INTERVIEW: Alternative-Rap Duo Alloy
Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Ivory: Good, i’ve cut down on the Old Fashioned’s and been making some bangers in the studio.
Shack: Very well, life’s good. We got a lot on but it’s going well.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE RELEASING YOUR DEBUT SINGLE:
Ivory: Satisfying. Like when you’ve fallen asleep with the lights on and then you wake up and turn them off and then your sleep starts to get super fucking dope.
Shack: This project has been a long time in the making, this collaboration is well overdue. I’m gassed that it’s now moving. We’ve got some serious bangers lined up!!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “No Cure”?
Ivory: No Cure is the first release for our new group Alloy. Shack and I have worked together in the past but this is the first track we’ve released where we’re both on it vocally.
Shack: No Cure sees the start of an epic journey and how better a way to start.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
Ivory: A murder. A childhood friend made the headlines for all the wrong reasons and it made me think of him and how a lot of people probably thought it was inevitable. Not glamorous, not nice, not music industry but actual real life in London.
Shack: It’s a conclusion to an amalgamation of life lessons.
DESCRIBE ‘NO CURE’ IN 3 WORDS:
Ivory: Relentless, cutting, raw.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Ivory: We’ve spoken about it and we both love creating the visual side to the music too so it may well happen.
Shack: Yeah, it’s going to happen. Got the storyboard ideas for it. Just need to bang it out.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FROM FOR YOUR LYRICS?
Ivory: Everything that goes on in my head and my heart.
Shack: Life is full of inspiration. Everything that goes on in front of you mixed with you own personal experiences. As long as you’re being real it’s easy. People struggle more with being honest & truly being themselves I find.
The single comes off your new album Freebass – what’s the story behind the title?
FREE – Not confined, not under the control of anyone, ability to do as one pleases.
BASS – Deep, low, resounding & powerful.
BASE – A place of rest, the foundation, home.
FREEBASING – To purify through process and precipitation to increase potency and intensity for ingestion.
ALLOY – FREEBASS – A sound in pure form containing a fusion of tempo and varied style that has an enhanced potency and greater strength. This blend becomes a more intense audio compound creating a somewhat addictive experience that is resistant to corrosion.
How was the recording and writing process?
Ivory: Really easy. Me and Shack spend a lot of time together on the road banging tunes in his Bentley, so no beat or song idea either of us have come up with is too far removed from what we both naturally could vibe to.
Shack: Piss. Once I had my groove I was gone. Once I find the flow that’s most fitting the rest just falls into place.
WHAT MADE YOU STEER TOWARDS THIS EXCITING GENRE OF MUSIC?
Ivory: It came naturally, there wasn’t even a discussion it was an involuntary action. I don’t like being told what to do in general let alone what to create or sound like. If everybody else is going right, and i think that right looks like a load of fucking shit, I’m going to be me even harder and go left with my guns out.
Shack: Ivory is a very dynamic and talented musician so like he said it’s what happens organically when we’re vibing so we just go with the flow. It’s very refreshing to be able to completely do that without being stereotyped or pigeon holed.
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO AT THE MOMENT?
Ivory: I’m getting ready for an operation on a football injury that’s been pissing me off and then I’m heading to Spain in October to MC at a Bass Music festival. When I’m back I’ve got some new jewellery designs I’m putting together for my business in Hatton Garden.
Shack: I’m buying a pub and a hotel. Just doing the last bits of paper work for them.
What else is happening next in Alloy’s world?
Ivory: We’ve shot a video for our next release.
Shack: Again, another banger!! That ones a big one.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than on your own?
Ivory: Yeah, it means I get to drink all the Prosecco in the studio while Shack’s doing his vocals. I can’t do that when i’ve got to do them all myself.
Shack: Nah, not really. Unless they have a studio ritual they prefer it’s really about the vibe. Most of my writing is down offsite so when I come through there’s no games.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LONDON?
Shack: It’s one of the best cities. Growing up in it you become complacent as you are used to it. It’s got a lot about it and a good mixture of cultures. Just gotta open your eyes.
How has your upbringing influenced your music?
Ivory: I was born and raised in South London with a lot of Caribbean friends and music culture around me, on the streets and at parties. My Dad is from Liverpool though and my Mum is from Manchester and played a lot of Rock n Roll, so i’ve always had a mish-mash of music styles and sounds around me. As a kid I got into London underground dance music and the pirate radio stations and raves. I started to MC on them in my area and other parts of London too.
Shack: My parents are Rasta, so sound systems and dances we’re normal for us. My dad played with sounds and we often had a house full of equipment. I knew I wanted to make music from I was about 6/7. I started then with an electric Casio keyboard. I thought my beats were the sickest!! The rest came from the game. A colourful lifestyle that exposed me to what I would consider a rich and yet broad array of styles.
What role does London play in your writing?
Ivory: Keeps it authentic. If you come from here and want to portray you’re from somewhere else then you’re a dweeb.
Shack: Everything. It’s where the grounding comes from so will be in the DNA of everything I touch. I also have big plans for London, there will be a lot to come and a lot to be said about it.
Any plans to hit the road?
Ivory: Yeah we’re putting together an Alloy live show with our DJ Jammy D.
Shack: Just pinning it all down. Will be ready fi dem soon!!
Originally from Paris, Jefferson Fichou grew up with a unique understanding of guitar and production …