Those who know me well enough, know that I am enthusiastic about Grime and UK Rap. To me, this music scene in the UK – especially London – is such an amazing, lively community (except some beef here and there but I guess that’s normal) – for instance: whenever I’m attending a gig of a Grime or Hip-Hop artist in the capital city, I can basically expect a whole festival as everyone seems to come out and support. Isn’t that great?
But anyway, I don’t want to get carried away too much ’cause I don’t want to bore anyone.
You can’t imagine how excited I was when I finally watched Nathan Miller‘s documentary LDN the other day.
Based in East London, the visual director and filmmaker already started shooting documentaries straight after college (check out his website) – Prologue being one of them – and decided to quit his normal job for this documentary. Now that’s what I call dedication.
In LDN he takes you on a truly inspiring journey through the world of Grime and UK Rap, portraying how more and more influential this scene is becoming every day and how each artist is contributing to it. Covering East, West, North or South, Nathan spoke with artists from every corner of London. Expect interviews with legends such as DJ Semtex, newcomers like Jevon and J Hus or artist managers and producers like Morgan Keyz.
I was lucky enough to ask the skilled filmmaker a few questions. Read below, and find out about his favourite scene, his opinion about Drake and why he decided to shoot LDN in the first place. And most importantly: Watch the documentary! You will love it I promise.
What inspired you to film this documentary in the first place? Have you always been following UK Rap and Grime?
I’ve always been a fan of somebody in the scene. I do prefer rap over grime. I wanted to start working on a new project (I usually do one original documentary a year) and a lot of friends were saying I should do something over here. I was watching Dave perform at New Gen alongside my guy Ayowrote and it was then and there I decided to do a new piece about LDN.
You feature quite a lot of artists and producers in LDN – how did you approach them, and why them? Was it easy to get in touch and convince everyone to be a part of it?
The first few people to confirm were friends. People like Kojey, Vicky Grout and Ty from Belly Squad. J Hus was the first “stranger” to confirm (shout out Moe and Kilo) and then it basically just grew. Linkup and Abdi TV inadvertently played quite integral roles by simply posting my trailers, more artists and managers saw it and that’s how conversations started.
How long did it take to film the documentary? Did you need a lot of equipment and did you face any difficulties?
It took from Oct to Feb to film, not long at all! I didn’t need much, I’ve done quite a number of docs so I had all the equipment and anything else I needed, a friend would have. There wasn’t many difficulties, I guess just initially setting dates to do the first few, once they were done I was on a roll.
The music scene in London surely is buzzing, lots of new talents are discovered every day and people like Stormzy are setting new records in the charts. What is your personal feeling about the future of Grime and UK rap?
I think it’s in such a special place right now thanks to all these new fans. Back in the day I used to ask artists what it takes to break the States but now I ask that question as a joke because there are so many cities that love our sounds. J Hus spent some time in Nigeria, AJ Tracey has been to Japan, Nines has been to South Korea!! I know people like to bring up Toronto a lot but there are so many cities in between that vibe with the sounds.
Next to all the gig footage, I personally loved the scene in which we can find Jevon producing new music in the studio. Considering he is part of the New Gen album – do you think this release set foot for a whole new era? What scene did you enjoy shooting the most?
I think it definitely sparked something. A lot of people are doing collaborative albums now. Whether it’s because of New Gen is open for discussion, I’m sure some will agree others may not but New Gen set pace and it was an iconic body of work that proved these things can happen. My fav scene changes quite a bit, right now it’s being in the studio with Jevon, Fwdsxlsh and Nines and my favourite interview was Reekz MB.
What is your opinion about Drake co-signing artists such as Dave? Do you think this could affect the uniqueness of the scene?
I think it’s a very good thing, it brings a whole new fan base. New audiences, opportunities to head to other cities. If you’re a creative and the biggest star is a fan of your stuff and bringing you thousands of new ears – there is nothing to complain about. Especially if you know how to capitalise on it.
Are you planning on filming a sequel of LDN?
No comment lol
Watch LDN below:
…and follow him on twitter: @NathanMillerLDN