Peace! What is your name, and how did you get it?
Hey, the names Phoenix Da Icefire aka solar Black, I first came up with the name Phoenix after coming out of a grime crew with P Money, Little Dee, Blackz, Firmer Dee and Castro in a grime crew called Fatal Assassins. I needed a name that signified ascension to a higher plane and I went searching and found the name Phoenix, I was writing some lyrics and came up with the word icefire…. I then fused the two and decided to run with it because it sounded right.
For those that have never heard who you are how would describe what you do?
I would describe my style as intricate, creative and conscious, put it this way you wouldn’t be able to sum up my style by one track or even one album… There’s a lot to my body of work.
What are you currently working on right now?
I’m working on a project called “Winged Scarabz” it features all of my crew members from Triple Darkness along with the likes of Tragedy Khadafi (Juice Crew), Timbo King (Wu Tang) and Cormega
What do you enjoy the most about rapping?
I love being able to creatively express myself; I love the freedom I feel when I write. I love the art of rap and deeply respect the intricacies.
What would you like to see more of in Hip Hop?
I would like to see innovators in Hip Hop, people trying not to just fit into a box that is already there but people who are daring enough to set the pace and create new definitions of what hip hop is. I would like to see more consciousness injected into the scene flipped in a new way that engages today’s youth.
What would you like to see less of?
I would like to see less soft porn in music videos, less ignorance and less existentialism.
What do you think makes a complete rapper?
A complete rapper for me is someone who isn’t limited by anything, they have the ability to touch on a range of different topics without jeopardising their integrity or straying too far from their essence
What would you say your greatest achievement is so far?
Flying to America to perform in Dr Malachi’s Nuwapian temple to perform in his honour with Afrikaa Bombaataa.
Where were your thoughts while writing quantum leap?
As it took over 5 years to make I had a lot of time to think about each track, each track I did was like a chapter of my life, I had gone through a range of different emotions and experiences whilst making this album I literally grew up with this album. My thoughts were that this album was my “Reasonable doubt” or my “Illmatic” this was to represent the pinnacle of my skills at the time, it was to be my official statement to the world that I was here to stay.
To me you stand out in ‘UK Hip Hop’ along side many others with what you deliver. How do you prepare your deliverance within the musical spectrum?
First of all thank you for saying that, I think one reason why I will always sound different to the majority is because when I hear a beat I think of the best emcee who would grace the sound I’m tailoring my lyrics to, I then try to outdo the emcee I think would have sounded the greatest on that particular track. When I write I am competing with the best I have ever heard and if I don’t feel I even come close to matching up with the artist
Triple Darkness is a great collective of talented individuals, how did you guys all come together?
Originally the group consisted of two members Nasheron and Cyrus Malachi, the name of their duo was called Phalanx Heresy. I met them both at an underground show called speakers corner at the Brixton Jamm, I was so intrigued to hear what I was learning at the time dropped on a track that I decided to go up to them and speak to them, it was as if nobody else truly got what they were saying. Soon after that I met Nasheron at a park festival I performed and we made the musical connection from there. M9 through the making of their first album joined the team and the name changed to triple Darkness. My close friend and I (Dwayne Thomson) put together a record label and put out the first album made by Triple Darkness as nobody wanted to put out the album (Anathema). A few years had passed and a sub group was put together called 9 planets and soon after that 9 planets merged with Triple Darkness under Cyrus Malachi’s direction and the crew was expanded.
What do you think about titles as UK hip-hop? Shouldn’t it just be hip-hop?
Lol there has been a long debate about that, I’m not quite sure how to answer that hmmm, and on one side there is a true distinct sound when it comes to Hip Hop in the UK and Hip Hop from the US. But on the other hand I feel that as long as the music produced stays true to its original purpose (being the voice of the voiceless and the oppressed) then it shouldn’t be sectioned off and labelled any different.
As an artist do you feel that dj’s and mediums out there are representing the culture correctly?
I wouldn’t say that real DJ’s are a dying breed because I know quite a few that are still staying true to the art of the turntables for instance DJ Roastbeatz, DJ Deceptakut and brothers like DJ Cris P Cutz. But in saying that I would still say that the vast majority are trying to move away from harnessing the skills required to truly become a DJ and now they just plug and play music and push buttons.
What would you say that you as a member of this hip-hop society bring to the table?
Creativity, Authenticity, a fresh perspective, Hip Hop lol, I am an 80’s baby who fell in love with the 90’s what more can I say.
What can we expect next from you?
I would say expect the unexpected lol, I have always been the type of artist to paint on any canvas, I am not limited and caged behind the bars that I write I am a creator who writes everyday I am already on my 4th album. I have 3 albums that nobody has heard yet. I love being conceptual and I love bringing new ideas to the table so expect the unexpected.
Is there any thing else you would like to say or shout any one out?
At the moment it’s looking like I will be dropping two albums and a possible EP for 2015 under both alias’s. As Solar Black from Triple Darkness I will be dropping an album entitled “Winged Scarabz” which features some big Queens Bridge Legends with a video in the pipeline, this is the more darker encrypted side of my style which I mostly bring when I’m under this name, it features the whole of Triple Darkness including producers in the group. Under the name Phoenix Da Icefire I will be dropping an album entitled “Cinematic” which is a conceptual album produced entirely by a producer by the name of Strange Neighbour CEO of Revorg records. The concept behind Cinematic is that every track is a genre of film, with tracks like Psychological thriller to tracks like spaghetti western. This piece of work is probably been one of my most creative pieces of work so I’m looking forward to hearing what people have to say about it as I pulled out all the stops.