#IMMusicMonday: Getting to Know…Stratz

Born and raised in North London, rapper Stratz creates a vibrant sonic palette through his collective fusion of modern hiphop and Jamaican dancehall. His fresh and spicy sound, combined with his lyrical craftsmanship and honest narratives are putting Stratz at the forefront of his genre.

First things first how long have you been actively pursuing a career in music?

I have been pursuing music for about 1 year, properly although only just made my debut single, Likkle More which is the first professional song.

How did you come up with your stage name?

I didn’t, I was given it by the ‘mandem’ boys from my neighbourhood. Stratz stands for strategy.

What keeps you motivated?

Feedback from family and friends, also knowing the end goal could be extremely rewarding and satisfying.

Would it be fair to say that in some ways music saved you?

I’d say music helped me stay sane, focused and productive. So in some ways yeah it has saved me from a potentially very bad path.

How did you come up with the initial idea for the song “Likkle More”?

I wanted to make a song that promoted, ‘giving’ instead of ‘taking’ e.g. stealing from friends etc. So when I listen to Vybz Kartel’s Have a little more, I replicated the meaning but in my terms and methods.

The track features a female vocalist, how did this collaboration come about?

The studio is the plug ha. Many people work within and in collaboration with mayfields studios and this allows me to make connections with other artists etc.

The song clearly has a very positive and uplifting message, why was it important for you to convey these ideas through music?

Because where I am from in London, it isn’t always clear what’s right and wrong, so it would be nice to help give a little bit of guidance to people around me.

How would you describe your music?

Uplifting, positive and refreshing. I say this because I’ve chosen to not be a typical London artist and go through what could potentially be a harder path to success, but sure as hell more rewarding and helpful.

How does your Afro-Caribbean heritage influence your music?

I grew up listening to afro beats and dancehall, if you listen to the lyrics and nature of this music it can be very controversial or just simply different through my eyes. So they talk about giving and being a pure soul etc, I will probably be inclined to write about this too. I also want to infuse dance into my future tracks.

What’s next for Stratz?

A song which talks about getting ‘dung inna di beat’ which means getting down into the beat.

Any final shoutouts or plugs?

Always have people to shout out ha,

Shout out the Mayfield studios crew – Dom, Becky, Miles n Gregg

The producer Jervace

Singer Amba Tremain

And my friends and Family.

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