Grime music is now the sound of British youth - and things are only beginning

The Square's Elf Kid says 'grime culture is everything' and 'makes the connection between everyone in the UK'

Oscar Berkhout
Tuesday 24 November 2015 17:43 GMT
Stormzy is one of the music genre's new ambassadors, according to the editor of GRM Daily
Stormzy is one of the music genre's new ambassadors, according to the editor of GRM Daily

Despite a new generation growing up with grime, fans may not even be aware of how things have developed for the music genre over the past two years. This year alone, a handful of artists have collectively contributed to what is now, undoubtedly, the sound of the British youth. Last year played host to significant moments which helped to spread the music and, more importantly, the culture. But, right now, this is only the beginning.

The exciting prospect grime presents is growth. With a generation of teenagers growing up without it, to them, the sound is new, exhilarating, and energetic. Above all, it’s different. There’s a new school of MCs striving to help the scene grow, to help fans gain an insight into what it means to the individuals helping to move the culture even further. Elf Kid - of South London grime collective, The Square - shared his thoughts on how things are progressing.

So, what has made grime culture so accessible to new listeners? What has truly boosted its growth? The 18-year-old MC explained how broad the culture is for him, adding that it’s all got to do with far more than the music. In fact, the music seems to be a small part of it. He said: “Grime culture is everything [to me]. It’s from clothes, to attitude, to the hood, the estates - Britain itself. Grime is like punk - a bunch of kids that are just into this whole thing. Grime makes the connection between everyone in the UK for me.”

Grime never died. But, it’s pivotal to acknowledge the genre and the culture has been injected with an array of new energies. A key figure in this resurgence is Skepta, of course. The North London MC went back to his roots as he states in his hit song, ‘That’s Not Me’, which told a wider story than the immediate concept.

Whilst discussing Skepta with Elf Kid, he highlighted how Skepta “made it comfortable” for MCs to wear tracksuits again. He added: “It put everyone in the position of thinking: ‘He’s wearing a tracksuit, so we can as well’. Everyone feels like they’re a part of it. It’s the culture.”

The editor of GRM Daily, Caroline SM, also spoke out on the matter and stressed how important another young MC has been performing within the rise of the grime-in-youth culture. She said: “Stormzy is the perfect character to be the underdog coming through. I feel like anyone young can relate to him. Even if you don’t come from that background and you’re not in that world, you can relate to him.”

While reflecting on Stormzy’s success, SM spoke of his headlining show at KoKo in October and explained the change in scene: “The demographic was mental. At Stormzy’s show, it was all university kids and teenagers, which is such a different vibe to what you’d expect.” It’s unquestionable the demographic has changed. Reflecting on the past year, Elf Kid, himself, was quick to describe the new wave of fans as “a breath of fresh air.”

Without a doubt, grime has taken the younger generation by storm. With the amount of talent that is coming through radio sets, or even a one-off freestyle video, next year looks set to deliver even more.What will come next, though, we don’t know. Elf Kid, too, vaguely prophesied on what could happen and said: “Within the next year, it could only get bigger and better.”

Twitter: @itsOSCARb

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