This edition of Artist Spotlight is illuminating London's own, Frostie. His CV includes a Bl@ckBox freestyle released December of 2016 and collaborations with the likes of heavy hitters Squeeks, Benny Banks, Propane, Specs and Joe Black. Frostie has a mixtape called Can you Relate? totalling in 13 tracks on it's way that I highly endorse. The 1st video to be released is I Remember and followed by Dreams. I recommend you pay attention to what he's got to say.
Firstly, how long have you been making music?
For over 10 years now. But, properly taking it serious, I'd say the last three years pushing myself; investing into studio; and my videos.
On Dreams you said “I called Westy, I'm a fan too throw the beat let me speak what's in my train of thoughts”. What was going on that you felt compelled to make music and who is Westy?
From when I was doing Grime, Westy's always been our DJ. He's always been involved in the music ting, even when we started rapping he started making beats so man was there from the start. I saw the growth and the first few beats I started spitting on were Westy beats. There was a time where all my tracks had, ah 'Westy on Production, Westy On Production' you know what I mean?
Then I got to a point when I had to branch out go do my own thing and jump on other peoples beats. When Westy eventually hollered like I got this beat for your mixtape, I sat down, and the beat was nuts! It was crazy you get me? And that just reminded me what a man is capable of. So that's why I wrote [Frostie then sings the bar...]
So how long were you doing Grime?
Erm...at 15, I started writing lyrics here and there. I'm from Islington so there's Heartless Crew, bare other crews that were doing this Grime ting. I used to listen to Roll Deep, Nasty Crew all of that So Solid them man influenced me to start writing. We were getting slots on radio stations so by the time I hit 16/17 I felt confident to spit my lyrics. We had a regular set on Heat FM.
Then at 20 I got sent back to Africa..cos..yeah the history was mad but I lived in Africa for a bit and out there it was straight rap, you feel me because I speak French as well I'm just listening to all this. I'm writing and finding the more I write lyrics, I'm changing and my flows changing. I probably wrote 20 tracks but when I got back the game had changed, after hearing what my people were talking I had to switch up the lyric, scrap every track I wrote.
Were you ever part of a collective?
Westy's was the chill spot so mandem were linking up, you had Squeeks there Banks, Hunt, Propane, Joe black there were a few us and we started screaming out Team Izzy, reppin' Team Izzy. People started noticing Islington...
At the time I had the guys I went school with, doing the Grime ting with we were called ITN. There were opportunities that we missed that's what made me leave to do my own thing. With Team Izzy people didn't really know Frostie, just as that guy that rapped with Squeeks or Joe Black so I had to branch out and push, push, push...Now I'm representing my area but I'm doing me init. It's the Frostie show right now!
On your recent Bl@ckbox Freestyle, you mentioned an impending mixtape Can You Relate?. Why did you choose that title and what can we expect?
I feel like the stories I tell, a lot of people can relate to. I talk about the struggle more, don't get me wrong I talk about the good life too but my struggle like where I was and where I'm at now. My thing is, all these rappers talk about they're making money... yeah that's all good but... not everyone can relate. There's rappers that don't mention they get on public transport, I mean train forget the bus, I'm that rapper that will mention it; you might catch me on train, might catch me walking in Holloway but there is days you might catch me driving a Mercedes know what I mean.. I'm just talking that real.
And a lot of youts think that trapping's the way forward. That's a topic I mention but a lot of rappers doing all this trap trap stuff don't mention the L's init. They don't mention the struggle, the realness the stuff you go though on a day to day..it's just the rewards and my mixtape is not that I'm telling you everything you can relate to. I'm a storyteller, it's what I do.
When I saw you before the end of last year you were talking about giving up the music game... What changed?
I was doing music by myself to a point where it felt like being stuck in 1 box not moving forward. Like I didn't know what to do, I was just throwing in videos on videos to stay relevant but not knowing what step to take after. Plus cameramen, certain channels that act up, dealing with that I used to get mad upset. I felt like it wasn't worth my time or temper, baiting up my face meanwhile people don't know the battles I'm dealing with.
The thing that changed my mind is I've got a team now, on the same wavelength that are willing to put the work in. It allows me to be more of an artist I can focus on my music. Things that I never used to do like networking, on twitter when people would say “Yo your musics hard” or whatever I'd send everyone the same message “Respect for that”.
Other than you who's popping in Islington at the moment?
Do you know what there's no-one that I listen to... apart from NorthKingz they are definitely one to look for, I feel like they're definitely going to be the one to be doing things. I'll definitely shout them out.
That's definitely another statement I can co-sign and a duo I had a part in debuting on radio.
It was a much appreciated pleasure to speak with Frostie. I'd like to thank him for his time and eagerly await the new project. In the meantime listen to the man himself below.