One of the Seed Commission projects we’re supporting in 2020 is from Kent-based Music Organisation, GTown Talents’ ‘It’s Peak’.
The project has been featured on KentOnline and shared by Arts Council England (South East) on social media.
Dulcie Alexander, Arts Council England Relationship Manager, Engagement & Audiences in the South East said;
“Really good to see 2020 documented so effectively with a strong local performance/production crew, congratulations, I look forward to seeing what’s next…”
In Part One of this two-part Q & A, we spoke with GTown Talents about It’s Peak, their inspirations and influences, and how the music scene in Medway is thriving.
Name: Jimmy Babalola & Vyberoom
Age: 30 & 31
Job: Founder & co-founder/Creative Director
For people who may not know about your Seed Commission project, what is ‘Its Peak’?
It’s Peak is an insight into young people, giving their voices to the audience.
The message in the music video – we filmed the visuals in Medway for a rap group (based in Medway) called CaGeNation – is them expressing their frustrations, difficulties and lifestyles, and what young people in Kent are facing today since the pandemic.
For people who may not know – what does the phrase ‘It’s Peak’ mean?
‘It’s peak’ means when a situation has gone bad; the situation took a turn for the worse. For example, if a situation got messed up at work and there’s no way to solve it you would be like; “it’s peak”.
In relation to the pandemic, it really brought the country to a standstill. Having to adapt to these new situations that have never happened in our lives before, like lockdown or not being able to enjoy summer – well that’s peak.
How did you first meet CaGeNation, the musicians who made Its Peak?
We met CaGeNation when we did a Christmas special last year at Fogahs Caribbean Restaurant in Chatham.
We showcased diverse talents of all ages, and when we saw CaGeNation perform they stood apart. They were unique, and it was wonderful to see a hip-hop group in Kent with that 90s flow and sound we all grew up to love.
We said we must definitely work with these guys in the future and really push them high. They didn’t know we would reach out again, but we definitely had them in our minds. Such a talented group.
What did CaGeNation think about making Its Peak? Was it recorded in Medway?
When I reached out to them I knew it was going to be exciting for all of us.
They were really happy and honoured to be chosen as it was a chance to show their creative skills and talent.
They worked on it and when we explained our direction, it worked perfectly well.
It was recorded in Sunlight Studios in Gillingham.
Did you get strange looks when filming the music video in Rochester?
No, not at all.
It was kind of funny when people saw us, because they realised we were filming for a good cause.
It was good to see their reactions – definitely no strange looks.
Some even stopped to watch like we were giving a performance until they realised we were filming.
There was positive energy all round with the spectators.
There’s been lots of indie and rock music from Kent. Is the hip-hop scene in Medway growing?
We really respect the Kent scene.
We’ve met young musicians in rock and indie from Kent and they are really talented. We just knew there had to be a platform for urban music for all cultures, and this is what we relate to and can put our passion in to.
Since we started, the hip hop scene in Kent has grown massively.
We really want to push the hip hop scene because all over the country wonderful things are happening. Everyone is waiting for Kent’s urban scene to take off – it was just seen to outsiders as “Oh Kent?”. They didn’t know that there’s talented urban artists here, because the artists didn’t have a platform to be heard or seen.
So yes, definitely the scene is growing. People like Annie Mac [BBC Radio1] and us are really pushing [UK hip hop] and it’s getting a real positive response.
It shows you how powerful music is in all genres really and now it’s hip hop’s time to shine in Kent.
What music do you like?
What song/artist/album would you recommend our readers listen to (apart from Its Peak of course)?
We only listen mainly to urban music, hip-hop and the sub-genres such as Afrobeats, 90s rap, drill, and grime.
It’s very important to keep up to date with the music that comes out each year. We listen to such a variety of urban artists, and we suggest you add hip-hop on the playlist and see the latest albums that come out every Friday.
We really like Headie One’s new album, the legend Nas, Pop Smoke, and many more.
We would like for you to listen to two mixtapes we did with over 25 tracks on them, where we put the best artists rappers some urban singers too – all from Kent – onto one tape. It got rave reviews and got us an interview as special guests for BBC Introducing recognising what we are doing to help the Kent scene.
Routes To Riches Vol 1 & 2
We plan on doing a final volume maybe end of the year.
Then we will start guiding artists careers and launching their mixtapes and EPs.
Big thanks go to Jimmy from GTown Talents for answering our questions.
Part Two of our interview coming Saturday 31st October 2020 @ 10 am