Sitting down with the West London rapper, END. discuss the rapidly rising artist's debut EP, the UK sound and what started him on his journey.
Hailing from the West London town of Hayes, Rushy has made a name for himself with his playful one-liners, rapid fire flow and impeccable ability to deliver infectious hook after hook.
First exploding in the UK hip-hop scene with “Trippidy Trap” and “Hi! Bye!” last year, Rushy has quickly built a distinctive persona and style that immediately sets him apart from the crowd. Coupling his instantly recognisable voice with light-hearted trap beats, the rapper and vocalist serves up a slice of contemporary British music that is as infectious as it is emblematic of the extensive talent the young musician has to offer.
Pairing thumping 808 kicks, shimmering hi-hats and booming bass hits with soulful synth melodies, Rushy’s charm comes from his ability to create trap music that is inspired by his US counterparts but that truly delivers a voice and sense of identity that is rooted in the UK. Rivalling America's trap greats with his impressive rise over the past two years, Rushy continues to look towards the future, setting his sights on stardom, fame and acclaim. With talent like his, it is only a matter of time before Rushy becomes the next jewel in the UK's hip-hop crown.
Following the release of Rushy's first EP, "Stress 3", END. sit down for an interview with the rapper, shot in the upcoming END. x Patta "BEGIN." capsule, to discuss his inspirations, the importance of collaboration and the UK's interpretation of trap music.
What initially compelled you to start rapping and creating music generally?
I used to watch a lot of grime clashes back in the day, which is what initially started off my interest in rapping. Then at school, everyone was writing little bars and cussing each other, sending for each other, so that was when I first started to write. After that, it got to the point where a couple of people were saying, “your bars are actually hard, you should go to the studio”, so I thought “why not”. I ended up going to the studio with two of my boys, RomyJo and Lano, and we ended up doing a remix of one of my friend’s tunes which got a decent reception on Soundcloud. So we kept going to the studio, and it just snowballed from then on as we perfected our sound. People were liking what we were doing and I was enjoying doing it, so it just made sense to keep going.
Both “Trippidy Trap” and “Hi! Bye!” blew up really quickly – what was it about those tracks that instantly appealed to audiences who weren't familiar with you at that point?
It was the fact that those two tracks were my most bubbly and jumpy tracks that I had ready to go. I knew that they had a certain vibe to them that no one had heard or was making in the UK. A lot of artists will jump on a US-style beat, but they’d often do it in US style too. With those tracks, I brought a British approach to a US style beat. When you hear those tracks, you aren’t thinking about the US - it instantly sounds like the UK. That’s the whole thing that I was trying to do with those singles, making a bubbly, UK vibe that was inspired by US hip-hop but that felt very British, and I guess that appealed to a lot of people.
You’ve been working with your collective, Straight3, since you started releasing music. How important was having this group of artists and friends in finding your way in the world of music as an independent artist?
I went to school with RomyJo and Lano - we met when we were only in year 7 – but it was around year 11 when we actually started to realise that we could do this properly. It 100% was important having this group of friends who were all involved – they’ve definitely influenced a lot of my music, from when I first started out and was finding my sound to the music I'm making now. Being an independent artist is definitely made a lot easier when you’ve got your group. Finding a feature, for example, is so easy cos I can just get RomyJo to sing on one of my tunes – I don’t have to then think about it too much, I know they’re there and they get what I’m about. Even just the energy in the studio is helped with having a group like this. They might not be fully featured on a track but they do a layer of vocals or ad libs, adding a little something, then I’ll do the same for them. The way we bounce off each other ends up making an atmosphere that we all kind of share in Straight3. The vibe is just always right.
Your first EP, “Stress 3”, was released last month - what was the concept behind the release?
With this EP, it wasn’t a generic studio project – it was a product of all of the music I’ve been making over the past few years. I had all these tracks from back in 2017 and 2018, and I was thinking that if I don’t put these tracks on the EP now, they’ll never come out. So it was a combination of those older tracks matched up with newer tunes that had the same vibe - the “Stress 3” vibe. It wasn’t just a case of going to the studio making tunes just for the EP, I spent time listening to what I had and saw what made sense together and what didn’t – I could already hear them all in order. It all came together naturally.
It’s clear on “Stress 3” that you’re a versatile vocalist – have you always been focussed on showcasing your ability to switch it up?
100%. I’ve been making music with a similar vibe for the whole time I’ve been writing bars and recording, but people don’t know about the other kinds of sounds I like to make because maybe they’re on Soundcloud or Youtube, a bit more difficult to find. With “Stress 3” though, they’ll hear me singing and they’ll get it, they’ll see that versatility – switching it up and trying out new things. It was almost me showing people that I can do it all.
I’ve read that you mostly write lyrics once you’ve found a beat that you like and can vibe with – do you find that once you’ve got a beat you really like, the writing process happens quite quickly and organically?
It honestly just depends on the situation and how I’m feeling – sometimes I might go to the studio and really like a beat, but not come up with even one bar while I’m there. Sometimes I just don’t want to write bars - I want to make sure that everything I do is the best it can be. So I'll take some time to just keep listening to it at home, record a couple of voice notes of ideas and keep writing at home so that when I go back to the studio I can go in and finish it off, rather than trying to do it all quickly at once. That’s how I work. I started from listening to Youtube beats, I didn’t go to the studio with producers really, so I had to work like that – going to the studio to pay x-amount to record a track in a set amount of time.
Listening to “Stress 3”, I think it’s interesting to take something like trap, that was originally American, and seeing it through the UK filter, with its own charm, influences and frame of reference. How do you think that UK perspective influences your music?
I feel like it does have a big influence, even just down to something as simple as the way I speak and the slang I use. I don’t try to twist it to make it something that everyone is going to understand – even though UK slang has become pretty well known now – I wanted to do my own thing, and if people like it, then they like it. It isn’t as dark as trap music often is normally. It’s more fun and maybe a bit less serious.