Mixtape: Rowdy Superstar Unveils His Top 10 Influences

- 

Fresh from releasing his excellent debut record Battery through Matthew Herbert‘s Accidental Records, an album described recently by The Line of Best Fit as “a meandering collage of old school hip-hop and floor-shaking electronics, equipped with a twisted pop coating,” we’re set to take a deeper look into the musical musings of Rowdy Superstar today. His album in a melting pot of eclectic influences and stylistic fusions, so we caught up with the grime-pop maestro and Atari Teenage Riot member to find out exactly which musical path he trod to have been able to create something as masterful as Battery.

Prince – Kiss

“Everything about this changed me for LIFE. I was inspired by the way it sounded, the way it looked and what it meant to sound and look like that at the time that he did. It was confidence and raw attitude. To get older and find out that he played and produced everything on most of his stuff I developed a huge respect and admiration for him.”

Patrick Wolf – Bloodbeat

“I remember when I first found Patrick’s debut Lycanthropy in HMV, I had no idea what to expect but I bought it anyway. ‘Bloodbeat’ ended up being one of my favourites. The DIY electronics, the string arrangements, the tales and stories in his lyrics and his voice felt like a story book tape I had turned into an album of music. Then a few years later I got a message on Myspace from him saying he loved my demos. He then got me my first gig which where we met and became close friends. He later invited me to duet with him on ‘Bloodbeat’ live at Latitude Festival 2010.”

Dennis Brown – Cheater

“Some of my earliest music memories lay in Reggae music. My mum was a big fan of Dennis Brown so every weekend this would be on heavy rotation. She would sing it out at the top of her voice.”

Public Enemy – Fight the Power

“This song was the soundtrack to the opening scene of the Spike Lee film ‘Do the Right Thing’ which featured Rosy Perez doing a dance solo. I was really young the first time I saw that scene and I don’t think I understood the film so much until I got older, but for some that image of her stuck in my mind, her energy and attitude, the way she expressed herself. I just remember thinking she was strong and free and I felt like that’s what hip hop was all about.”

Dizzee Rascal – I Luv U

“10 years later and it still sounds new to me. It’s big, bold, music that I had never heard before and felt like I could connect to.”

Radiohead – Idiotique

“Just because it’s perfect to me. It just felt so different to anything I had heard before at that point having grown up on R&B, Thom Yorke’s voice had soul in a different way to what I was used to. Lyrical and sonically it just takes me to another world every time I hear it. Building and building with layers and noises.”

Janet Jackson – If

“I think this was a good moment where Hip Hop, Pop, Dance, Funk and Rock were married together to make a good pop song. I remember one night me and my sister stayed up the whole night learning all the choreography from the Velvet Rope Tour. Still like listening to this.”

Bobby Brown – Don’t Be Cruel

“The first album I ever bought. I remember the first time I heard the bells in the beginning, I listened to every sound over and over again on my walkman.”

Aaliyah – Rock the Boat

“Still feels like the perfect R&B production. Whenever I get new monitors or headphones this is the first song I test on them. The space in all of the music allows for you to step inside the song as it washes over you and wraps around. Everything just sits in its place and feels effortless.”

Antony and the Johnsons – Hope There’s Someone

“I remember I was watching Jools Holland and Antony started to play and then as soon as he sung the first line we froze and watched the whole song and I got goose pimples. I don’t think I had paid that much attention to something on TV since a Michael Jackson video premiere. Every time I listen to the album version I still get that feeling. Its a beautiful love song to a love to come.”

Rowdy Superstar’s debut album Battery is available to hear in its entirety here, and to purchase through Accidental Records here. He’ll also be performing at a special album launch party on 12 December at The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington

Set Times
20:00 – 21:00 – MARSH MELLO (NTS).
21:00 – 22:00 – RAISA K (Micachu and the Shapes)
22:00 – 22:45 – ROWDY SUPERSTAR
22:45 – 00:00 – I.R.O.K (dj set)