at the first one and compare it to the last one, my performance has changed dramatically, my songwriting has changed dramatically. Just everything has levelled up massively. Being locked in a house where all I can really do is write music has massively benefitted my process. After 3 or 4 months of lockdown, I feel like I am so much better as a musician than I was at the start.
J: In that vein, what was your first song and how do you feel your music has evolved since then?
E: So the first song I ever properly recorded was a song called ‘North London Memories’. It was about waking up in a stranger’s flat with no memory of the night before. I still like it as a song. I can see where the potential was – from my own like skills. I could see the potential of where I was going to go from that one. But, it’s just the ten thousand hours rule, isn’t it? If you put ten thousand hours of work into your craft, then you can master it. Ever since then, I have been doing music for about three years now – properly putting out music for about three years. Every time I write a song, I am getting closer to my ten thousand hours, if you see what I mean. I am hoping that, in just three years, there is a massive massive difference between what I was writing then and what I am writing now. If I keep up at this rate, or even increase the rate that I am writing at, then it is only just going to get better and better. Hopefully, it can reach the stage where it can be recognised on a wider stage for the level that it is at.
J: What does your creative process look like when you’re writing a song?
E: It depends on what kind of song. But, I often start with one word or one line that I quite like and then from that I kind of unpack it out. So for example, for ‘Zoot with Me’, the line that I wanted to get in there was “how did God create a person so damn beautifully?”. Then, from that, I kind of worked out the rest of it. If I want a punchline or a certain reference to something, it will often be a pop-culture reference or something that is authentic to me. Then I will work from then and end up with a rhyme.
J: Do you have any idols or inspirational people, heroes that you admire, that you want to emulate?
E: It’s no secret that Loyle Carner is probably my biggest inspiration. I love his music. He comes from a similar part of London and I am seeing what he has done in a similar style. I don’t try to copy him in any way; but, the kind of more relaxed LoFi, natural, kind of sound – I love that. So, when I write songs and make music, I do it all for myself. It is a completely personal venture. I write a song so I can listen back to it. The music I do, things like Loyle Carner and people like that, the inspiration comes from those things.
J: In your latest track, ‘Zoot with Me’, you’re sitting in an armchair in the middle of a field. What is the story with that?
E: So, in my first-year uni house there was a grand old armchair. I really wanted to take this armchair out and shoot in a load of different locations. Eventually, it didn’t happen and the armchair got thrown out. When I moved in this year, we bought an armchair from a charity shop for £2.50. We carried it across Stoke, me and a couple of housemates, which was gruelling. This armchair just lived with us for the year and, when it was coming to the end of the time that I was living there, I had been told that I needed to get rid of it before I moved out. I wanted to give this armchair a kind of send-off. I already had the concept of a video in my head. It took maybe half-an-hour to shoot, if that because it was a concept-driven piece. The struggle with that was literally carrying it up the hill. It took about an hour and a half to walk ten minutes with this armchair, because it was incredibly heavy. But, I do think it was eh, without getting too deep with it, it did feel kind of symbolic that me and the guy who was filming it, Harrison (@hazberrryvideos). We both knew what we wanted to do for the video. It’s hot, it was sweaty, it was horrible but neither of us stopped. We knew what we wanted to do and we know how to do it. It was a massive effort, but it was worth it in the end.
J: Ok, to round off, do you have any words of wisdom, for the readers of CUB Magazine, during this crazy time?
E: Yeah, just chill out a bit. People at the moment are very stressed out. There’s tension everywhere. Everyone is angry and everyone is sad, everyone is feeling different emotions. I think, at this time especially, you do need to give yourself, whatever time it is a week, to sit and reflect and stay away from Instagram, Facebook and all these things. Put on a couple of Eddie P tunes, then just enjoy yourself. Because, as much as it feels the world is ending every day, we are only here for a certain amount of time, so you might as well just enjoy yourself.
Catch Eddie P’s latest track, Zoot with Me, on Spotify and all good streaming platforms today.