Interview- Corleone

Corleone is a UK rapper, who has been at the forefront of UK rap for the last couple years with big songs in ‘Fake Rappers’, ‘Medellin’ which also features Young Adz; ‘Nothing to Something’ which features C Biz; and ‘Poor Little Rich Kid’ with Snap Capone. With ‘Poor Little Rich Kid’ being released back in May 2014, so Corleone has been able to sustain success in UK rap for quite a while.

Corleone has also founded his own record label ‘GB Records’ which started in 2014, with the aim of giving youth from the streets an opportunity to show off their talents.

Corleone’s most recent release ‘Pon The Corner’ features Masicka, with Masicka on the hook and Corleone providing the verses. The video for which came out on Monday.

Today, we had the pleasure of talking to Corleone about his reggae and dancehall influences and his experiences of these two genres of music.

What are your earliest memories of reggae and dancehall? 

Corleone- “Growing up in a Jamaican household, with my mother being Jamaican. I have been listening to reggae since I was born. My earliest memory of reggae is mother playing reggae music in the house. As for dancehall and bashment, I used to go to house parties and stuff like that, always used to hear artists like Red Rat and Mr Vegas”

What are your personal experiences of reggae and dancehall? 

Corleone- “Used to listen to a lot of Beenie Man and Bounty Killer; a lot Jamaicans are really good musicians. But also a lot British artists, I used to listen to The Police, who are influenced a lot by reggae, a lot of artists in general are influenced by Reggae”

Who are the artists that have most inspired you? 

Corleone- “Bob Marley, when you listen to his music over and over again, there is a lot to his music, from the vocals to the sound of the instruments. When you listen to him, you always find out new things. Such a great a musician, always a hidden message within his music. I try to do the same with my music, I try to have levels below just what you hear when you first listen to it.

Jimmy Cliff, he shows more of a raw struggle, a fight and the struggle of coming up as a street person, listening to his stuff you can really understand the struggle”

Who is the greatest dancehall artist of all time, the G.O.A.T? 

Corleone- “Vybz Kartel, never heard someone that can make so many hits after hits after hits. Going to Jamaica and going to clubs, they can play hits after hits. He made girls songs his genre and made them popular”

Growing up with a Jamaican background, what is your personal experience of Jamaica? 

Corleone- ” I Like to go there to refresh and go to different parts, I go to the ghettos, Denham Town in West Kingston, my mother grew up there and my family still live there. My family is originally from Junction in St Elizabeth”

Have you been interested in recording music out in Jamaica?

Corleone- “I have recorded music in Jamaica, it must have been about 10 years ago. I was in Waterhouse with some guys in the studio and everyone was going mad over it”

Would you be interested in recording over a dancehall riddim? 

Corleone- “Yeah definitely I flow quite well over dancehall beats, I can drop a likkle patois lingo in the song, but they’d definitely know I’m British.

I’ve got a song with Doktor and Trillary Banks and I put a little bit of patois in my verse, it’s coming out this Sunday, it’s called ‘Ra Ra'”

At the moment there is quite a big UK dancehall scene, who would you say is the best UK dancehall artist at the moment? 

Corleone- “Alicai Harley, when I heard her the music, she’s making music that has the sound of an old school dancehall artist, when I heard Gold, I kept playing it. When I met her in person she seems a really nice person”

Which dancehall artist would you most like to collaborate with? 

Corleone- “Govana, he’s a really good artist. My family out there tell me who they like and my family is on me to record with him”

How did your collaboration with Masicka come about? 

Corleone- “Me and Masicka made that song about two years ago. We recorded it together, he came to England to do a couple shows and we have a mutual friend. They brought him down and we recorded in the studio off Old Kent Road. He made the hook up on the spot, but I didn’t record my vocals on it then. It took me quite a while to sort out the lyrics. I always thought he was gonna get bigger, so I decided to hold on to it and release it at a later date.

I originally wanted to go to Jamaica to shoot the video”

Which artist in the UK artist, other than yourself, would sound the best on a dancehall riddim?

Corleone- “Big Zeeks, he’s cold”

It was an amazing experience to talk through Corleone’s experiences of reggae and dancehall and how these genres have influenced him. Although, Corleone’s music doesn’t seem at first glance to be massively influenced by reggae and dancehall, it’s incredible the culture influence that these genres have and the influence that these genres have had on his life and memories of music. 

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