You should know S-Type. Once again proving its status as the unlikely home of a new and thrilling breed of electronic music, Glasgow owes its reputation in large part to LuckyMe, the Scottish label that has gradually worked to re-define the hip-hop aesthetic through some seriously boundary-pushing producers.
Whilst the tight-knit roster now boasts established names in Hudson Mohawke, Lunice, Jacques Greene and Rustie, LuckyMe doesn’t rest on its laurels and continues to unleash new talent with enviable ease. Their latest project comes from Scottish rap producer Bobby Perman aka S-Type, whose close relationship with the label over the years has resulted in the release of his ‘Billboard’ EP this week to a feverish online reception.
Ever since the EP’s title track was selected by Rustie for his BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix in April of this year S-Type’s name has kept cropping up with a knowing nod; his productions are indebted to a love affair with classic hip hop whilst placing himself firmly within this new breed of experimental rap producers that aren’t afraid to make a straight club hit.
To celebrate the release of his ‘Billboard’ EP we caught up with S-Type for a quick rundown of his work and style, and he’s made an exclusive mix based around the influences close to his heart.
Tell Dummy a bit about yourself – how did you start DJing and producing, and what was it like coming up in Scotland?
I’m from Edinburgh but moved to Glasgow about five years ago. I’ve been playing the drums since I was nine and started making music in my early teens. My older brothers got me into hip hop and electronic music. They both DJ’d and made beats, so I just picked it up from them really. I started posting on internet forums to get feedback and collaborate with rappers and I hooked up with Finale from Detroit and Logan from London on my first record. When I moved to Glasgow it totally changed the way I thought about making music. I started going to clubs more and that influenced what I was listening to, which made me want to switch up and make more upbeat music. I got bored of making beats just for rappers. I wanted to challenge myself a bit. I put out a little EP of more electronic influenced music in 2010 and started playing out with live sets and DJing from that.
How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard of you before?
It’s hip hop. I’ve taken influences from everywhere. I’m listen to a lot of new music but also prog rock, soul and 80s music. I love movie soundtracks. Someone on Twitter said my music was triumphant. Not every track is trying to be loud but, overall, that’s what I’m wanting people to feel.
You’ve released on Phuturelabs and other small independent labels before releasing on LuckyMe – what was the deciding factor in going with them?
Phuturelabs were always about trying to help me get picked up by a bigger label. They helped get my name out there and helped me realise I could pursue this as a career. I’ve been friends with the LuckyMe guys from before they were a label; we used to pool songs together to send to A&Rs in the States, but we both went our own way for a few years. Then two years ago I sent them You Da Best and they immediately got back about an EP. That tune got a bit of a buzz for a minute and I got some interest from other labels, but I followed my instincts and went with them. It made perfect sense to go with LuckyMe because we’ve known each other for so long. They just get where I’m wanting to take this.
How do you feel you fit into the LuckyMe vibe?
It started as a hip hop label and they always wanted to keep that influence strong. Their recent releases have proved that despite not being tied to any genre, they are a rap label in ethos and I guess my music fits in. Aside from everyone being pals, we’re all fans of each others music.
What inspires you to make music?
Music makes me want to make music, especially my friends music. Whenever I hear a dope melody or progression. If I’m sampling I don’t tend to go for the obvious break. I like to play the music right through. I don’t use samples too heavily these days – I take tiny chops and use them more as percussion almost. Sometimes I’ll start with a lead melody and build the beat from there – that’s what happened with Billboard.
Your track Billboard has had a great reception both online and, quite importantly, in clubs. Do you feel the EP is a club record?
Originally I intended to just make a record full of bangers but as I worked on the tracks more it just naturally fell out of it. Honestly, I just wanted to make a solid real rap record you could play in clubs. I’ll sit down to make music with the intention to make a “banger”, but often it becomes more than that and I go with it. I’m trying to make proper songs, not just rap instrumentals.
What can we expect to hear and see from you in the rest of 2012?
At the end of November I’m touring the UK with AlunaGeorge. It’ll be good to do stuff for more live audiences than club shows. I’m also headlining a New Year’s Eve party in Glasgow which should be absolutely nuts. Then we’ll see – a trip to the US next year for studio and a lil’ tour and, obviously, some more music. I can’t really say much more than that right now…