London’s six-piece rap collective House of Pharaohs have become ones to watch on the current scene. They made a striking statement of intent with their first collaborative project ‘Southern Stamp’, which prompted Nation of Billions to compare them to a UK answer to A$AP Mob. And that burgeoning reputation exploded with the debut mixtape ‘Real Faces’ and the 2017 EP ‘The Fix’.
They’ve been praised by Frank Ocean, who played their track ‘RWM (run with me)’ on his Blonded radio show, and featured in Nike’s iconic ‘Nothing Beats A Londoner’ campaign. Their profile is reflected by a passionate cult following, as evidenced by last summer’s independently organised sold-out show at the Electric Ballroom.
Now they’re set to make their biggest impact to date with the May 10th release of their new mixtape ‘Seasons’, a collaboration with leading UK producer Nyge (AJTracey, YxngBane, SectionBoyz). While previous House of Pharaohs releases have sat slightly leftfield, Nyge’s production adds a sharp club focus to their hard-hitting sound.
‘Seasons’ soundtracks the varying shades and tones that span an entire year. “It’s showing different vibes, really,” says Danny Stern. SamWise continues, “It’s being able to show what we can do. It’s a re-birth, to an extent. But it’s not a side step.”
“These men are hard, they brought out something new in me – a new avenue,” adds Nyge.
‘Seasons’ has been launched today with the single ‘Magic City’. It feels ready for one of those late night cruises on one of London’s circular roads, playing as the city’s various landmarks come into view and the night out feels a couple more red lights away.
Elsewhere, ‘2008’ is similarly atmospheric but tonally placed in the dance – once the Uber door has closed, the drinks have been ordered and the table service is in operation. ‘Wonderland’ moves into party-starting mode, popping bottles long into a night during which anything feels possible. The sparse beats-and-piano focused production on ‘Summer’ drops the celebratory mood for something far more sombre, which is matched by ‘One Call’ as it steps aside from the city’s intensity to sit back and reminisce over a situation.
House of Pharaohs aren’t making grime, they’re not on drill and they’re not on road, either. In short, they’re different. They’re an entity consisting of six artists, each making their own individual waves with their unique tastes and personalities.
Sam Wise’s outside activities span music and fashion. He collaborated with BBC Sound Poll winner Octavian on ’100 Degrees’ and is a go-to collaborator for leading sportswear brands having been chosen as the face of a new Asics campaign and voiced ads for Nike and Adidas. KevinTaylorshares his sharp eye for fashion, and collaborates with the next wave of influential designers such as RyanHawaii.
Bandanna first came to attention as a dancer on London’s Trocadero scene, and the former BRITSchool student also has a flair for acting which he’ll demonstrate with a key supporting role in the next season of ‘Top Boy’. HOP’s youngest member Blaze YL shares that talent and has appeared in theWest End and on various BBC1 dramas.
AJ is a singer-songwriter who has been sharpening his craft in the studio by regular work with emerging artists and producers, and Danny Stern has done likewise as he pushes to perfect his sound.
Collectively as House of Pharaohs, they create something unique and larger than the sum of their parts.
Teaming up with HOP for ‘Seasons’ adds another fresh angle to Nyge’s stellar reputation. Currently AJTracey’s official DJ, Nyge’s production prowess first came to attention with Section Boyz’s biggest track to date ‘Lock Arff’. That acclaim exploded last summer when he produced two of the year’s biggest anthems – D-Block Europe x Yxng Bane’s‘Gucci Mane’ and ‘Butterflies’ from AJ Tracey featuring Not3s. He’s also a resident DJ on RinseFM.
In addition to the core six members, the wider House of Pharaohs membership adds manager and long-term friend G-Lo, together with Tilly, Dre andMally who work on their creative. They’re a self-sustaining entity with a singular, positive vision – one based around self-development as much as it is music.