Interview with Edward Scissortongue (SOTONIGHT X Endgame)


Endgame has only just been founded, it is a hip-hop project that it is still in its infancy but is forming gargantuan plans. It aims to make these plans a reality in our beloved Southampton next year. The idea behind the project is to present hip-hop in a new light, from another perspective but also to support the ever strengthening South Coast and wider UK scene.

SOTONIGHT have teamed up with Endgame to support them through their first venture which is an interview with Edward Scissortongue of the mighty High Focus family. Since releasing his debut album “Better.Luck.Next.Life”, which received a monumental amount of praise, in 2012, he has become one of the most respected artists and foremost players in the UK. His forthcoming project, “The Theremin EP”, which is set to be released April 21st, will be the first of hopefully three projects that we will hear from him this year.

“Better.Luck.Next.Life” was an album that challenged the ideas of life and death, but it has been revealed that this EP would focus solely on the subjects of death and the apocalypse. Due to the dark, grainy and poetic nature of his first release, “The Theremin EP” has been causing a lot of excitement amongst our nation’s hip hop heads. This excitement has just been magnified as the first trailer for the project (which can be seen below) was recently released, but also it has been announced that the launch party will take place in a library. It is this originality and forward thinking nature of Edward Scissortongue that makes him such an alluring and absorbing artist, it seems that he takes his time to make exactly the music he wants but doesn’t allow any pre-existing parameters affect his creative drive.

Interview: Questions in bold. Answers in italics.

Hello Mr Scissortongue, how are you today?

I am doing fine. My day has been busy but everything I have done has been extremely cool, so I cannot complain. Dentists, haircut, beard trim, dropping the first trailer for The Theremin project. Happy days.

What is hip hop to you?

Hip hop is like this really temperamental puppy dog who was treated real bad back in the day but was soon adopted by a prince and now lives a life of luxury and lavishness. Not really, hip hop is anything I want it to be; it is an entirely bendable musical genre that knows no limits. This is why it is the most popular musical genre on planet earth.

Would you say that the flexibility of the genre, that you speak of, is a defining feature of the UK hip hop culture? Also to what extent do you believe that the culture influences the musical output?

Not really. There are many components within hip hop culture that are very regimented and very strict. Strict in the sense that they operate within a set of rules written by the greats that make the culture what it is. The traditional way of living by the 4 elements is a beautiful thing and is something that I fully buy into, however, if you are an open minded music fan and/or music maker it is hard to keep up the levels of dedication required to FULLY live and breathe that lifestyle.

I love a trazillion other forms of music making and am interested in making a fuck tonne of different shaped sounding stuff in the future, from folk music to techno, I never made normal sounding UKHH in the first place and this is what separates me from many other UKHH artists.

Hip hop music will always be what I love the most and this is why it will always influence the music I make, irrespective of whether I am playing an acoustic guitar or screaming in a death metal band the years I have put in as an emcee will always play a part.

Is it because the culture is so traditionally masculine and, as you say, it remains very regimented that there is such a lack of influential and contributing women?

Sure, there is a lot of that on display. No idea why more girls don’t rap. They are far more interesting than dudes.


“The Theremin EP”. What are your feeling about the project at this stage, do you listen to it?

My feelings are out-and-out positive. I have listened to it a serious number of times, maybe 50 times in total and I really do love what I have made. As we speak the cogs are really turning; I dropped the first of three ‘trailers’ last week and am deep in the edit for the first official video. T-shirts are getting printed and the vinyls and CDs look dreamy.

We are also putting the final touches to the launch party. Watch this space…

What can we expect from the production and featuring artists side of things?

You can expect a mixed bag of brilliantly constructed production from a gaggle of forward thinking musicians. They are (in no particular order) … Dirty Dike, Lamplighter, Eon Ra, Miles Courtney, Sumgii, and Konchis. All of these guys are brilliant. It really is as simple as that.

I have heard that there is the possibility of two more release from your kind self this year. The first of which is an joint album with Jam Baxter called ‘Laminated Cakes’ produced by GhostTown? Is it going to be a “Pipe Smoke” type affair?

“Pipe Smoke” certainly inspired that one. Baxter and I have pondered exactly what kind of music we make together when Ghosttown is on boards and we have decided it is ‘future pop’. We are in the studio finishing that particular project off this week and I have to say I am very excited about Laminating cake after cake in the first video.

After that is my sophomore solo LP which is shaping up super nicely...

Will that be produced by Lamplighter in its entirety again? B.L.N.L was all about life and death, you say that “The Theremin EP” deals solely with the inevitable end, any chance you could reveal some of the inspiration behind this second solo LP?

Lamplighter is responsible for the entire thing which makes me happy. My next album is a love album. That is all I am willing to reveal at this stage…

Could that album mark the end of Edward Scissortongue’s rap career, as he moves on make other forms of music?

I have written a shit tonne of hip hop music in my time and would love to experiment with new things. These experiments have already begun, yet, who knows what the future holds? I may get an email from Mobb Deep asking to collaborate…

What would you do to get your hands on an unreleased Havoc beat?

I would prefer one from Burial.

No better place to end than with the RZA who said that a beat should “inspire that feeling in an MC, that spark that makes him want to grab a mike and rip it”? What inspires you to make music and “to grab a mike and rip it”?

RZA is onto something. If a beat isn’t cutting the mustard then I am not on it. More than that, writing and performing inspires me, it is what I do to stretch my soul and this is why I find such joy in it. As soon as that buzz is on the wain I will stop. Luckily for me and anyone else who gives a fuck, the fire is burning violently in my gut and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Then again, I swing more violently between loving it and loathing it than most people I reckon. Only time will tell how things unfold…

Thanks you very much for your time Mr Scissortongue, and all the very best with ‘The Theremin EP’. One final thing, will a new Contact Play Album ever exist?

1000% We just gotta find ourselves all in the same lifeboat.

“The Theremin EP” can be pre-ordered from the High Focus online shop.

Published: 27.03.14 11:30.


About Author

Charlie is studying Spanish at the University Of Southampton. Having been a part of a number of music projects in the past few years he has finally decided to start his own - Endgame. Endgame will be a Southampton based hip hop project that aims to work outside the rigid parameters of it's culture and genre.