By Joseph 'JP' Patterson
MCs were once the primary driving force behind the decade-old genre of grime. Their lyrical wizardry, animated stage presence, and seemingly endless reserve of diss tracks aimed at other grime MCs touched audiences across the UK and abroad, from rudeboys and ravers to indie kids and art school types. However, there's been a major shift in power over the last two years. Gone are the days when producers would sit at home on the weekends twiddling their buttons, whilst rhyme-throwers got paid top dollar from rave promoters to spit catchy ad-libs. The tables have since turned and, today, the scene is thriving as an instrumental-focused one, with beat-makers getting big-buck-bookings to spin their homemade creations.
Could it be that fans of the music have grown out of getting "gassed" on non-stop braggadocio and "suck your mum" lyrics, and would rather dissect the beat under the bars? Or perhaps it’s because of certain British nightclub owners who have barred MCs from their stages, thinking that Sidewinder-style shows might "bring the wrong type of crowd." Reasoning aside, this switch has been waiting to be flipped for a hot minute.
The latest producer success story is Birmingham's Preditah, whose melodic, bass-laced cuts have turned him into somewhat of a grime celeb. "I initially got into grime music from listening to 2-step and garage music," he explains. "I heard a good few instrumentals growing up, but what really got my attention was Dom Perignon and Dynamite's Hungry Tiger. I was particularly amazed by the drum pattern he used, and the heavy bassline that it had. Eventually, I took what I heard and applied it to my beginner compositions."
"I've been brought up on gospel music," he adds. "My mother played it non-stop in the house, and I heard it in church every single Sunday. It's just in me to bring a gospel feel to my music. If I compose a track or remix, I'll naturally apply a few chord progressions and write a few harmonies in parts of the track. I just can't help it."
Preditah got his break in early 2012, with the release of his Circles EP. Distributed by Earth616, the label owned by Kiss FM's Logan Sama, each of the four instrumentals on the EP quickly became a favorite for MCs, especially the title track. "I’d have to say Circles is one of my top productions, simply because of how well it's done and what it continues to do," he says. Red Bull is another one, as it has a real old garage or early grime vibe to it. But my all-time favorite production to date is The Beat Skipped. It's on the Gears Of Grime EP and, sound-wise, it's like 2-step-meets-grime. I think it's the melodies that draw people in, more than anything."
All in the space of a year, Preditah has graced the cover of RWD Magazine, appeared in Mixmag, toured across Europe, and mixed for Boiler Room, all while remix work has continued to flood in. Things are looking extremely promising for the Boy Better Know beatsmith, even more so now that he's recently inked a deal with Xenomania Records.
"Release-wise, I'm busy working on a few singles featuring a few artists and it's sounding amazing!" says Preditah. "I'm just trying to broaden the horizons and do a few songs, alongside knocking up instrumentals for the clubs. The first few tracks I'll be bringing out are La Playa and Take It Back, which are both garage-influenced productions, but my new EP, El Futuro, is out right now for the fans."
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