CULTED SOUNDS: MEET TEMZ, THE ARTIST MAKING ‘STYLISH DRILL’
Temz is an emcee with a difference – on the scene since 2016, Temz lives and works in Leeds, joining the growing roster of UK talent pushing back against the London-centrism of the music industry. Having a heavy hitting lineup of features, singles and projects under his belt, this year sees the artist release Rise & Grind – a track and visualiser that has made its debut on GRM Daily.
A key figure in sample-led drill making waves across the UK, TEMZ has collected well over 3.3M streams and 132K dedicated monthly listeners since exploding on the scene – rapidly amassing a cult following as backing from his city spread across the UK and into a busy London atmosphere. We caught up with him to talk all things Leeds, the importance of grinding and what he calls ‘stylish drill’.
Yes Temz. Talk to us about the come up – how did you get into music?
I’ve always loved listening and writing music but I never really pursued it until some of the guys from my area started dropping freestyles on a Leeds based YouTube channel called FirstMedia TV after school and were getting a bit of traction in the city. One day I decided to go with them and sprayed a quick 16 of my own and I ain’t looked back since!
How has Leeds shaped the way you work and operate?
Leeds is mainly a working class city so we have always been brought up with hard work instilled in our values and way of life. This has allowed me to never be too comfortable or complacent regardless of my situation and always have that drive within me to push for more.
Who are some of the rising Leeds talent we should keep on our radar?
FlyStr8Kiz & Mg10jibz are 2 artists who are part of my Noisy Neighbours record label and are going to rip up the drill scene mark my words! There is also a collective called OTG (Boogie, Lavz, Drippah, Jr Milli) who are currently perfecting their music and getting ready to take up the scene by storm.
Congrats on Rise & Grind – what was your favourite part of making this project?
Probably shooting the music video, it was more of a role play based video this time round which is something I haven’t done before but I enjoyed the process of putting it together, I was really pleased with the end result!
What’s your favourite lyric you’ve ever written?
“Saucy Ni*** flow like river that’s why they call me Temz”
What advice would you give to up-and-coming emcees, young people trying to make it?
Don’t give up! The music game isn’t easy especially for those of us miles away from the music hub that is London! Keep releasing consistently, perfect your sound and you’ll see the results eventually.
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What about the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t rush the art, fall in love with it. Work at your own pace with tunnel vision and you’ll see a more efficient rate of progress.
If you had to describe your sound in your own words, how would you do so?
I call it stylish drill, it’s got drill elements due to the instrumentals etc however the contents of my lyrics are based around the finer things in life.
What’s next for Temz?
I’m currently working on my debut mixtape Superstar Symptoms so you will definitely be seeing singles from there dropping over the next few months. I’ve also been working on a few features that nobody would expect.
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Lastly, name 5 tracks you’re loving right now and why.
Burna Boy – Last Last
Undisputed Summer anthem of 2022 and despite it being a song about heart break the vibes are unmatched.
Lil Durk – Headtaps
The Voice for a reason! This song is Lil Durk talking about the trials and tribulations he has faced on his rise to the top and gives me lyrics I can relate to the whole way through.
Nemzz – DL4V
He’s one of my guys from the north who is currently ripping it up with his own sound and this song delivers a simple message I think everyone should follow.
Clavish – Sold Out Dates
Clavish is a rapper I’ve been following for many years now and this song is Clavish at his peak, crazy one liners and a catchy hook to top it off.
Mitch – Jack Sparrow
Mitch is one of the best rappers to come out of our country in my opinion. This track is a perfect example of him flowing like a tap for almost 3 mins straight.