Monday, 8 July 2013

The Fire Pit - EP

Here it is ... bringing the fire to the main stage and your bedroom !

Record features Matt Henshaw, ReggiiMental and Radio 1 and Mike Skinner's new favourite rapper Joey G-Zus (special guest - Track 5).

December 2008. Following the final show by indie/blues band Censored for a packed-to-the-rafters Nottingham crowd whose rallying cries for encores went unanswered, front man Matt Henshaw retreats into hibernation, away from the music business.

Over the space of a few months, Matt saw his life’s dream implode in an alcohol-fuelled, cliché-ridden mess of affairs. In short, it all went a bit Spinal Tap. And he wanted out.

So, exasperated by a year of alcohol dependency, band in-fighting, struggles against the confines of unimaginative industry labelling, and the bitter dissolution of several personal relationships, Matt decided to go away, not bothered about ever again picking up another guitar nor singing another note. And for over a year, he didn’t.

Easter 2010. Having switched his more rock’n’roll vices for the, decidedly not so, habits of drinking copious amounts of tea and garden-tending, a long-sober Matt falls in with UK hip-hop stalwart ReggiiMental. And, after sufficient prodding, ego stroking and jerk-chicken laced bribery, Matt resignedly agrees to do some vocals on a track for the Birmingham rapper’s upcoming album release. The two instantly bond over a love of Michael Keaton’s Batman and a passion for old-school soul, reggae and hip-hop. Then, within a shockingly short space of time, a burst dam let flow a wave of neglected creativity and the two emerge from the basement studio with a bundle of songs combining Reggii’s rapping with Matt’s blue-eyed soul and they dubbed it, The Deepest Cellar.

With both artists being names of some repute in their respective music scenes, the album quickly circulated amongst friends and peers and was picked up in the underground UK hip hop press within weeks and bigger publications shortly thereafter. In fact, NME selected Matt and four other bands over thousands of artists to compete in a public vote via their NME Breakthrough community. And thus, within two months of beginning to sing again, Matt was voted by NME readers to open the main stage at London’s Lovebox festival.

With artists such as Plan B and Janelle Monae adopting a similar aesthetic of mixing modern hip hop with classic soul stylings, Matt Henshaw’s sound has found itself on the forefront of a possible new genre, one he and Reggiimental have christened with the moniker B-Boy Soul. The Deepest Cellar is a prime example of such deft genre mixing and goes even further to incorporate reggae, northern soul, dub and dance influence and sampling into the tracks. The lyrics jump from the politically charged to the moral and uplifting, all supported by a myriad of guest rappers with Matt’s blue-eyed rock/soul timbres being the only constant.

Matt’s musical biography is already so fascinating, convoluted and beyond his years that, at only 22, his song-writing belies a depth and maturity that could only have come with experience and the completion of the full-circle journey that brings every artist into their own. And with a stockpile of material waiting to be plucked from the shelf, plus another album near completion already, Matt’s pop-potential still lays virtually untapped.
released 03 April 2011
Matt Henshaw, ReggiiMental, Jimmy B-Boy, Joey G-Zus, Unfriendly Neighbours, RJ Rizzle ...
tags: hip-hop pop r&b/soul reggae remix soul b-boy soul beats hip hop lyrical political rap soul trip hop vocal Leicester