Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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Exclusive Catch Up With Emerging Rapper, M’WAY

It’s a Sunday afternoon at Reading Festival and I’m sat in the cabin of Nottingham’s fastest rising rap-star M’WAY. We’re discussing grills with his boy Sav, who is showing off his diamond-encrusted-teeth-plating with pride, whilst M’WAY’s official DJ Bempah, who’s just completed his second booking of the day – the former being a surprise set on the mainstage with Digga D -, is quite comically complaining in the background about the effects of sleep deprivation. M’WAY however, is charged up and full of energy, bantering back-and-forth with his younger brother KL and close friend T, who alongside Sav, Bempah and the rest of the mandem, joined him on the BBC 1Xtra stage an hour before our sit down, to deliver an unbelievably energetic performance.

There’s often an aura of industry mirage around rappers; with all the entourages, designer clothes and drip. Though, as I’m sat with M’WAY and gang throughout the afternoon, the light-hearted energy they all carry themselves with creates an atmosphere that makes me feel like I’m chaperoning some sort of rapper’s field trip. It’s M’WAY’s second time appearing on the Reading stage, having had his debut with his No Requests label boss Tiffany Calver at last year’s festival, and after having watched today’s performance from side stage, the rapper’s growth over the past year is more than evident. Thus, I felt it pertinent to catch up with the young man responsible for giving trap music a new presence within the UK; for a conversation on how he feels about his journey so far, the motivations behind his music, and to discuss the highlights of the brilliant year he’s had as he continues to fly the flag for Nottingham-hailing rap excellence.

Credit: Faysal Hassan

Hey M’WAY. You’re from Nottingham, right? Do you think growing up there influenced your choice to pursue music as a career?

Nah, I don’t think it did still. It was a last-minute choice. I could always rap, like when I was younger. In 2017, I must have recorded one tune and it came out hard. So, then I kept on recording more tunes and more tunes and then I thought, I might as well see wah gwarn’ innit.

What was the tune called?

The first one I ever done. It didn’t have a name it was just called ‘freestyle’.

Speaking of freestyles, you often mix trap and drill to create your own sound which is quite rare for the UK. Also, your flow is quite emulating of Atlanta mumble rap. Is there something special about American styles of music that draws you to them?

I’d say the beats are what draw me to American styles. Yeah, them man rap about different things as well, instead of mandem here who talk about the same shit, over there it’s broader.

What’s the first record that made you fall in love with rap – can you remember?

There’s too many! I fucked with Styles P heavy back in the day, but the first rap tune that comes to mind is 50 Cent’s “Hate It Or Love It”.

You’re signed to No Requests which is DJ Tiffany Calver’s label. What’s the best piece of advice Tiffany has given you so far in you guy’s partnership?

I’ll shout her when bare madness is going off and that, on a personal advice thing. Tiffany doesn’t really give me advice musically. Normally, I’ll show her a tune to get her input and that helps to manage my output. I’ve got the work rate and she knows that I’m always working.

What motivates you? Is there something you can think of that you’re always stiving for both within and outside of your career?

I’m striving for financial freedom; to be able to do what I want to do.

In your lyrics you talk about your lifestyle a lot; the good and the bad? Do you see music as a way of life, or is it merely a medium for creative expression?

I’d say it’s a way out still, it’s just good that it’s also a way that I can express myself.

Where do you want to live when you make it out?

I’d probably stay Atlanta still, because it’s a music city.

What’s been your highlight of the year so far?

I ain’t dropped that much this year, so probably this festival now.

Credit: Faysal Hassan

It’s true you’ve already got some massive festivals under your belt. What are some of your plans for the rest of the year? Do you have any shows, or maybe even a project loading?

Yeah, I’m looking to put out a tape like at the start of next year. So, I’m just going to put out bare singles until then and just build towards the tape innit!

Thanks M, we look forward to hearing the tape when it drops!

Thanks Loop, I appreciate you guys.

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Words by Faysal Hassan

Posted On 4 October, 2022