Interview: Eyez On The Red Bull Midlands Vs London Mixtape

RnB/Hip Hop | Tuesday 19th July 2016 | Megan


Before the release of the Midlands Mixtape, I caught up with UK grime rapper Eyez at Red Bull Studios. Coming from nothing as a young teenager growing up in Derby, to being in the studio for his own collaborative mixtape…

Hey man, how’s everything going?

Good good it’s going well.


Okay so, if you could describe your current state in 5 words or less, what would they be?


Ooh that’s hard. Almost there?


Okay, what about your current state of mind?


Already there.


Great. If you could play your music anywhere, where would it be?


Buckingham Palace.


Any particular reason?


It’s just a thought to be honest, the reason I’d like to be there is so I can play my tunes in a royal place [laughs]




Good enough reason… so what kind of message do you like to get across in your music?


My main message is just to enjoy yourself, I just want everyone to enjoy themselves. Be you. That's what it mainly is man, so sometimes I explain the things that I’ve been through and how others can get through it, that’s on my deeper kind of tunes but really it’s all about the fun! I also like to be able to take the mick out of other people who just pretend they’re so hard. So i just make people realise that there’s a fun side of grime as well. It’s not all about being gangster.


So we saw recently that on your music video ‘Fuk The Grime Scene’ you got over 1 million views. How did that make you feel?


I was buzzing, I was absolutely buzzing because that was first time one of my videos had that many views, took quite a while but hopefully we’ll get some more. But yeah, it was a kind of spur of the moment type of thing, everyone was sending for me so I sent for them. And then there was a million views! So yeah, I loved it.



Congrats man! On it you worked with JDZ Media, did you start with them or did you start by yourself?


I started doing my own stuff and I did a couple videos for other people then I started getting an online buzz but like everyone in Derby love me and so I had a this little city backing me so wherever I went, it was like I was from a little area in London, because in London, you don’t get the whole city backing you, you only get the support from your people. But because I had the whole of Derby, it was as a big for me as somewhere like Brixton or Peckham. When I did my videos, I was getting 30,000 views just randomly, so it was easier to approach people about my stuff. So it really was good for me having to city behind me. Then soon after that, I linked up with JDZ and that’s when I got really big so for real, JDZ made me big.


How did the Don’t Flop Mic Leeds event go recently?


It was good, I like going to other cities and Leeds is one of my favourites but I like Manchester, Bristol. Bristol is the spot.


So, how did you get involved with the making of this mixtape?


Well Red Bull contacted me and said they wanted to do some marketing thing with me for my music so I had a couple meeting and I came up with the idea to Jonny [works for Red Bull] and said to him that because he represents a lot of Midlands artists and because I know them all, I suggested they all come down and just jump on it. I’m really happy with the turnout to be honest.


Sounds like it’s going to be really good. In interviews, what’s the worst question you’ve ever been asked?

Maybe when I was asked to name 5 people I really don’t get on with in the grime scene, which made it worse so I was saying a couple names and then the guys were like ‘ah what you don’t like me?!’ and I’m like nah you already knew I don’t like you so yeah that was just a stupid one. And there was another that was awkward be because they said 3 female grime artists’ names and I had to say which one was hotter… and they were my friends too!

Man, that’s so awkward! Right, so you can only take 3 people on a desert island, who would they be?


Okay so Damien Walters because he can jump so high and it’s sick and he’s also from Derby so that helps. He can be the guy who climbs up the trees for food and shit. Would have Keith Lemon but he’d get annoying after a while so I’d bring Ed Sheeran along so he can sing, play guitar and I can rap. And I’d bring Bear Grylls, why would you not?!





Yeah you wouldn’t want Keith Lemon there, too jarring… Anyway, what are the 2 songs or artists that have changed your life?


Naughty Boy, he taught me a lot about music that I didn’t know and he helped me out a lot. That definitely changed my life in music. Really can’t think of any songs but another artist would definitely Lauryn Hill because she's someone who definitely changed my life.


She is a great inspiration. Quick fire round now…

Heaven Or Hell?




Worst UK city?


Coventry, it’s DEAD.


Favourite UK city?




Legalise cannabis?


Legalise that shit right now.


What would you be doing right now if it wasn’t for music?


I’d either be on the streets acting like a clown or I’d probably be in some dead end job just to survive. Actually you know what, I tell a lie, I would be doing music but I’ve just always had this mindset of not wanting to work for people, just wanting to work for myself, not to be the boss of other people, but the boss of me. I’d be doing my own thing, I think I would have always done something creative. I definitely wouldn’t wanna be lazy.


Okay so what would be the first law you’d change if you were Prime Minister?


Right well the first law would be to not send anyone under the age of 18 to prison and the second one I would change would be to legalise weed for sure and I think I’d wanna change how the system works inside [prison] so like for the prisoners to have more jobs in ther and education so they’re doing something and not just sitting around all day long because when you do that, you end up chilling with people and talking about what you did on the outside and sometimes that can create links that you don’t want and you may stay in longer or fuck it up for yourself on the outside. It would be better for them to all be outside together doing things in groups so they can interact. And I think they should be paid for the jobs they do, no one should work for free. I know that they’re criminals but they should be allowed to change and do things creative to help that. Prisons not cool man…


Yeah that’s understandable. On a lighter note, what has been your proudest moment?


From a musical point, it was probably when I was with Naughty Boy and loads of people came that day. And he showed EVERYBODY my music like Mary J. Blige, Craig David, Katy B, Krept and Konan, Robbie Williams’ manager, all in one day, I was buzzing! That was one of my proudest days. It’s either that or it was when I was nearly part of the MOBO’s, it was when I started doing stuff so that was good.



And then your shittest moment?


Hmm, I’ve had a lot of shit ones too [laughs]  these are good questions! I can’t really think of one within my music career you know but in life in general it was probably when I was homeless. I was doing music when I was homeless as a teenager and stuff like that and at that time, one of my songs came out. This is when I had no phone, no internet etc. That was pretty shit. But things change rapidly.


Well good luck for the future man!


Check out the Midlands Vs London Mixtape here. 


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