Rowen James hails from Manchester and has been bubbling under the surface for quite some time. He talks to us about his new project Therapy.
First of all introduce yourself and tell us where you are from?
My name is Rowen James I’m a Hip Hop Artist from Manchester, UK.
How is the Hip Hop scene in Manchester?
It’s not the biggest to be honest, especially as far as people being recognised for their work. It’s more a hub for emerging Grime Artists. There are some Hip Hop Artists who are doing well and getting noticed. But not on a commercial scale and not as many as there should be in my opinion.
How did you get in the game?
I started out doing UK Garage Music but unfortunately that died out around 2004.I changed to Hip Hop in 2005 with my first body of work dropping around 2007.
You’ve been around for over ten years. How have you maintained your presence in Hip Hop?
I would say it’s all been about growth. As an Artist music has matured with me and life experiences have provided me with more to say.
You’re about to release a new project called Therapy. Therapy is the opening track for Mental Health Awareness for Creative People (MHAC) project. Tell us about this release and the concept behind it?
The track is part 1 of the 2 part project. Therapy is the mood setter for the whole thing. This section of the project is to help people understand the mind of a creative person who is up against and really living in the struggle.
You worked with Britizen Kane on the track. How did that come about?
A mutual friend and another amazing Manchester Hip Hop Artist – J. Chambers, tagged us both in a post and suggested we collab. We followed each other’s socials off the back of that.
After listening to Britizens music it was clear he would be perfect for the project somewhere and it turned out to be Therapy. I sent him the track he resonated with it instantly and his verse married mine perfectly.
You have had some really good response to the track? It was played on BBC Manchester!
Yes, the response has been quite overwhelming and it keeps on pouring in. The support from BBC Introducing, Unity Radio, Stereofox and yourselves. In addition to all the positive comments on the video and over social media has been unbelievable. Thanks to every single person who has contributed to the success so far.
Tell us about this incredible skill of memorising your lyrics.
It started a long time ago to be honest. Before the days of mobile phones I would literally walk and use public transport to get anywhere. I would always have my mp3 player and I would just think of lyrics while I was commuting. I suppose it was a forced skill in that respect, as I didn’t really have any option to carry writing material everywhere.
The stranger thing was the ability to write a verse within the exact amount of bars i.e 16 bars without any prompts. I can’t really explain that but I guess it’s just a gift, in the humblest sense.
2020 is just around the corner, what are your plans for the New Year?
My plan is to follow the success of this release. Hopefully part 2 which is Fractured Dreams will be released in November this year. I want to get as many live opportunities as possible to really connect and meet new audiences and hopefully gain new fans. I’m not really chasing fame and fortune at this point in my journey. I literally just want some critical acclaim and respect within Hip Hop.
Where can people got and cop your music?
My videos are all on my own YouTube channel which is rowenjamesmusic, I have my own Spotify channel Rowen James and my website is www.rowenjames.com. You can find most of the above all in one, with some additional unreleased material.
Watch the video for Therapy here.
Interview by Jai Boo