Interview with Mikill Payne
Name: Mikill Payne
Location: London, UK.
Written by Bonnie Bulle
Authentic, British, Cockney dude who loves Hip-Hop is simply the easiest way that I can describe the rapper and song-writer extraordinaire that is Mikill Payne. After chasing his PR down to locate a slot for a phone call conversation, it was quite clear to me that this man is truly on demand and his appeal as one of the UK’s most original rap artist offering is increasing and overall unstoppable. Pane is a friend of mine who I know through the great London creative circle, whose tweets have me floored daily, he is a ridiculously humorous character but also manages to maintain charming and gentlemanly manner in person. And the interview below is a perfect example of his multifaceted character.
How are you feeling this year, how has 2011 turned out as a year for you?
2011 we had already decided to release The Morris Dancer EP , which was my current EP, which is still doing quite well. BBC Radio One was supporting it amazingly. There were plans of Radio One starting with me firmly on their radar so they have been helping out a lot. So 2012 started on a really good foot because of the end of 2011.
Could you talk a little more about your music and projects that you are primarily focused on at the moment?
Well at the moment I’m working on the album and prior to the album I put out about 5 or 6 EP’s and every single EP had its own character, it’s different types of music on each EP but it shows my character. The album is going to be all of the genres that I love but its going to be a very organic album for example when I tour the album its going to be played by my band The Remedies but also when it comes to lyrical content there are a lot of stories on the album because I do love telling stories so I have kind of found a lane as a story teller and I’m definitely going to capitalize one that . There are also a lot of recurring characters on the album which will be called “Blame Miss Barkley”. Miss Barkley was my English teacher in secondary school and she basically cemented my passion for writing and playing with words.
So what is the motivation behind your music?
In layman’s terms, whatever inspires me is written in my music. I’m not inspired by people or stuff like that I make a song because I want to make a song about that particular thing.
Name a few people you would like to work with if given the possibility?
The top two would be DJ Premier because he is to me Hip Hop, when it comes to pure Hip Hop it would just be a dream to work with him. And Annie Lennox I honestly can’t say why I just have this burning desire to work with Annie Lennox.
How is the Internet changing your craft?
It’s been a massive help the Internet, for example on twitter I have some very influential people following me for example, Ed Sheeran, who at the time of this interview has one and half million followers. So if I tweet something and they retweet it’s just such massive promotion and so much better and more instant than having say a PR company do this for me. Just having an impact on different medias through the Internet like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all social media you can just cover it as long you have a good knowledge for it they can really work in your favour. For me it’s all about being closer to my fans and being able to communicate directly.
Who are some people that you have been interacting with this year that played a major role in your work?
Huw Stephens from Radio One, he has been championing my sound since last year. My managers Adam Coltman and Jake Gosling they have had a massive impact on what I have and also people like Siobhan Bell who does my press she has been really cool and like. I’ve got quite a small team but their very caring and very particular and they basically protect me as well as sort of working with me.
Could you talk about any long-term goals you have in mind?
My goals for this year are to play as many gigs as possible, I’m booked for a few festivals already obviously I want to do more. I want to release my album this year, basically I want to release quality music that has my stamp on it you know what I mean, that has my personality in it through and through. I always want to remain myself no matter what the music sounds like.
Do you feel like what you are doing is important and in what way beneficial to you sector?
I’m not going to be super arrogant and stuff, I would honestly like to revered as an important songwriter of our generation. That is my goal in this whole thing, not a rapper, not a guy who is cool and has quite a good fashion sense, f*ck all that I just want them to say that he was a good songwriter. I think what I do is most important to myself because it seems to me as something that I was destined to do without sounding too philosophical and shit. So it’s very important to me but only my fans could tell you how important it is to them.
When you started out did you think it would be a serious business prospect and part of your life?
I started out in 2007 as Mikill Pane, and it was all a load of fun, it still is. I first started out recording tunes, which turned out to be my first EP Return of Mr. Pane in my then DJ’s room. It was just good fun and excuse to hang out, have a drink, have a smoke and make some music. I started to take it more seriously but I always told myself as long as your having fun then it’s all cool don’t take it too seriously. (Music) is definitely not work it’s a hobby that pays.
How do you separate yourself from others who are in the same industries as yourself?
Well I don’t try to consciously. If you talk about something you feel strongly about then your always going to sound a bit more unique, I don’t try to purposely say I’m doing this because no one else is doing it, I’d say I want to write about this because this is what I feel strongly about and a lot of the time it just so happens that no one else is doing it.
Where is your Favorite place to create music?
In Sticky Studio, which is where I am write now recording the album and where I write and where I usually feel the most comfortable writing. The studio is set in like really picturesque Surrey sort of a countryside place and it’s kind of a haven for me as it’s set in like a small orchard ad there’s nothing but greenery and beautiful houses around. There is something about this place that just had me mentally at peace and I can write a lot easier there.
How do you describe your work to people who haven’t been regularly exposed to it in 5 words?
Honest – and done by someone who is not very good in describing his work in 5 words.
What have you stolen/learnt or have been influenced from another artist lately?
Because I have been on three tours with him I have watched Ed Sheeran’s his showmanship a lot and just through prognosis I think there are thing that I have subconsciously adopted and incorporated it into my live shows.
How important is to you that music has a relationship with the rest of the world and why?
As long as they can relate to it then that’s cool.
Finally describe your music as if we were deaf?
If you were deaf, visually, my music looks like a bearded man in a tuxedo umm drinking tea in a stinking café whilst he talks on the phone to Jesus.