Here at La Vida Liverpool, we love showcasing the abundance of musical talent our region has to offer. In this feature we talk to UK-Craigie — a New Brighton based rapper and radio presenter who delivers honest lyrics that people can relate to alongside poetic instrumental harmonies.

Never afraid to be different, UK-Craigie has developed an international following and his 2019 debut album, Sombre, received critical acclaim following its release in March 2019. A loveable personality of the North West rap scene, UK-Craigie hosts a regular radio show on New Brighton Radio and also dedicates himself to his local community football team, Ashville FC.

Check out UK-Craigie on FACEBOOK!

Here we chat to him about what he’s been up to and what he has planned….

LVL: What have you been up to recently?

UK-Craigie: I have been using the lockdown to really focus on promotion and developing as an artist. Networking constantly while promoting and networking with playlist curators, talking with fans and finishing the mastering for my upcoming album ‘I Can’t Sleep’. I have also been learning how to play acoustic guitar, I have such a love for the instrument and my music uses it so much it felt like an ideal time to learn.

Check out UK-Craigie on INSTAGRAM!

LVL: How did you get into rapping?

UK-Craigie: I have been a huge hip-hop fan since around 12 years old, ever since first hearing the genre I fell in love. At around 14 I began to write my own songs and poems. I really struggled with school and anything authoritarian so it felt like such a release of frustration. At 20 years old I picked up a laptop, a cheap microphone and booted up Audacity (a free recording application) and UK-Craigie was born!

Check out UK-Craigie on SPOTIFY!

LVL: Who are your main inspirations?

UK-Craigie: I’m most inspired by life around me, I’m very observant. I like to take a look at what’s happening around me and turn it into art. My music is often described as hard hitting and brutally honest and I like to leave everything on the page. As somebody who has a family history of mental health issues, I treat music fully as therapy and leave everything on the page. It helps me sleep at night, it helps me through the day.

Being able to reach somebody going through a dark time, who can throw some headphones in and listen to me rap about struggles with death, life, with expectation and it helps lift them through the darkness? That’s inspiring for me! In terms of artists that really inspire me, I love Joe Budden, His whole approach to writing is perfect. Jay-Z, Kanye. All 3 have inspired me so much.

Check out UK-Craigie on FACEBOOK!

LVL: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?

UK-Craigie: If you want to do anything in life just go for it, less talk and more action is the only way. Work with someone you think is better than you — that you can learn. When I first started rapping I worked heavily with an incredible artist from Kentucky called Jimi K-Y who was a mentor and a friend (he quit hip-hop a few years ago and now works as an illustrator and published author).

Find someone who you respect as an artist and put the work in, also understand the importance of mixing and mastering in your songs. It’s also so important to never forget to have fun. Hip-hop took me from being a depressed 17 year old teenager with no prospects, zero future to being a self funded, smart and well educated hip-hop artist. Without Hip-Hop I honestly don’t know where I’d be — probably prison or hopeless and lonely.

Check out UK-Craigie on INSTAGRAM!

LVL: What are your plans for the future?

UK-Craigie: As soon as this lockdown is over I’m gonna release my album ‘I Can’t Sleep’ and do as many shows as possible alongside it. I can’t wait to get outside, go for a pint and film my next music video or two. I fully intend to kick on where I left off, building my brand of honest, hard hitting and open hip-hop.

I have a big support group in the UK and a growing fan base in Zambia and I’d love to give both a quick mention. I just want to inspire people through struggle. I know how rock bottom feels and I’d love to help inspire people through it.

Check out UK-Craigie on FACEBOOK!

Check out UK-Craigie on INSTAGRAM!

Check out UK-Craigie on SPOTIFY!

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