Its only taken winning best breakthrough MC artist in 2009 and then following that up by coming 2nd in the Best lyrical MC category at the National Drum Awards in 2010 for Harry Shotta to really get noticed. GLN catches up with multi Award winning Master of Ceremony Harry Shotta as he talks Barz, Uncz and his newly released album 8 days a week…
So howz it goin Mr Shotta?
Yeah everything cool as just working and keeping busy, ya know how it goes.
When did you first start rapping and spitting barz?
Well quite a while ago to be honest. I first started many years ago when I was exposed to hip hop at the age of six and was then encouraged by others in the playground as they would tell me I had talent and should keep at it.
You have your own studio so how did you find making your first album and take us through what happened?
Well to start with it was a case of getting beats of people like Destruction, Crissy Cris and Jack Beats. Also a lot of networking with other artists and sourcing beats from the internet. After which I then went on to record the vocals at a wicked recording studio in Essex called Trojan Studios run by destruction. His mix downs and experience in the game are second to none. He's worked in New York with a lot of the top boys over there so he knows what he’s doing on the boards!
What is Uncz and how did it come about?
Uncontrollablez was spearheaded by Funsta. Skibadee was doing a lot of radio with fun and the uncz dj Ruffstuff and they were creating a big buzz. I was hanging out with fun when all this was going on so it seemed only natural to join and represent a family thing as we’ve all known each other for a long time. Plus, respect each other's position within the game so it’s become a strong unit within the drum n bass scene.
Which super power would you have and why?
Ah that’s easy... it has to be invincibility. Ya could see what’s really goin on behind your back n that. Be like linkin Harry Potter an tell him pass the invincibility cloak to Shotta and see whats goin on out here!
Many DnB followers are hooked on da everyington wordinton withington that ington chat but tell us where does it stem from?
It basically stems from Skibadee. It all sort of began when Skibz did his Blessington world of adventures track and then slowly but surely it turned into a slang ting and caught on from there onwards. Yeah so have to credit Skibz with dat one. He's big with the new slang.
Is there currently any tracks in production or in the pipeline coming from the uncz crew?
Yeah there's a whole mix cd which has just literally been released from the whole crew mixed by Ruffstuff and it includes like 90% fresh barz its called 'Uncz in the Chalet'. The first part is dnb and the second part showcases some of our other material like the 'Pass out' dubs and various other tunes.
At such a young age you've already won accolades and awards as an mc but is there any other work you’re involved in with music?
Well iv’e been running community workshops for a while now which involves working with young people. The work I do with the kids is stuff like lyrical writing, positive lyric writing, performance skills and making tracks. A lot of the work focuses on giving youth productive things to do with their time.
Whilst performing at events have you ever experienced any crazy moments?
No not really. I have heard some stories and tales of other dj/mc scenarios but na I aint really seen anything like that.
You’re stuck on a desert island what three essential things would you have with you?
First and full most my girl, secondly music as can’t live without that and thirdly I would say some drinks to keep a happy island.
What would you say has been a turning point in your career so far?
Performing at the Notting Hill carnival a couple years back as it really opened things up for me. It was a special day in which that became a defining performance as it very much helped me to be more recognised and help establish myself as an mc. Shout to Funsta for bringing me up with him!
What venue or event would you say has a unique vibe and atmosphere?
Its not about the venue its more about the people. At events like Innovation, Westfest, Global and some of the big festivals there is an incredible vibe and atmosphere created by the people who go there and appreciate what we do.
As a groundbreaking artist who do you look up to and whos been your main influences over the years?
People like Nas, Jay Z, hip hop artists, d n b, grime and dubstep artists too. Obviously people like Skibadee and Funsta but also Shabba in the dnb scene. UK music is cultivated by some real talent and it’s where it’s meeting in the middle and working for the future right now thats important. It really is strong right now and that is what inspires me. The UK sound is the one. I’m loving whats going on with the energy of the UK sound and its nice to see people finally getting paid off the music!
What does the future hold for Harry Shotta and the uncz crew?
Just trying to push the levels more in the game, fresh mixes, innovative lyrics and really just take it as far as we can. we don’t see any limits.