….has been scribbling down ‘really weird short stories’ since he was eleven, and ever since has been exploring his written potential. This lead to him to writing lyrics and incorporating these with beats and playing shows. Eventually he was signed to In The Balance Records – Verb T’s own record label. Early last year he put out his debut EP under the label, Arthur Lager.
His themes of being young, broke and a troublemaker over old school gritty and urban beats entice even outsiders of the underground UK world of hip-hop to buy tickets for his next show and see it all for themselves. Whether or not this guy is really as destructive, troubled and masterfully inventive as he sounds on his songs – to which you find out that he is – he is still just as madly entertaining.
Rye Shabby has remained active in his creative field, producing and collaborating, late last year having released his song ‘Shab City’. With his new EP DiESHABBY just around the corner, scheduled to be released this year, Rye has been working a mean amount and produced ‘a lot of cool songs’. In the interview it’s clear he’s not afraid to make his problems public, boldly choosing to come out with the issues he’s recently been tackling, regarding substance abuse and difficult life choices.
Rye Shabby, what have you been up to recently? Any shows? Is there any planned material out soon?
“Bonjour. As of recent, I have started my own business in buying and reselling refrigerators but it is going really badly so I have not given up on the rap stuff. Recently done a few shows in the midlands area one being at Nottingham’s Rough Trade venue which was fucking boss. New material is now about to land, the second E.P of the journey ‘DiESHABBY’. To cut a long story short, I basically had a bit of a difficult time in my life with drugs, alcohol and just making really bad decisions in general. The project is about me giving up on being that idiot of a person and killing him off, hence the title. It’s got a lot of cool songs.”
Could you give an insight as to what lead you to start writing as an artist?
“I started writing when I was like, 11. Not necessarily rap lyrics, or any lyrics in general, it was just really weird short stories and a lot of stuff I was just embarrassed about people seeing ahaha. I started writing actual stuff I could shout at people when I was like 13-14, it was pretty whack but I had the bollocks to rap with the older lot so people digged it.”
Who are your inspirations? Is there anyone who started it all for you?
“Of course I have inspirations from the usual legendary hip-hop names, to name a few; Andre 3000, Doom, Nass & more. But the thing that actually made me want to start rapping and trying to impress people was because my older cousin who I really looked up to through my childhood used to spit and was in a group down these ways called ‘Alliance’, so I wanted to do that”
I’ve read and heard stories about how you’re pretty mental when you’re up on stage. Are there any funny or great memories from your best gig?
“I don’t know what you mean about me being mental on stage!? How rude! Na, it does get a bit mad….energy levels have to be raised and faces have to be shocked otherwise it’s boring ennit. I tend to get in the crowd and be involved a bit and try and enjoy my own shows as well entertain the audience. A funny moment was at my first High Focus event I ever was blessed to be a part of at Concorde 2 in Brighton, I was so fucking nervous, and ended up drinking pretty much the entire rider and I fell off a huge speaker during my set. Luckily I managed to carry on rapping whilst on the floor, thought I broke my arm. It was described as an ‘oil painting’. S’all fun and games.”
I think some people I know could relate to Arthur Lager a little, from a younger person’s perspective, especially those that feel a bit disenfranchised. It almost feels like a cinematic experience. What’s it all about?
“The first E.P was all about being broke, still wanting to let your hair down whilst struggling. A LOT of partying was going on around those times because I had just been signed to In The Balance Records and I was very proud of myself (maybe a bit too proud), so it was about the journey through all that. Which then links up with the concept of the second E.P very well.
Cinematic experience yeah? Rah, I can run with that nice one.”
Does the album name refer to the puppet that got onto the BGT final?
“Nah it doesn’t. I didn’t know that was legit, but it probably did have some subliminal link with inspiration. Fuck knows.”
You work a lot with your pals over at Indigo Frequency such as Sloth. Is there anyone else you want to give a shout out to?
“Yeah, Sloth is a good friend of mine and so is Whispy & DJ Ghosty who I also work alongside. The little toe rags. Big shout out to Forrest Moon, a producer from Ipswich you will be hearing a lot about. Shout out to the don photographer Gant…it’s his birthday today too so mega shout out blup blup blup gun fingers and all that stuff. Shout out to everyone involved at In The Balance Records ‘cos it’s takeover time. Massive shouts to Uncle Verb T, because without him all this magical shit wouldn’t be happening. Shout out mumzy too.”
What’s your favourite TV show?
“The TV shows I watch are fucking shit ‘cos I don’t really watch TV that much so it’s all just to laugh at the idiotic people on this planet. I like that shit ‘Four In A Bed’, people are petty.”
What would you do with a million pounds if you were given it?
“Most sensible thing to do would be give £20K to a responsible source for funeral costs just incase I enjoyed myself a little too much. Lol na, I dunno really. Buy a few exotic animals, just have a panda rolling around my yard or something. Dress him up in old Fila. I would name him Eric.”
If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would you pick and why?
“The 80’s Kate Bush, she was fire.”
Mr. Shabby, thank you for your time. Is there anything else you want to say?
“Thank ya you’s lot, it was a pleasure. Big up you guys. All I would like to say is keep supporting, DiESHABBY out in April – cop cop cop so I can afford to eat and keep abusing my body slightly. Nah I’m kidding. Well I’m not, but yeah look out for the new shit. Fuck Donald Trump. Keep it fucking gang. Easy.”