SVMI has only been signed to NQ Records for a few months, but he’s known the Manchester company’s CEO, Adex, since the beginning.
Growing up in North Manchester, the 20-year-old spent years grafting under the moniker SVMI visuals, creating music videos for the likes of Izzie Gibbs and Aitch. After shoots, he would often spend nights in the studio with his mates, but it wasn’t until NQ producer (and former rapper) WhyJay encouraged him to have a go in booth that he realised his rap potential.
“Probably one of the first songs I recorded was with WhyJay, and he was like, ‘Yo, you should just try this music thing, serious’. I was in the booth like, ‘Shut up man.’ But I ended up dropping a few tunes and then people really did fuck with it,” SVMI remembers.
Two years later, SVMI is carving a name for himself as a musician. He’s now gearing up to release his new seven-track EP, MA Mood. He worked alongside long-term collaborator LiTek (who along with Whyjay, produced Pa Salieu and slowthai’s recent banger Glidin’) to develop his laidback, melodic style.
“LiTek was getting super funky with it,” SVMI says. ”There [are] a couple tunes on the EP that I made like two years ago, and some towards the back end of last year,” he says. “It shows my lyrical progress as an artist. I’m trying to get my story and my message across.”
Watch the video for the smooth and summery single Milan and get your 100% fill of SVMI below.
10%: Where were you born, where were you raised and where are you now based?
I was born in Manchester in Cheetham Hill to be specific. I now live in Prestwich, and was also raised in Prestwich.
20%: At what point did you realise you’d be able to do what you love for a living?
I feel like when people actually took me in seriously and started paying attention. And when I realised I can actually do this alongside my main craft, which is videography. I thought it’s a wave, I’m gonna ride it.
30%: What’s it like to be part of a Manchester institution like NQ?
I’ve seen NQ build from the absolute bottom, to where it is now. I’ve seen Adex rise up before NQ was even a thing, while he was just finding out what he wanted to do. From 2015 I’ve seen everything grow and now he’s got his own office, he’s got his own label and I’m signed to the label. It’s sick.
40%: How did you first get involved?
I guess being around artists all the time and filming music videos, I was bound to be around that. I was always in the studio when artists were recording and that’s where I met WhyJay. He was the one who got me into music.
50%: Have you ever collaborated with Aitch?
A couple of weeks later Aitch jumped on the song and we’ve still got it sat there. So there’s this unreleased track with me WhyJay and Aitch, which was the sickest way for me to ever start music because I grew up on WhyJay as well.
60%: Break down your typical day at work…
For me, a typical day at work would be filming and editing. I spend the majority of the night sitting in my house editing.
70%: If you’re cooking food to impress someone, what will you make?
I think I’d make a steak, maybe with some asparagus.
80%: You rule the world for a day. What went down?
Boris Johnson is getting the fuck out of here that’s for sure. And we’re having a big seven-day rave, me and all the lads. In fact, the whole world’s going at it raving for seven days, if I’m running the world.
90%: No.1 holiday destination?
Of all the places I’ve been, it’s either Miami or Toronto. I love both of them places. Miami is a bit of me and Toronto gives me Manchester vibes but with really, really super nice people.
100%: Tell me about the influences for your new EP, Ma Mood.
On the EP there are no features, it’s just straight me. I’ve tried to broaden the style of music on there as well. Every track has an absolutely different sound and I worked with three producers LiTek, Random Beats and Kamali. If anything, we’ve brought a new sound. We may have taken inspiration L.A. but we’ve made it Manny and made it our own.
Ma Mood will be released on 25th June via NQ Records.