Charms: Street Politiks includes three male singers, a female singer, and two rappers (the founders). M-Triple and I met up in Long Island at a music festival.
M-Triple: I was doing a football scholarship at the time.
Charms: I was always out there (NY/Long Island)
Charms: We met Korus (the three singers in the group) through our producer on a track that we were doing. These are the initial six people you will see from Street Politiks first and foremost but we have more in-house artists.
M-Triple: What we're trying to do with the music is make music from the streets. We are making music for everybody.
Why are there six of you? Are you trying to emulate the success of other crews such as So Solid?
We got two other DJ's, a producer - Mac 1, etc. It's trying to keep as much stuff as in-house as possible. If you take Roc-A-Fella and Bad Boy and they're not trying to be one or the other, they're setting themselves to be as internal as possible. They have the capability of producing their own music; they got their own artists, their own producers. In theory for us we won't have to outsource because we have everything coming through in-house. So what So Solid did there is a great thing, they've shown it can be done in this country as well. Although they get the bad press and stigma and that, but basically they got producers, DJ's, artists 'in the house'. So realistically if they wanted to do everything themselves they could do everything themselves, and give the full finished article.
Charms: It boils more down to creative control over your product and that's what we're in favour of.
So do you all write your own material?
Yeah, we all write all our own songs. We work to a certain concept. It would be blind for us two to go ahead and say it's going to be written this way or that way, because our three singers have been singers for years as well as Sian. It brings the flavour together and we all have an input into the material.
You mentioned Roc-A-Fella and Bad Boy, so do you want to set up your own label as well?
Both (in unison) : Yeah
Charms: That is one of our long-term goals, that's what we'll like to do, but right now I don't think it's viable, like territorially in the industry, so we have to come through more first.
M-Triple: We are at the stage where we are crawling on the path and you can't run before you walk. So we've got to get up to walking on the path before we can aspire to running, running our own label and being able to dictate and demand. By winning that award what it is, is laying foundations for us to move off of in the future, so that's the bigger picture for the long term.
What was it like performing in the US?
It was hot! That was where it all started, it was similar to what we got over here with the Starlight Vibe in Sound Republic doing showcases of up and coming talent.
How were the US audience, did they take to you?
Well I knew most of the people *Charms says with laughter*, it's like on the block, in a local park; there were basketball competitions going on and a barbecue. De La Soul was there, Keith Murray was there, every year it goes on.
M-Triple: With regards the US we've done tracks out there but haven't performed anything as Street Politiks. But it was good we had DJ's from radio stations and our track 'Envy' was featured on Tim Westwood's album. But like we said everything that's happened is grounded.
How was it supporting JOE and 112?
Both: It was wicked. It was really good.
Was it daunting to know that the audience came to see the big acts and you're just a supporting act?
You know in the back of your mind they come to support Joe, but that's not a problem coz it's his time. We go out there and we make the best of the situation.
M-Triple: The experience itself is great. We did accapella's as well as our track 'Get down'.
So is there anything that you've learnt from them?
Take your top off and girls will scream!
Charms: When the whole place is singing your song, and you can sit back and listen, that's when you've done it, that's what they did with Joe.
M-Triple: And with people like Joe, he has an immense presence, when he comes out he's like ten feet tall because he's got so much confidence and assurance, and the crowd love to see that.
What contributions do you want to bring to music?
Charms: I say we'd like to bring a greater awareness to what's going on in the UK, in terms of Hip Hop and R'n'B. We do want to bring it to the forefront of the market and want it to be more accepted. We do want to cross over to the States and in Europe as well.
M-Triple: Fundamentally music is for enjoyment, and we want people to enjoy it first then think about the subliminal messages.
Do you think 'black' music as it is now, portrays a negative stereotype for black people?
M-Triple: Nah, black music is so vast, they are in Rock, Pop, R&B, and Hip Hop, there are positive and negative in all types of music. We draw on the positives from it.
Who have you looked up to throughout your careers so far?
Charms: Tupac, Biggie, Jay-Z, Nas, Stevie Wonder. There are so many people, we all aspire to different people, but they have all been strong prominent people that have taken the music to another level.
Are you setting your goals too high?
Both: Nah, you got to aim for the stars and you'll reach the sky.
M-Triple: You've got to go for the best, you can only aspire to what is possible.
Charms: There's room for everybody in this industry.
So when are you planning your first release?
Both: Early next year. We're working, doing PA's and shows all over at the moment.
Any words of wisdom for other aspiring artists out there?
Both: 'A pound and a promise'.
Charms: Basically that means that people believe you've got to spend a lot of money to get to certain places. You don't have to conform yourself to other artists. There's room for everyone. No need for short cutting.
Both: Keep supporting each other. All it will do is strengthen the whole industry.
Written by Vanessa Thompson & Diane Thomas.
Check out: www.streetpolitiks.com