Melvillous is a rising London rapper with meaning in his message
"To know that my voice actually matters, that’s a big thing for me."
With grime at the core of his musical diet, it’s no wonder Melvillous’ bars hit hard. But the London rapper also strives to make a positive impact with his lyrics that lasts long after the party is over.
Acknowledging the influence artists have on their listeners, Melvillous’ lyricism material ranges from introspective to self-aggrandising. Underpinning it all is a positive message, encouraging those with struggles and setback to resist stumbling down a negative path in life. After taking a short break from making music, in 2015 Melvillous began working with regular producer Komenz. The pair have close conversations when putting together a track, Komenz finely tuning the atmosphere of the beat to express the feeling in the lyrics. “He says everything that I can’t say in words,” Melvillous says of his musical partner.
On 30 June, Melvillous appeared at Red Bull Music Odyssey alongside the likes of AJ Tracey, Flohio, Capo Lee, Slimzee and D Double E on The Transmission boat – which was captained by Julie Adenuga. And having paid a visit to Red Bull Studios London to spit his Swift 16 freestyle, Melvillous sat down to discuss his inspirations. Read the interview below.
So firstly, I’d like to ask you about your background. Where are you from?
East London. Born in Plaistow, grew up in East Ham and then moved to Chadwell Heath. I go to church in Ilford, studio is in Manor Park. So yeah, I’m an East London boy through and through man.
You’re known for being a particularly thoughtful lyricist. Which lyricists have inspired you?
There are so many. I’m a fan of Wretch 32, I’m a massive Kendrick Lamar fan, Chance The Rapper… pretty much the entire grime scene!
What kinds of experiences and emotions are inspiring your lyrics?
Pretty much everything I experience man. Human beings are very complicated. I talk about my relationships – finding love, losing love. My friendships – my team, my camaraderie. I talk about my family life, domestic issues. I talk about my relationship with God and finding my way through faith. I’m pretty much an open book. Nothing is off the table. For me it’s like therapy, getting those feelings out. If I close any door and I decide I don’t talk about something, then I’m being a little less true to myself.
What have been your proudest achievements so far?
Even the small wins, they’re wins regardless. Going into the Top 20 iTunes chart with the first EP [Local, 2017], that was a massive moment of us realising that people are really making this music a part of their lives. Getting a shout out in The Fader – that was very unexpected. I’m about to do our first headline show and that’s been a long time coming. I’ve always wanted to do a show where people are coming to see me and hear me. To know that my voice actually matters, that’s a big thing for me.