J Rick Essie Gang Octavian Music Album

100% J Rick: the Essie Gang mem­ber shap­ing his own sound

He helped soundtrack the biggest tunes of last year, now he’s ready to put his name front and centre.

Par­ty Here was the atten­tion-grab­bing track that cat­a­pult­ed Octa­vian to star­dom. An intox­i­cat­ing mix of min­i­mal, bass-heavy pro­duc­tion with dash­es of dance­hall and garage influ­ences, the genre-bend­ing sin­gle even got Drake hot under his collar. 

This break­through sound was thanks to J Rick, Octavian’s pro­duc­er, tour DJ and found­ing Essie Gang mem­ber. First meet­ing at The BRIT School, the duo moved in togeth­er and bashed out a slate of mind-shat­ter­ing songs like Hands, Light­ning and, of course, Par­ty Here.

Now J Rick is step­ping out on his own. Mak­ing his debut ear­li­er this year with the exper­i­men­tal sin­gle Short, it’s easy to see why there’s a swarm of artists want­i­ng to work with the ris­ing pro­duc­er. The most recent being R&B siren RIMON, who sings on his bass heavy track Close. The track will appear on his upcom­ing mix­tape, No Retreat, No Sur­ren­der – named in hon­our of his late uncle and leg­endary box­er Errol Christie’s sig­na­ture mantra. 

With his debut mix­tape set to be released this Sep­tem­ber, get to know an artist mak­ing a step towards the cen­tre stage. 

10%: Where were you born, where were you raised and where are you now based?

I was born and raised in Tot­ten­ham. I’m in North Lon­don still. 

20%: At what point did you realise you’d be able to do what you love for a living?

Maybe a year and a bit ago, when I quit work­ing at a call cen­tre. I just didn’t have the time before. I used to work before shows, then I’d be DJing and have to come straight off the stage and get back to it.

30%: What’s a piece of advice that changed your life?

When peo­ple tell you shit, it could be the fur­thest piece of advice that you’ve ever heard. But then you won’t clock what it real­ly means until years after. By that time you’ve already worked it out. Once you work it out your­self, that’s when you realise it was good advice. Way after.

40%: What kind of emo­tions and expe­ri­ences influ­ence your work?

All of them. Any­thing that you feel, all the dif­fer­ent emo­tions. It all affects me.

50%: What can you tell us about your next project?

I don’t think I can tell you any­thing about the next project. I need to find my new inspi­ra­tion. I’m excit­ed, but it could lit­er­al­ly be any­thing I want, do you know what I mean?

60%: Break down your typ­i­cal day at work…

Some­times I’ll wake up, go stu­dio, do my thing. Oth­er days I wake up on the floor of the tour bus doing bare shows and shit. Some days I wake up and go into my fuck­ing zone, some days I just don’t wake up in bed.

70%: What can artists do to help save the world?

Music saves the world man, trust. Any sort of expres­sion, to show peo­ple how to express them­selves. Some­one could be hav­ing a bad day or be think­ing about doing some­thing bad. They hear a song and they think fuck it!”, I’m not even gonna do that bad thing. I think the music is what saves us, you know?

80%: Love, Like, Hate?

I love trav­el­ling. I also love chick­en wings, it’s like my addic­tion. I’m actu­al­ly addict­ed to chick­en and chips. I hate dead inter­view ques­tions. Then I don’t real­ly like too many things. I either love or hate something.

90%: Describe your sev­en min­utes in heav­en…

Fuck­ing hell I dun­no. There’s bare dif­fer­ent types of sev­en min­utes in heav­en. I’m try­ing to get as much as I can from some­thing. It would be sick to go to space for sev­en minutes.

100%: Biggest pet peeve?

You know WeTrans­fer? My pet peeve is when peo­ple don’t fuck­ing down­load the file. They let it expire, and then they’ll pre­tend like they’ve got it for a week, before being like oh yeah, can you send me that thing again?” Like fuck off man. I’ve sent it to you already. In my head once I’ve sent some­thing to you, once an email gets sent, that thing’s not even mine. I don’t want to think about it no more.

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