Constantly surrounded by music, it was destined that Ghostface600 would choose this lifestyle. From his early teens the rapper has been writing for his friends but has only started to find his feet in the industry over the last year. Ghostface, who hails from the gritty Milford Towers in Catford takes us through the journey that drove him to take music seriously. With his last 4 singles totalling over 3.5 million views, his work has labelled him as a respected newcomer in the UK scene, with his unconventional ways it is evident he will go far in his blossoming music career.
Off the back of the release of his new project 600 SZN 2, Ghostface600 breaks down his unique style, blending dark melodic rap with a more buoyant wave and trap-oriented sound. Releasing his first project 600 SZN in 2019 and citing Lil Baby and A Boogie as inspirations behind his contorted tones and the melodies prominent in his music. Referring to himself as an “Artist” in the true sense of the word, Ghostface explains his creative process, singing and rapping off the dome on the project and being in his own lane.
First and foremost, congratulations on 600 SZN 2. How are you feeling about the project and the success of it all?
Love bro thank you! Obviously, I’m just happy that it is all done and I’ll be honest it is good. It’s a relief that all my songs are out because it’s nothing compared to what I got loaded.
What made you stick to your sound, because it’s really unique. Rather than going the conventional drill or trap route?
The way I see it with my ting — it’s different, especially the way I’ve done it. You can take the music in more. The spaces in between, the way I’d space out my words sounds different. It’s something that nobody has done before so it’s definitely unique.
On the project, you mention your previous life, what was the evolution of Ghostface600?
I started rapping with my bredrin’s from my block. I had the mask and obviously, I was just Ghostface. Then when I came back and took it seriously, I put the 600 on it. It just started like that really, like just started with my bredrins. Obviously my bredrin A6 was more out there than I was in the beginning so free him. He was out there more and man kind of done the management thing behind the scenes, setting up and all the stuff, but I wasn’t really rapping. But now I’ve come back, and I knew I could do something different.
When did that shift happen for you? When did you start taking music seriously and how did you land on that style?
2019 was when I started taking it seriously, I just went to the studio I just made a tape and then I just done another tape straight away. I was inspired by Lil Baby, I remember I watched the Preacherman documentary. I liked the way they said he released so much music before he even was Lil Baby as we know him today. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie as well, he inspired me quite a lot. Before 2019, I kid you not—I couldn’t sing anything. I taught myself how to sing and I would say A Boogie helped man do that with his different notes and tones, so that was the inspiration to help me elevate my ting. That was inspirational for me.
I really like the beat selection on the tape, Like the guitar is not too prominent and the piano is there but it isn’t the normal trap piano keys. So, I wanted to know what the process was like for the beat selection. Do you have an in-house producer?
When it comes to beats, a lot of people just settle for second best. But for me, I don’t have any in-house producers. Normally I would go on YouTube, and I do get some beats sent to me, but I am very picky. I will have like 100 beats, and one will be the one that I use. Everyone will send me Lil Durk type-beats or the same type-beats but I’m not on that! I grew up on 90s funk and the bounce is a bit different, it’s more old school. With my beats, they range from everything. I pick beats that are cold, and people find them cold. It’s a compliment it’s 50/50 where I am 50% and the beat is 50%
The tape has only got one feature in Jooka. Was there any reason behind that?
When I was bringing out the tape, someone was like to me why aren’t you putting features on it? The thing is, I’m still trying to find myself. It’s hard for me to put features on it. When I look at myself with anyone else in the music scene, I don’t see my sound complimenting a lot of people. I’m still trying to do me. I have at least 200 songs sitting there with so many different sounds, and I feel like I am five years ahead in the music that I have loaded. So with the tape, I wasn’t thinking about the features I was thinking about getting my music out there because I am getting there but nobody has really heard me like that. I could jump on a feature, and it could go, but it’s not really me.
How would you categorize your sound, because some people say it’s trap, others say it’s wave but I don’t really think it’s either. so how would you categorize it?
I would say I’m a rapper with some melodies that’s what I am. It’s weird bro, I would say it’s not really wave because I’m singing. If you listen to me, I’m actually singing, I’m not going on the mic for autotune. I don’t need autotune I’m really singing. Anyone that’s been in the studio with me will tell you this guy does not need autotune. But I would say I do mix the drill with wave. I slow it down so people can understand me. There’s so much in it, that’s why it’s so different. I’ve got songs where I’m singing like Michael Jackson. I’ve got songs where you’ll go “right, if Travis Scott was on that song it would bang.” Artists are used to coming out and sticking to one style. With me, I came out with rap, drill and singing.
The best rapper in the world that does everything is Drake. I’m not saying he is the best rapper, but he has everything on lock, and he does everything. He can sing, he can jump on drill. I am a rapper that does whatever I want, I didn’t marginalise myself, I’ll do anything, I will jump on any beat I’ll sing, I’ll rap, I’ve got songs where you wouldn’t think it’s me. It’s a new wave, I’m an actual artist.
On ‘Shhmokey’, the first verse is a traditional rap style verse, you’re telling a story and then on ‘Clyde’ it’s all singing so I do see what you mean.
With the tape, I tried to implement some songs with low tones, the higher pitch, the low pitch. For example, on ‘Paper Planes’ where I start off low and then I end up high. That’s my style, I don’t want the audience to know where I am going to go next. There will be songs that are completely drill, I don’t want them to know what style I come under, I want to change it up. ‘Fast Life’ and ‘Real Demons’ are completely different. ‘Pray to the East’ is completely different to ‘Fast Life’. I want them to think every time he comes on the track, he’s different and it can go any way. Like a Drake.
‘Still Nothing’ is an interesting song, can you give us some insight into that song?
The producer is a young producer and the beat pack he sent me, he was telling me it’s drill. It did have a drill base and drill drums so I thought let me lay something “drilly”. The flow is drill but I made that last year in September. All the songs you’re hearing now on the tape I made them all a year ago. I’m just going back and putting them all out. That’s why with the tape I am very eager to release more music but then again, I know with the people you have to keep them waiting as well.
A lot of people in Australia don’t really know much about Catford or Milford Towers. Can you break down the block and where you’re from?
I’m from Catford, SE6, Milford Towers. It’s a housing block, people do find it intimidating and scary and at night-time, because it could look scary. It’s a lot of people who are trying to get out. Growing up in Milford and Catford being young, it was a different place to what it is now. It’s just the ends. It’s gritty. For me it’s calm, it’s normal life. But for other people, it would be intimidating to go in there because it’s not the nicest.
What would you say influences the creative process? Do you write, because the project is so melody-driven, do you punch in or do you just go off the dome?
I just go off the dome, but that’s a problem I would say sometimes. I can’t go on a track and write my bars because its melodies. I go in and click record and I mix and master it all myself. It’s got to be the first thing that comes to my head for me. But it also is a problem in the creative process because you can become lazy, so I think I need to write more and structure it more. But everything is off the dome, even the rap part.
Are there any artists outside of London that you’re looking to work with? Or are you staying more with your Block6 guys?
I am working with my guy JustBanco from Manchester and there’s a couple people in London like my brother Kwengface. But Banco and Kweng, they are my people outside of music. There are a couple people that I can work with I don’t really want to say this name or that name but there are some people who have hit man up who are big in the scene. I am not anti or anything, I respect everyone, but I am focusing on myself. I need to focus on me more, the feature thing is good, but I don’t want to just jump on a track just to make a song. I want to make a complete mad ting! Right now, the only person I can see myself jumping on a track with that I don’t know is Meekz from Manchester. I got a track with some Australian rappers too, they’re called OTG. On The Gang, there’s a couple of them Renzi, KZ and Jay6. One of them is my brethren Pauly. They need to get some wave rappers over there. I am coming to Australia, that’s my second biggest fan base, man. I am rolling to Australia soon, man I’m due to come over there.
Thank you for the time, and again congrats on all the success
Thank you, my bro! Love for that.