Fearlessly opinionated London emcee Mynature [pronounced miniature] keeps it real speaking to SB.TV about reaching out to new ears with new single Louder, being inspired to be more by Dot Rotton and the rapper gives his humble opinion on fellow south Londoner Tinie Tempah…
First off, I know your track Have Faith was just recently removed from YouTube, can you explain what happened there?
You know what I think it is? [Pause] Wait – who told you about that?
I saw it yesterday, I was looking at your tweets and you were pissed. You were not impressed at all…
I was upset. I don’t believe things get taken off there by chance, nothing happens by chance. I believe someone that I know – some hater – saw the song and reported the track for having a Sade sample in it. There are loads of people that use that sample, P Money has it – loads of people! But mine was taken down.
How long was it up there?
It’s been up there for just over a month. Someone who was hating, reported the song and the song got taken down.
Is that what your instincts are telling you?
I’m just a drop in the ocean [Laughs] someone said something! Why are they going to go out of their way to research who I am? You think Sade’s people listen to me? They took the song down two days ago or something like that.
So what now? Are you going to have the video reposted, try and get it up again?
[At this point Mynature’s team interject to assure me that they are talking to the relevant rights holders and sorting out the situation]
I’m not going to lie – I can shake off music. I make music so quickly that I can just make another one for you. It’s not a problem to me…but I am pissed off because I went to my brother’s cemetery in that video. I had some intimate moments in that video and the fact that I cannot have it up on YouTube hurts my feelings. My brother passed away and I show him in the video, I was talking about my Mum as well – it’s a very personal song.
Well your newest single is of course Louder, talk to us about how that song came about and it’s background…
I’m mostly known as an underground MC, I put out my first mixtape Ballyface years ago. I dropped that when I came out of prison, the lyrics were darker, more hardcore – ‘bout the hood and sh*t like that – that real hard stuff. But I didn’t want to always have that stigma attached to me, and so in order to progress I thought that it would be suitable to show people that I have something else in my archive and that I can switch it up when I want to. I’m not just an underground “dark” MC, plus the music that I love doing and was known for couldn’t be pushed the way that I wanted to push it because it’s so negative. I can’t play it to my Mum or my aunties – I can’t play it to anyone. WithLouder I could embrace the younger generation, I could embrace everybody and everybody could listen to it. With that song I can touch more people.
You get that inclusive vibe strongly from the video, with all the dancers, the crowds and what not…
Yeah, with the music that I normally make – you can’t have kids listen to it! So with Louder I can do that…that vibe is still only a small part of who I am but I have to let people know that it exists because if I don’t they’re gonna say that I can’t crossover or think that I only talk about certain things and so I have to have those kinda songs in place.
So are the tracks Have Faith and Louder all part of the next project for you? Is there an album coming?
Yes they are all part of the project, but the songs that are going on the project? I’m not even sure yet. I’ve got so much music that once I put the songs together as a collection I always end up telling myself, ‘Line the songs up, what songs go? What’s the best way to tell my journey? What song brings this to life? I like this song here but it makes no sense…’
Right, so everything is still coming together?
Concerning your prison time, what kinds of offences were you held for?
Drugs…van robberies – usual stuff. I shouldn’t say usual stuff! [Laughs hard]
Do you think it’s fair to say that your life has been “drama-filled’?
Yes. My life is like a movie – it’s been like a f**king movie and I survived it, I’m still here. I’m trying to do this music and hopefully something positive will happen sometime soon.
Well all kinds of people are saying good things about you online. I can imagine with everything that you’ve been through that you now have a pretty solid personal philosophy in place? Can you share?
Have faith – if there is something that you do and your passionate about doing it you’ve got to just push yourself – we owe it to ourselves to give it that shot. We all owe it to ourselves to find out what we’re good at and push and push. Being young I was faced with gangs, being on road, going jail and then coming out again and again but I refused to let those situations define me as a man. I have a daughter and I want my Mum to be proud of me.
It’s great having money but when I go with my missus and visit her family, her nan or whatever and they ask me what I do – if I can’t be proud of what I am doing…sometimes the jewellery and the money just doesn’t make sense. To me it’s about finding something positive that you can do and just pushing – hopefully then being able to make a living off of it. Anything is possible – all you have to do is work hard and not be afraid of change. Be open-minded to situations and people because that person you might’ve laughed at could hold the key to the door you’re trying to go through.
After going in and out of prison, some people would just blindly continue with that kind of cycle for life – but you didn’t. I read a piece about you that mentioned Tinie Tempah’s breakout success as well as Dot Rotten signing with a major label as the events that changed your outlook on what could be possible in your world…
It wasn’t so much Tinie’s success, it was more Dot. Tinie is from my area, so when I came out of jail I knew of him but the people that he knew were not walking the path I was, and so the people around him who might know me – were probably scared of the people I knew. So if I said ‘Yo, Tinie come and link me’ and he’s in the hood at that time, he’s probably thinking ‘what does Myni want?’ [Laughs] it wasn’t like, ‘Yeah, let’s go and check Myni’ and this was because of the people I was involved with. At one point I reached out and said ‘Tell Tinie to ring me’ and was later asked if it was OK if he gets at me by email…he wanna email me when he lives round the corner? [Laughs] it just got weird.
With Dot, it’s not any of the material things that inspire me. Dot and I went somewhere once and I saw people approach him to shake his hand saying stuff like “your music inspires me, your music has changed my life.” I like Dot as a person and so I understand that he is a deep guy but they were not talking about that, they are talking about his music, because his music has a message in it. These people looked like they wanted to cry when they saw Dot – and that alone inspired me. Then he got signed, and I was like ‘if my brother can do this, I’ve gotta work hard because he’s just proved that this sh*t can work.’
So concerning Woolwich, tell us about some of the acts coming out of there. You obviously know Smiler…
Out of all the artists that are coming out of the area, Smiler is probably the one that I’ve known the longest. I’ve known him since we were in school, I knew him when I had the high top [Laughs]. I had the Jheri curl, he had the Jheri curl – I was in the blue Adidas tracksuit and he was in the black. We were from the same crew, but from different crews. We are from the same area but his crew was more clean cut and the people that I know – who he also knew – were more f**ked up [laughs]
I was more reckless back then, and I had to go through more to come out of the other end. Smiler is my brother, I’m proud of him – he is representing us well.
Saskilla is another guy from my area, and it’s interesting because Saskilla and Tinie Tempah were tight. Saskilla sort of brought Tinie in, I only know Tinie’s name because of Saskilla. Saskilla used to bring Tinie everywhere, and it’s amazing how Tinie Tempah has blown and he never mentions Saskilla’s name. He wrote a book and Saskilla’s name is not even in it. Bluey Robinson is from the area, I’ve known Bluey for years – he’s another talented guy who’s strictly about being creative and the music and acts as well. There are quite a few people from my area out there…
So what did you think of Tinie’s track ‘Trampoline’? Your thoughts?
Society is changing him. My advice for Tinie would be to look in the mirror at who you are, appreciate what you have accomplished in life and acknowledge where you could’ve been, how it used to be and how it is for you now. Help people with your music, touch people, inspire people – don’t show off, and don’t tell us that you have more money than us because we know.
You’ve described yourself as the “saviour of rap”, can you tell us what you feel Hip Hop needs saving from? Let’s maybe concentrate on the UK…
I think Hip Hop needs saving from…not being about Hip Hop anymore. Right now to be a good Hip Hop act you don’t even need to be a good rapper. You can just have a few chains, be a bit of a gun man, have a couple of hardcore men in the background of a video that seem real – and you’re sort of in the game. That alone is a problem because it’s no longer about the art of MCing and rapping. Hip Hop is missing reality, it’s very fake at the moment. They think having a car is real – it isn’t – it just means you have dough…they think you can’t be fake and rich. I’m here to bring realness back to Hip Hop, I’m just trying to be myself and Hip Hop is lacking that.
You’ve been around the block a bit, you’ve racked up all kinds of life experiences and we at SB.TV push a lot of hungry, upcoming and breaking artists – is there any advice you’d give them?
Don’t worry about French Montana [laughs], just be a master at being yourself. No one can be you better than you can be. Don’t worry about no f**kin French Montana…coz when you’re broke and in your house and can’t pay your bills French Montana ain’t paying you sh*t. Do what works for you and be honest, I said to my brother the other day that honesty is the best policy – by not being honest you mess yourself up in the long run…