Marshall Records is betting big on Kid Bookie

Signed to the iconic amp company’s label, the hyperactive rap-metal artist isn’t going to rest until he’s pissed people off and shredded the entire industry. We listened to everything Bookie has to say.

Kid Bookie doesn’t mince his words, he chucks them towards you at full pelt, slapping you around the chops.

I throw out every sentence in the fucking world,” he says, cogs whirring at breakneck speed. Because one of them might be a catalyst to cause an army of fuckery. And I am a big advocate for fuckery.”

Luckily, Marshall Records – the label started by the legendary amp manufacturer – has got Bookie’s back. Launched just seven years ago, the brand’s talent incubator has already marshalled a diverse roster of emerging alternative talent, including rave-metal duo Nova Twins, queer-punk party-starters Dream Nails and riotous rockers Gen and the Degenerates. Unlike Marshall’s killer range of True Wireless headphones, all these artists are totally wired.

Bookie, real name Tyronne Hill, joined the Marshall Records family last summer. What are the vibes like at The Marshall Studio? Immaculate, fucking great, beautiful, cathartic,” he sprays, again getting lost in his world of words. I could say every verb and adjective in the English dictionary. Marshall has given me a very big platform to embody the person I’ve always wanted to be,” he adds. I’ve never had a label that give a fuck about me as much.”

And it’s not hard to see why they give a fuck. The South Londoner has crafted a distinctive sound that clashes rap and metal, riffing off his early love of rock and finding thousands of fans in the process.

I grew up thinking Sweet Child of Mine was like the plateau of music beginnings and endings,” he says. I learned to play guitar from watching people’s hands on TV, like Good Charlotte playing power chords. I was like, that’s really fucking simple. Everything else was way too shreddy,” he says, aligning himself with Kurt Cobain. He was really shit at guitar but made great music. That’s how I feel.”

Mixing this with his urgent spitting, Bookie found a new sound that’s as tricky to define as some of his more cryptic, abstract metaphors, splicing together grime, nu-metal, thrash hooks and hardcore. We’ll try a simile, instead: it’s like turning your speaker up to eleven as an angsty teen and drop kicking a textbook across your bedroom, having so much to say all at the same time.

The key, though, is that this sonic fusion is totally natural. I wasn’t consciously aware of clashing genres, it’s so deeply ingrained into my palate. I didn’t think rapping on a guitar was a special thing,” he says. Forcing it, after all, leads to something phoney. When it’s unnatural, you can see how corny it can be. There’s a fine line between saying I’m going to rap on rock and actually understanding how to make it a little more nuanced and fucking special.”

Marshall has given me a very big platform to embody the person I’ve always wanted to be. I’ve never had a label that give a fuck about me as much.”

Kid Bookie

Bookie is aware that his no-holds-barred attitude can piss people off, but he’s confident that there’s value in that. I am a massive campaigner for the Fuck You,” he says. I enjoy it. I’ve pissed people off all my life. I’m OK taking a couple of arrows in the back to make it easier for someone else,” he says. It’s cool to be kind, though. There have to be methods to it, you’re not just randomly being malicious. That’s where the fine line of madness is,” he explains.

Pissing people off has paid off; he’s won the attention of some of metal’s weightiest names. Over the last few years Bookie has churned out collaborations with Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor, Good Charlotte’s Billy Martin and Wheatus – for his own version of Teenage Dirtbag. The noise surrounding his recent releases propelled him to a MOBO nomination for Best Alternative Act last year.

Corey Taylor is the elder statesman of our genre,” Bookie says. I always said to myself as an artist I want to be standing in the same grounds as the people that made me want to exist today. I said to myself I’m going to shoot for the stars from my area in South London knowing the only things around me are Tinie Tempah and P Money. I wanted to aim further than that, because everyone tells me it stops when you meet Wiley and I don’t ever want that to happen.” He roars with disapproval on the subject of the now-disgraced MC.

Instead, Bookie is driven by his thoughts. Thinking is like 90% of your execution. All of this stems from thought. I thrive in uncomfortable positions,” he says, once again building to an electric supernova of words, summarised as: This is a place for us to exercise our fucking misery, our maverick behaviour, our rebellion. Fuck your big bullet laden belt. This is real shit. Let’s change the world. Let’s make good rock music. Show them that the guitar is a fucking muse. Stop listening to anyone telling you who you have to be because you can sell a million because you do some stupid little drill track and alienate your youth.”

There’s more. Be proud of being different. Be proud of knowing that you don’t have to fit in a box and you’re scared because your mum has a little Christian Jesus on the wall and tells you to look at him before you go outside. Fuck that shit, change your thinking,” he says, making the most salacious comment yet. Reader, we warned you…

Even your mum is wrong sometimes.”

Is that all? Of course not! Desperate to hear even more, we asked Bookie to answer some quickfire questions.

If you could enforce one law in the music industry, what would it be?

You should have to be screened and vetted for personal agenda. People in this scene are very self-sufficient but you need to remember it’s a sacred place. We need people that are for the larger cause. If I can find out a system of vetting I’ll put it in place somehow to gauge who they really are.

Have you ever totally ignored advice?

A producer kept ringing me up and saying just do what [UK metal-rapper] Scarlxrd does. That stays in my mind. They have no idea how diminishing and detrimental it is to artists like me who are not fitting the agendas that they’re trying to sell. It scares the shit out of me. Scared people project onto you things you do and then you swallow them as gospel – brush it off. Don’t ever bite your tongue.

Can you share with us a new bar you’ve been working on?

It’s from a song called Scars. It’s not about a girl per se but it’s about how a bad relationship can make you feel. There’s a lyric I say which is: I could give you something, it would equal nothing.” It’s so simple. But it’s very pertinent to me.

How loud should people be playing Kid Bookie tunes?

So loud. Don’t turn it down. If you do, don’t ever play it again. The only time you should be turning it down is to leave it on streaming for the first week. Music should be adored in its loudest capacity that’s safe for hearing. Play my new album as loud as possible. Play my old shit loud but not as loud as my new album.

What’s your advice for moshing?

Have fun and be a little bit violent but without an intimidating demeanour. Don’t aim to hurt but if you do get hurt know it’s part and parcel of living and you will be healed. Cry because those fluids are good.

When does music energise you the most?

Right after a really good mix because you get to hear frequencies at a level you didn’t hear before and it sends a shockwave of dopamine to my head. Or during a show, because it’s about controlling the energy and making people feel something within the space of 10 minutes. It’s always a fun thing for me to see what phrases you can say to have 5000 people ready to scream them back. Humans in conglomerate spaces building energy is my fucking shit.

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