Dapz on the map is changing his narrative
DATE: 11 October 2018
When you think of London, you think of Grime. The genre has been on a rollercoaster ride in the past couple of years, with Drake giving the London-based art form a bigger audience worldwide. While originating in the streets of London, one of the up-and-coming stars of the genre actually hails from Birmingham. We caught up with Dapz On The Map and talked about how he is changing his narrative.
For most, becoming an artist is a dream from the day they could walk. Not for Dapz On The Map, though. "I used to want to play for Arsenal, become a professional football player." When that road turned out to be a dead end, Dapz discovered his other passion: "As soon as the football dream faded out, it’s always been music. I’ve liked music since I was yay high, watching videos on The Box, MTV. I wanted to be an MC and sing".
As soon as the football dream faded out, it’s always been music.
It’s one thing to dream of becoming a rapper, but it’s another to actually do it. For Dapz On The Map, doing it means spending time living his life: "Life is my biggest inspiration. That and my kids." Once Dapz does have the right inspiration, he doesn’t just head to the studio to sit there hours tinkering with words and beats. "To me, music is like a jigsaw puzzle. I normally get all the pieces sorted before I go to the studio. Sometimes it happens when I go to the studio and do it there and then, but 90% of the time it’s piece by piece slotting in."
Not sounding like London
Back in the day, when Grime was strictly a London business, it might have been another hurdle not coming from the city. But things have changed in the past couple of years according to Dapz: "I think it’s an advantage coming from Birmingham. Our accent is different, you know straight away that you’re not from London. They didn’t use to embrace it, but now I think they do. They look at you for being unique rather than not sounding like London."
You still have to fight on and be the champion that you are. BALR. has that same kind of energy.
Dapz has been hustling his way up and his hard work has paid off. He’s signed to Insanity Records – a subsidiary label of Sony Records that’s also home to Craig David – and is looking to release new music the right way. "It’s time to put out music in a proper way. I’m taking my time, making sure it’s sharp. I’ve got Champion Setting coming out later this year." The title is a reference to football: "It regards to the fact that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes you draw. But you still have to fight on and be the champion that you are. BALR. has that same kind of energy. It’s a winning state of mind, a greatness state of mind."