Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Various
09 Sunday 09th October 2011

Ghostpoet - Garden Path by ghostpoet

First off, how did you soak in the reality of the Mercury Prize nomination?

Well it's kind of sunk in now but I still partially can’t believe at times. It’s really a privilege to be part of such a prize and I really hope I can use being nominated to keep pushing forward and make a long-lasting career out of music.

And how'd you celebrate?

We had a coffee and little lunch in a nice little spot round the corner from the Hospital Club (where the announcement was made) with my management, lawyer and my Mrs - loooooow-key [laughs].

What voice do you think you give to UK hip hop, and UK music in general? How do you feel the national scene's been doing for the last few years?

I don’t really feel I have a voice, I’m just trying to tell my stories and create music I enjoy listening to. The UK scene is definitely riding high right now, it’s a great time to be involved in music over here, long may it continue!

We love your vocal delivery and honest-to-yourself style. Where do you typically find yourself jotting down the lyrics that make it into your tracks?

Aw, thanks very much! Depends really: could be on the bus, could be the tube, could be at home, on the street, wherever I’m listening to a demo and inspiration hits me I guess...

What was your production role on the album like?

I produced it all myself. It was important that I did, it needed to be a reflection of myself not only lyrically.

Where and how did you scout out the band members that play with you live (yes, we saw you kill it with them at the Great Escape in May)?

 I will pass on your praise, thanks! I met Chris (who plays guitar) through the church I used to go to in Coventry and Flo (who plays drums) through an ad I must have put up on Gumtree! [so that actually still works!]


How are you balancing the music with another 'day job', if that's still the case?

It was tough when I was working, really tough, but I had an understanding boss who was really flexible. I’m lucky enough to be working on music full-time now. It’s a blessing to be doing so and I try not to take that for granted...

And how much do you think you could have accomplished by now totally DIY, without the awesome Brownswood Recordings helping you out with releases?

Not a lot probably! I’m aware of the different areas that make up the music industry but the business side of it is and never was my thing. Brownswood really gave me the chance and support I needed to get to the next level, and I owe them a lot.

Ghostpoet - Survive It by ghostpoet

What are your plans for the next few months, as far as music goes?

Lot’s of gigging: a UK tour, an Australian tour, a European tour after that and making music in between for various potential projects I guess.

And if not yourself, who were you secretly rooting for to win the Mercury this year?

Well I was rooting for Metronomy (openly haha) but was pleased PJ Harvey won. Everyone else on the list I felt was super-talented and anyone could have won really.

Keep up with news on Ghostpoet's tour dates and more on his site.

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