Earlier this month, we caught up with TPS to fire across some quick questions ahead of their appearance at HC in February. Here is what they had to say for themselves:
Please introduce yourselves. Tell those who are still yet to find out Who you are, where your from and what you do.
JD - Jack Diggs (a.k.a mr skullybug) from saaaf east london, i produce and rap for tps famalama and i just ate a curry!
CS - C Sparks AKA Toast-based Dinners. Skullybug’s my younger brother so I’m a bit of a hero to him I think… I rap and occasionally produce but its rare and generally a bit wack. I live, work and drink in Croydon.
SN - The Strange Neighbour. Im from Croyds, I have dark brown hair, Im 6ft in hight and about the same wide. Oh yeah I rap and produce kinda well.
Ok, so can you tell us what the area you are from was like to grow up in, how does it differ from the way it is today?
SN - I generally stay indoors, going out involves effort. But I have been told its like Gaza out there so im glad i stay in.
JD - Nothings really changed, although i have noticed its over-populated with fraggles thinking theyre billy big bollocks coz they cant handle their watered down lager and pub grub packet!! i saw a lot of south east london as a kid due my dad living all over the gaff, i just noticed the different graff all over the place, i think i was quite oblivious to a lot of the things i was surrounded by!
CS - A lot of tory wankers and own-brand Danny Dyers. Its not all bad though. We’ve got Bangers, The Oval and Spicy Affair. Give me good music, good beer and good curry and I’m happy. As you can probably tell from the fatness.
Can you briefly talk us through a typical process you follow when producing your music?
JD - We form the vast majority of tps tracks together, so just sit in the studio, think of a concept and write! Writing together is always the best way to go cos you can converse and make sure you’re on point, rather than just turning up with bars that don’t match to what everyone else has written, plus you get a better vibe when you’re all together and we can drink beer and tea to excess! as for the beats, we go dig records, chop up what ever it is we found n make it sound super duper splendid!!
CS - Yeah although I write a lot on my own. I’ve always got about an album’s worth of bars saved in my phone’s draft messages.
SN - Jack hit the nail on the head. all written/recorded/mixed at my yard. except if it’s Jacks beats then he uses the MPC in his own gaffateria..
What are TPS listening to at the moment? Will we be shocked?
CS - N-Dubz from the whip to draw in the skanky jailbait. Except I don’t have a whip and they don’t seem that impressed when I pretend to be driving whilst playing shit music from my phone. Been bumping the Ghostface Apollo Kids album, Aloe Blacc, few other bits.
JD - I love old music, im still bumping boyzones release from 95, shame the gay ones dead he was nang! other than that, i listen to the stuff i pick up when i go digging, i tend to sample tracks i think are heavy tunes, not just heavy samples so that shit gets personal air time, cuban linx 2 still gets spun, aloe blacc-good things, erm…cant think, i must need to update my CD collection!
SN - In all fairness i dont really jam to much music. 70s soul if i do Johnny Taylor, Eddie Holman and Billy Paul along with small bits of hiphop Brothers Bent, Wu and Canibus.
2010 saw a number of strong releases. Your own album, Freshly Dug, being just one of them. Who else do you think deserves a mention looking back on the past year?
JD - plan b, hes soul is better than hes hip hop in my opinion…roc marciano-marcberg, the roots-how i got over, jon phonics-half past calm 2, raekwon-cuban linx 2, always like a bit of kashmere too, but too many UK heads either chat all this horrorcore shit or talk about politics without actually having a clue about what they’re on about, the horrorcore stuff especially i dont have time for, chatting bout rape n fantasy murder is a load of bollocks!
CS - Not all that horrorcore or politics stuff is wack its just people seem to just follow whatever everyone else is doing. I find a lot of it pretty clichéd and corny. There were another 3 strong releases from Swanky Tramp which you can get for free from http://swankytramp.co.uk/
Its a marmite sort of thing but I really liked Gus Pony’s Crumbs EP produced by IMS who also dropped an ill mixtape, Cartoon Hip Hop 3 from Joey G-Zus deserves a mention cos I’d not heard anything of his before. Cappo’s album was nice too but Mystro’s Digmund Freud was probably the highlight of 2010 for me.
SN - Im really feeling plan b too at the mo. Feelin’ Logic, Lowkey and Jimmy Jitsu’s releases doing it big at the moment but to be honest i haven’t really kept my ear out for anyone this year. i been grafting and getting stuck in on those TPS Releases.
What was the best show you’ve been to see? Where was it and who was playing?
JD - Furious Five in Bricky hands down the best jam I’ve ever been to! Wu Tang (also Brixton) would of been heavy if the Brixton Academy didn’t have a sound system that sounds like its made out of solid shit encased in a box of earwax moulded together with Satan’s jism that only projects the low end of every track in a distorted way!
SN - Agree with Jack on this one Furious Five and Curtis Blow was next level Melle Mel still quite camp flexing his arms at any given chance - LEGEND . I also went to see Gorillaz was amazing Bobby womack, MF Doom, De la and Kano all held it down.
CS - Yeah word about the Academy. Been there twice and both times the sound ruined it for me. I like jams outside of London (like Holdin’ Court) cos there’s still some fans about!!!
What have you got in the pipelines? As TPS and as solo artists?
JD - I intend to do another solo project, I’ve recorded a few tunes for it but we’re also working on new TPS material so that’s gonna take priority for now i think!
CS – A lot less after the clearout I just had. Been talking about a mixtape featuring all different artists we’re feeling but that’s in its early stages at the moment.. Also there’s collaboration with Omerta from Portsmouth. Been working with a few other peeps recently so you’ll see TPS about!!! Also keep an eye out for Swanky Tramp’s Curious AKA Cracker Jonny EP with 2Late, which is sounding real grimey!!!
SN - Ive been producing for outer artists Joey Menza, Logic and an up and coming Grime artist Cheekz and Double As so look out for them but TPS always comes first and we intend to keep it gully release after release!
Any New Years resolutions?
JD - Dunno if this counts, but we started doing a studio fund, each time we have a session we all put at least a bluey in the pot each and it goes towards studio equipment, PR, cd pressing etc etc we also invest the money we make from CDs we sell back into our music…..basically tryna take a more professional approach to our music…plus im tryna cut down on the mid week drinking, dont think it will last though!!
SN - Errm stop the mid week drinking like JD and I want to focus in my music production this year. I want it to be my job not a hobby I struggle to squeeze in at weekends. oh yeah and no more drugs.
CS - Gonna get out the rat race this year!!!
Where can people find out more about you, listen to your music and perhaps even get in contact?
JD - www.swankytramp.co.uk in case you’re afraid the 3 quid for freshly dug wont be a worthy investment, check the free downloads available and then you can break the bank n give us some loot….all 3 quid of it!!!
CS - Or £5 if you want the physical copy… All other links are on the website.
Finally, any shout outs?
JD - Hermit the Slob (aka Shazam), Cracker Jon, 2late, Oliver Sudden, Al Mighty, DJ Blue Movies, Teknology, DFN crew, 645ers. Peoples Army, Sika Studios, Venomous Vocals,IMS, Joey Menza, Lazy Technician and everyone supporting TPS .
CS - Yeah all the crew. You know who you are!!!
SN - Yup, all of the above and to my other heads like Central Spillz, Cheekz, Felms and Double As.
Thanks for taking time out to get together and complete this interview, We are
very much looking forward to seeing you perform on 4th Feb at Holdin’ Court alongside PROSE, DEEFLUX & BROTHER BEATBOX + More!