Infiltrating a host of UK underground scenes over the last four years - most notably dubstep, alongside Circus Records duo Flux Pavilion and Doctor P - P Money was one of the first vocalists to tap into the demand for high-energy, grime lyrics within different musical contexts. And boy did he make them work.
Combined with his consistent output - recent EP Originators was his second for the Rinse label and follows work with both Shogun Audio and RAM Records last year - P has continued to expose fans to grime in a variety of forms, displaying a knack for growing fan bases in places you’d least expect too.
Ahead of his return to fabric on Boxing Day, we caught up with P discussing another blockbuster year and got his thoughts on developing his sound, grime’s progress in 2014 and his infamous ‘Lord Of The Mics’ clash with Big H. Oh, and he revealed his favourite room to perform in too..
How would you reflect on another year? How has 2014 been for you?
It's been a great year for building and preparing. I've been to a few places but not many have been as cool as Japan & Bosnia, helping grow a fan base I didn't know I had. 2015 will see some great accomplishments.
How would you say your music has developed? Has anything changed in your outlook or has it been more a case of building on what the foundations you’ve laid over the last few years?
I’ve been building on my foundations. I've been doing different styles since my first ever mixtape in 2006 and I've been showing that versatility in my sets by performing over familiar UK underground sounds without changing my style or delivery. People love it and understand that P Money is P Money, a grime artist with no limits. People respect that. There aren’t many artists that can be as well known within grime and still hold the same reputation in the d&b scene, dubstep scene and even the hip hop scene to an extent. I've just been building on that to be honest, bringing my grime style to all those different sounds. I don't want to just be the best grime MC, I want to be the best MC all together.
What do you make of grime in a wider context this year? Have you been surprised by the recognition it’s had?
It hasn't surprised me one bit. I did an interview about a year ago today actually and I said then that grime was once big and charting years ago but things happened. People left, people got lazy and stopped releasing, people lost faith, some grew up an changed what they liked. All we needed to do was bring that faith back, keep releases flowing, invest, show the world this is actually worth something instead of begging to be involved in something else. Artists and fans now have that attitude back and you can see how much it has changed.
Your new EP Originators features notable production credits from Bristol’s Kahn & Neek on ‘Karate Kid’ - how do you view the newer batch of producers turning their hand to instrumental grime?
It's another thing grime lost, when producers started making different sounds or even leaving the scene completely. Lately there's been tonnes of producers making grime but the best part about it is they've gone back in time - they’re making the old school authentic grime that a lot of us listened to back in the day and the new generation love it too. It’s bringing old school listeners and new school listeners together, creating a bigger scene and more support for releases.
Are there any in particular that stand out for you?
The producers I pay most attention to are Swifta, HeavyTrackerz, Kahn & Neek, Royal-T, Flava D, Swindle, Rynsa Man, Spyro and Teddy.
Aside from releases, you also took part in Lord Of The Mics 6, clashing with Big H in one of the most talked about grime clashes in recent memory. How do you find the balance between living up to expectations in such different arenas - i.e., going from clashing in front of a grime crowd as part of an iconic DVD series, to performing at festivals in front of thousands?
There isn't any difference. P Money is P Money - when I do festivals, it isn't watered down. I spray clash bars, war bars, girl bars, money bars, just BARS. Personally, the clash was pretty big because those kind of audiences were interested in me clashing, they didn't know who H was. Old school listeners did yes but certainly not the newer generation.
There's no point in making different aspects of your career separate either. It makes you weaker. What's a quarter of a pie compared to the whole pie? I bring it all together, hence why I can MC on anything and my fan base will respect it. I didn't just leave a scene and go pop or act like I never did grime and not even mention it. I explored different scenes and brought my fan base with me. I introduced them to new sounds.
"I don't want to just be the best grime MC, I want to be the best MC all together"
How important do you think clashing remains to the future of grime?
It's the real test before you get known in the scene. Everyone says they’re the best or they'll slew someone but until we get to see it, you're just another MC bigging himself up with no proof. You can have a great year from one clash because you gain fans and respect - plan a release shortly after that and boom! You've now converted your clash hype into your artist career hype and you'll be the talk of the town for the next six months. But of course you have to win for that to happen.
You perform at Rinse FM's Boxing Day Party at fabric this week- how would your describe your experiences at the club? What does fabric mean to you?
I travel the world and whenever fans mention coming to London to party or see an artist perform, they don't speak about the 02, they always mention fabric. Is there any more that needs to be said?
Which is your favourite room - and why?
It varies between 1 and 2. I like Room 1 because there's a back room you can sit down in and sometimes when you're there for six hours, you do wanna sit down for a sec! Plus there's the side entrance to stage, so when you walk out it goes off! But I love the compact space of Room 2 because everyone is together, artists and crowd. It's got that real underground feel.
Looking ahead, what can we expect from P Money in 2015?
You can expect the ‘Money Over Everyone 2’ mixtape and you’ll see a lot more of my crew OGz and our brand/label ‘Originators’ which will also run as an event. We're touring Originators in early 2015 - we've confirmed about five dates and there’s more are flying in all the time. Expect more releases and videos too!