By Joseph "JP" Patterson
Artist Name: Scorcher
Location: London, UK.
Musical Style: "The sounds of the UK streets."
It wasn't that long ago that I partially introduced you all to Scorcher, when he sent shots at Dappy for mentioning his name in a freestyle. Now, though, it’s time for the north Londoner to get the full RapFix treatment. Born Tayo Jarrett, 26-year-old Scorcher – a name he gained for lighting up sets and producing fire beats – is someone who will always get a mention when the grime music scene is concerned.
Starting out in 2005 as part of the Cold Blooded collective, the MC showed the underground world that he was a lyrical force to be reckoned with when he dropped his first mixtape, Simply The Best Vol 1. The tape was everything that was exciting about grime music at the time: a youngster expressing their harsh realities over gritty beats that will automatically put you in screwface mode.
However, it was only when Scorcher released his 2007 mixtape, Leader Of The New School, that I really started paying attention to his skills. The 21-track offering, which had an album quality about it, saw Scorcher showing different sides to him as an MC – rhyming about everything from lengs to love. A couple of single and mixtape releases, a clothing line (Skywalker), and one unsuccessful major label deal later, Scorcher now finds himself in a good musical space.
"I'm getting ready to release my new Simply The Best 3 EP, as my supporters have demanded (laughs)," Scorcher told RapFix on his next venture. "My main focus is now on making music that can spread to a wider audience, all without compromising the authenticity that it's made with." Music aside, Scorcher has also dabbled in a bit of small screen acting in his time, namely playing Kamale in 2011’s popular TV drama, Top Boy. For his latest role, Scorcher plays the shady Essay in the new Ron Scalpello-produced Brit flick, Offender.
Out in the UK on August 8, Offender will no doubt have the streets (and hopefully mainstream film industry) going crazy! The movie has a strong focus on last year’s London riots, and it also gives an extremely raw insight into the UK Young Offenders’ Institute system. Featuring fellow rappers English Frank (Jake) and G FrSH (Angelface) – who, I feel, make the movie what it is – and Joe Cole playing a mysterious Tommy Nix, Offender is a dark and intense tale about revenge, which will literally have you hanging on to the edge of your seat! Revolver/Gunslinger’s latest production will definitely put off any young person wanting to go to prison to gain stripes, that’s for sure.
"It was really fun playing Essay and it was a great learning experience, as I haven't done much acting," says Scorcher on his big screen role. "I think the role was the right size for where I'm at right now. It suited me, so I took it. I think I've caught the bug and can't wait to find another good role that I can bring to life, but I won't be rushing or doing anything just for the sake of it." This week’s "UK Video Of The Week" comes from Scorcher, with the Morgan Keyz-directed video for Tommy Offender. Watch and listen as Scorcher revisits his 2005 self…
RapFix’s "UK Video Of The Week" is a new weekly column by UK-based music journalist, Joseph 'JP' Patterson, designed to give us a closer look at hip-hop across the pond. Stay tuned.