Conrad Kira – Grime vs. Soca EP
It’s less than a week since everyone, including myself, collectively spent £80 million having fun, drinking, eating and basking in all things Afro Caribbean at Notting Hill Carnival. It’s safe to say the bank holiday hangover was real. Mandem got crunked, designated drivers didn’t hydrate and passed their key to the person (me 🙋🏿♂️) who hydrated prior to having a couple so could drive the crew home safely, hours after when sobered up (very responsible). Tuesday morning was a write off after the 10k steps spent navigating Carnival for hours in search of the Holy Grail, Rampage. No we didn’t find it but there we did see some beautiful people and colourful costumes, great food, music, and faces I hadn’t seen in years. Carnival has me wondering why I don’t go every year.
I didn’t really grow on a diet of Soca, I’d occasionally hear it at weddings etc but on a day to day I don’t even listen it. When Conrad shared that he was working on a Grime vs. Soca EP, I was intrigued. I heard a few edits at a few Pull Ups that I thought were cleverly executed so on the night before the main Carnival day on Monday, I posed a few question during a random iMessage convo to find out more.
KO: What was the inspiration behind the project?
CK: I remember speaking with a group of bredrins on a Black Lives Matter March. We started talking about music and how Soca didn’t get played in clubs enough. Then the idea of Grime Vs Soca mash up came up and I thought fam! I need to try that. The Pull Up Dat Fam Carnival special was coming up then and it was so lit that’s where I first played Riddim and Gyal. I remember saying mid Soca set that we shouldn’t just play these songs once a year it’s our culture, lets celebrate it more. The fact I got to blend The Black British culture of Grime and the Caribbean Culture of Soca means a lot to me. It’s like where we came from and where we came. I remember hearing Soca at Carnival growing up and feeling happy and then when I was old enough to go on my own I remember the first time I heard Grime at Carnival… The Hype!… it changed my life.
KO: What was your creative process?
CK: For this project some of the ideas came while I was DJing. I’d play tracks and think man if speed up that, chop up this over that and loop that section it would sound hard. Usually I make beats from scratch, but the thought of what tracks would mash well and then searching for the best loops was fun! It was like making a peng sandwich!
KO: Are you being soca back?
CK: Nah Soca never left, Soca is strong.If anything all I’m hoping is to have a collection of beats that mix Black British Culture and Caribbean Culture, the cultures that make Notting Hill Carnival what it is. I hope that the EP can open people up to some of the great sounds the Caribbean Islands and this Island has to offer… and bang on ya speakers.