Artist Interviews

Q&A: Scroobius Pip

By | Published on Wednesday 17 April 2013

Scroobius Pip

Last week Xfm announced that it had hired rapper and poet Scroobius Pip to join the station’s presenter team. From 27 Apr, Pip will guide listeners through the world of hip hop and spoken word material, with a show called The Beatdown.

In addition to that, on 18 Jul Pip will reunite with Dan Le Sac for a low-key gig at London’s Birthdays, followed by a number of festival shows, including at Camp Bestival, Y Not and Truck. Not only that, but the pair have already begun work on their third album together, their first since breaking off to work on solo albums.

With all that going on, CMU’s Andy Malt caught up with Scroobius Pip to find out more.

AM: How did the Xfm show come about?
SP: Well Eddy Temple-Morris had mentioned the idea too me a few times and I had always been too busy to really think it through. But, the most recent time he mentioned it, it suddenly made a lot of sense and felt very doable. The chance to get so much music out there that isn’t currently on the airwaves is hugely exciting

AM: What have you got planned for your first show?
SP: The first edition will very much be a “getting to know each other” show between the audience and I. I’ll be playing loads of music, a bit of spoken word and throwing in some (hopefully) interesting pieces focusing on specific parts from hip hop’s rich history. In future there will be guests, interviews and guest mixes too, but I felt the first programme should be more focused on showing what ‘The Beatdown’ is all about music wise.

AM: Makes sense. Though I’m already interested in those guests! Who do you see getting in?
SP: DJ Yoda and Mikill Pane are amongst the people I have already hit up for guest spots, and that list is growing constantly. In general it is going to be a show to showcase a lot of the hip hop that isn’t being played on the radio right now. Some old, plenty new, all alongside some little slices of the very best of the spoken word scene that is blowing up right now. Just responding to these questions is getting me all fired up! Do I really have to wait till the 27th?

AM: Are Xfm offering any guidance, or are you pretty much free to do as you please?
SP: Within reason I am fairly free! And that was one of the things that was so exciting. To be able to bring to the air a wide range of sounds and styles, from the UK, US and all over the world, is a great opportunity. And Xfm, for me, seems like the perfect place to open that door.

AM: So you’re an Xfm listener yourself?
SP: Yeah I’ve been an XFM listener for a long time. I believe John Kennedy’s show is genuinely the heir to the John Peel throne. Eddy Temple-Morris is another that has always done amazing work in pushing new music, as has Clint Boon up in Manchester. There was a time a while back when, for me, the daytime playlists did start to get a bit samey, but they’re once again doing great things across the station to keep it fresh and at the forefront of alternative music.

AM: Words are your trade, but this is a different kind of delivery than people are used to from you. What appeals to you most about being a presenter?
SP: If I’m honest, being a presenter doesn’t appeal to me at all. That’s not the drive here. I’m not just trying to get my rambling mouth in more ears. The exciting part is the music I will get to play and the pieces I will get to put together and present to the listeners. This isn’t a Scroobius Pip show. It’s a hip hop and spoken word show.

AM: You and Dan have some live shows coming up later this summer. Are you looking forward to being back together again?
SP: I can’t wait! We are only doing one or two to try out some of the new material we have been working on. Getting new stuff out there for our first time in several years is hugely exciting!

AM: Has the time apart working on your solo albums changed how you work together?
SP: I don’t feel it really has. I think it has improved us both as individuals but we still work in a similar way really.

AM: Do you have any more plans beyond the live shows?
SP: The main focus right now is the third Le Sac Vs Pip record. When that will be ready, I haven’t a clue. But what we have been working on so far feels great so I’m hoping it doesn’t take too long to finish off! I’m keen to just get these new sounds out there as soon as possible.

AM: And what other projects do you have lined up?
SP: Well, the Le Sac Vs Pip record is certainly at the forefront of everything right now but there are always other projects floating around. On my solo record I worked with Danny Lohner and we really hit it off so we plan on doing some more stuff together somewhere down the line. Add to that my WE.ARE.LIZARDS clubnight – which is monthly in London and about to go monthly in Brighton – and it’s all pretty hectic! But it’s good to keep busy!