Music Q&A:
Icey Stanley

The Coventry rapper joins forces with Ironik for his new single, where smooth R&B influences create a late-night feel

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How would you describe your sound?
My sound is unique – in a sense I feel not many artists are on the same wave. The sound is based on feeling; it’s more than just the vocals but the way everything blends together. At times I add a smooth R&B element, which depicts my melodic flow. Growing up on a lot of Lucky Dube (a South African artist), Ja Rule, Craig David, and many more great artists around my youth inspires my sound. It’s very flexible; we are adventurous when it comes to sonics, which can at times be risky in the music business but we feel sound has no limit. From deep 808 drum patterns to smooth jazz bass – a genuine mix of sounds from the west, UK foundation and southern flavour.

What informs your music and songwriting?
Most of my songs are actually not written down but I choose to take the freestyle approach so it’s more natural and in the moment. I have trained myself to always be musically inclined so it’s all pure. I like to picture moments in life – like on SNM I say “Whipping up a storm but you cant handle it”. These are settings people go through – at times during trying times in any relations these are feelings you feel. I’ve felt it and growing up poetry was a big part of my musical foundation, allowing me to more emotive with my songwriting. With it also being in the moment, there are no limits.

How have you evolved as an artist over the years?
Over the years I have grown musically as an artist. I now understand how to put together a song; it’s more than just a catchy hook and a strong rap. The production vibes have to be right, delivery, etc. You can hear the growth and through endless practice sharpening my talents it feels like somewhat second nature. I used to aim to make a song for the radio, which I feel limited my creativity to what’s current and through exploring different genres and cultures I now aim to make timeless music. Like you can play songs I recorded three years ago, such as Good Enough – every time I hear it I feel all the emotion I felt when recording it and people today tell me that song gave them a different perspective to their situations. As an artist you should aim to make timeless music.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
I’m currently in the process of recording my next project. Parallel to that I have some joint singles and projects. We can’t give away too much. More experimenting. I have been listening to a lot of European rappers – Niska, from France, Frenna from Holland. These guys are truly versatile. They mix it up – cultural sauce which has inspired me to venture out and expand my sound. It’ll be something to shake up the industry.

What’s on your rider?
It depends on the event. My regular is any brown drink – Hennessy, Courvoisier. I’m not a fan of sandwiches and finger food so food is part of the arrangement. I will always request African or Caribbean food.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
It’s recent, I met afrobeat artist Eugy – he really inspired me to dedicate more time into perfecting my craft, putting in the man hours, and from the discussion we had it resulted in the EP No Love in February, and more music on the way.

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