Wretch 32 – Forgiveness interview

Posted on 6 December 2011
By Matt Barden
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Purple Revolver caught up with British rapper Wretch 32 ahead of the release of his brand new single, Forgiveness.

For those of you who don’t know what Wretch is about, he kindly summed himself up in one sentence, “North London emcee, who wears his heart on his sleeve.”

Tottenham born Jermaine Scott has been in and around the music scene for a while but 2011 was his break out year, “I’ve been making music now for ten years, but 2011 was the pinnacle year for me, three Top 5 singles and a Top 5 album, and now I’m starting to record my new material.”

Things are looking good for the Traktor lyricist, but is there pressure to follow up on this year’s hugely successful Black & White and is it the same style of album?

“We’re off to a good start but the direction of the album always seems to change, but at the moment I’m just having fun.”

And how’s he feeling about the new single,Forgiveness?

“This is the most personal record on the album for me, on one of my earlier projects I had a song with a similar vibe and it was everyone’s favourite song so I promised myself, if I ever got the chance I would make Forgiveness a single. It’s not about chart positions…just the music.”

A former member of the grime collective Combination Chain Gang, Wretch has moved away from the grime scene towards rap, so can fans expect more evolution from the North Londoner?

“I just go with how I feel at the time. Like with the grime when I was a teenager everything’s so fast and rapid, it kind of reflects your mood, but when you get a bit older you get more reserved and relaxed and slow down a bit.”

Known for his very personal lyrics, is rapping about family and personal life in general hard to get down right on paper?

“It’s easy because it’s honest. But the hard thing is when you write something that makes you feel a certain way but somebody else is going to listen to that who you see everyday that might not like it, that’s the hard part.”

So does rubbing friends and family up the wrong way on wax give the rapper second thoughts when he’s penning his verses?

“It doesn’t make me want to stop! It’s what people like me for. It’s just the reality of my life might be harsh on the people I’m around, but then thing is I’m like, ‘Don’t piss me off then!’

“But as long as things affect me personally then it’s always going to be heard in my music, that’s just the type of artist I am.”

As well as touring and recording, Wretch is a proud Dad, but is it stressful juggling music with changing diapers?

“It’s difficult because I don’t spend as much time with them as I would like to, my daughter’s six months so she’s easier to catch than my son because she wakes up at random times, but I’m trying to secure their future and these are sacrifices I have to make as a parent.”

With so many British rappers and artists across all genres desperately trying to break America, will Wretch be leaving our shores anytime soon in search of Stateside adulation?

“I think it’s a smart thing to do but only when the time is right, and for me I don’t think the time is right now.”

So with Mr 32 staying on the island at least for the foreseeable future and a supporting slot on Example’s upcoming tour, how excited is he to be taking his sound to arenas across the country?

“It should be fun! I know Example is going to put on a show and it’s going to be a phenomenal experience for me. I’ve always wanted to see how my music works on such a huge level.”

Forgiveness featuring Etta Bond is out 11/12/11