Cre8ing Vision

#Ledge by Love Lee



West London born and bred ‘Crits’ entered into the world of music as a teenager. Although he had a thing for footy, Crits always knew he wanted to be an artist. “I think music was always meant to be the one. It naturally just happened.”

Crits’ eclectic taste in music came from, on one side, spending every weekend listening to music with his father, a Jazz Musician and sitting front row at his shows: “We would either listen to a Jazz album or we would watch live performances of people that he grew up listening to and found inspiring.” The other side was influenced by his mum’s Saturday morning household soundtrack, a concoction of Calipso, Reggea and Old-school anthems. Crits said reminiscently: “The influences are crazy and it’s not from things you’d expect. You wouldn’t think you would find inspiration from cleaning. That’s how you learnt to dance! With a hoover and a mop!”

School was a lyrical playground for Crits, who went to school in South London after his parents made the decision to ensure that he could concentrate and be given the best opportunities. “It was better for me to find my own feet instead of getting easily distracted.”

Despite the changes Crits had to endure, music remained at the forefront and he stayed true to his West London roots by forming ‘SPMG’ (Crits, Che Lingo, Risky, Lifelines, Shy, Stacy and others who were a part of the collective), a group of friends who grew up together and who all started making music at the same time.  “Music is the kind of thing that bridged the gap between areas. There was a thing of Postcode wars, West against South, against East and all that, but music was the one thing that broke that.”

At the age of 16, Crits dropped his first mixtape Beneath the Surface“I felt like a lot of people only saw what was on the surface. I wanted to give people an insight into what was going on around me at the time. That’s why I named it Beneath the Surface”

Soon after, Crits released his second mixtape, TLC (Tender Loving Crits), which was definitely one for the ladies.  He also featured on a mixtape by DJ Dynamic Jen, who featured one of Crits first tracks ever alongside Grime royalty such as Wiley, Bashy and others. Crits has collaborated with quite a few people such as Lauren Mason, Lifelines, Teezy from PUK, Tigga the Author, WSTRN, Temps (MPR) and Ms Banks.

And now here we are! Following the release of Crits first EP Long Time Coming, the release of Crits’ new EP ‘Wake Up’ is soon upon us and possibly another EP in the pipeline, an abundance of bars and music will soon be gracing our ears and feeding our souls. What can we expect, I hear you think?

Well, on a chilly Tuesday evening, I was invited to be a fly on the wall at one of Crits’ studio sessions. I had listened to his last EP Long Time Coming and knew that whatever was currently being cooked up in the studio was going to be pure fire. I had to have a chat with him and find out more. So, I arrived slightly earlier and got to know a little bit more about this incognito individual they call Crits…

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Love: “Where does the name ‘Crits’ come from?”


Crits: “In school I was very critical of people’s bars and flows and what not. So, I was running with ‘Critical’ but it was a bit childish. I switched it to ‘Crits’.


Love: “I guess you want people to remember your name as well. Simple.”


Crits: “Straight to the point.”


Love: “If you could go back to your schooldays and take more time learning something, what would it be?


Crits: “I would choose two subjects: Music and Spanish. Music because I do have a basic understanding and knowledge of playing the piano, but if I had paid more attention in school, I would be playing properly; and Spanish because all my sisters speak fluent Spanish. My mum and I are the only ones who can’t.”

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   Crits performing at LockSide Lounge, Camden Town


Love: Do you think you’ve changed much since your school days?”


Crits: “I haven’t drastically changed from schooldays. I was cheeky but never really the troublemaker and bridged the gap. It didn’t really matter to me if you were popular or unpopular. If we got along we got along.”

Love: “What made you want to become an artist?”


Crits: “I remember sitting in the front room with my dad watching a Michael Jackson concert. I’m sure it was in Moscow. He (Michael Jackson, not Crits’ dad!) literally jumped on stage and he didn’t move for about five minutes. You saw people in the crowd fainting. You saw people in the crowd crying. It was the fact that he had that effect on people just from what he was saying. Just from telling his story; and if his story could change that many peoples’ lives, imagine what everyone else can do with that power.”

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Crits performing at Lockside Lounge, Camden Town


“That was one thing that made me want to become an artist. Just the power of using my words in a positive way, or making the best out of situations, that’s what made me jump into it.” | Crits


Love: “Name three artists you grew up listening to.”


Crits: “Ooooh… (Crits ponders) Michael, obviously Michael, all day MJ! Rap-wise, Ludacris. He was cold. One more. Prince, funnily enough. He had a different vibe and mad energy.”


Love: “Yeah Prince’s energy was different. I like that. Name one artist you admire, one you have on repeat and a new artist you have just discovered who you think is hot right now.”

Crits: “Oooh, an artist that I admire, I would say Wiley, because no matter what’s happened, he has always stuck to what he knows. He always comes back to Grime somehow no matter what. Even if he ventures off towards something a bit left or a bit right, he always remembers where he comes from. So that’s what I admire him for, but also to have the courage to actually go and take those journeys left and right. A lot of people can’t do it. It’s a very big risk to take but he does it very well.”


“An artist who inspires me, I’m gunna say Drake. Drake inspires me based on his versatility. You never know what he is gunna come with next. No matter if it takes a day to settle in or a couple of months, eventually, you start feeling the tune. He just keeps it what it is, real. It’s very organic, it’s not forced and he just does what he wants to do.  No matter what the reception is, eventually, people come around to it.“


“Ooooh, an artist that I have just discovered. Producer-wise, I’d have to say Tummy Wilson and Heavy Trackers. Artists? I’m feeling Bonkaz and Stormzy.”


Love: Good answers! You’ve got an eclectic taste in music, which seeps through into your EP Long Time Coming that’s out right now. Who inspired you whilst you were creating Long Time Coming?”


Crits: “Myself. Nearly everything on there was personal and it was things that I was going through at the time. It just connected and that was just the vibe.


Sometimes you’ve got to just lock yourself away and just vibe, and it’s all you.” | Crits


Love: “Yeah, hibernation! On one particular track of your EP (Long Time Coming – from EP Long Time Coming) you talk about being 17 years old and wishing you had a studio in your basement. What age did you know that you wanted to get into rapping?”


Crits: “I started rapping, like messing around when I was 11. I was just listening to music, random stuff. At 14, I kind of started getting better and I think 16 to 18 was like ‘Ok, I’m taking it seriously now.’  I wasn’t at the stage where I thought it was worthwhile. I was playing football at the time so there were two different paths and I chose music.”



 Love: “It’s a good feeling knowing you have made the right choice and knowing what is meant for you.”


Crits: “Yeah, it’s passion.”


Love: “Talk me through your writing process.”


Crits: “I’ll hear a beat and if I connect with it properly, a few lines will just come into my head. I like to just write in my head, I don’t like to write bars down anymore because it’s easier for me to remember them when I’m in the studio. I just naturally have the lyrics in my head…”


Love: “Wow, that’s a skill! You must be really good at free-styling then…”


Crits: “Yeah, it’s just repeating what I’ve already written in my head.”


Love: “Well, you’ve got one up on many people then!”


Crits: “I do like to write stuff down sometimes but it depends on the mood and the track.”


Love: “It’s very personal as well. It’s almost like keeping a diary.”


Crits: “Yeah, certain things need to be written down.”


Love: “What motivates you?”


Crits: “People around me. Everyone around me is my motivation. Everyone around me is pushing for a dream. The same way I need to push and motivate myself, I need to motivate them. So, yeah the circle.”


Love: “What scares you? And I don’t mean spiders…”


Crits: (he laughs knowingly) “That’s a deep one. Losing loved ones. That’s probably my deepest fear because that’s my motivation.”


Love: “On a lighter note, what advice would you give to the young aspiring artist?”


“Be yourself. 100% be yourself. Don’t try and keep up with the trend. Just be yourself and let the music stay organic.” | Crits


Love: “In a few minutes I’m going to be witnessing some heat coming from the studio (I said excitedly) what’s next for Crits?”


Crits: “I’ve got two EP’s on the way. So I’m working on them at the minute. They are still a work in progress so I’m not going to say too much about them at this stage. Also, possibly a single.”


Love: “And are you working with separate producers?”


Crits: “Three separate producers: Haile, his older brother Progression who works a lot with Angel, and Tummy Wilson, who is also a very talented producer. We in here cookin’! Vibesin!”


Love: “Yeah! I’m witnessing it for myself this evening as well, which is cool. Can you give us an idea of what we can expect from your upcoming EP’s?


Crits: “Just honest music. Everything you hear has happened, I’ve been around it or experienced it. Genuine honest music.”


My last question is just for fun… If you were stuck on a desert island, what three items would you have with you?”


Crits: “A studio and a shop selling food and drink. That’s it. That’s all I want.”


Love: (I giggled at the fact that a studio and a shop are both full of items) “Those are clever answers Crits.”

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Crits’ forthcoming EP ‘Wake Up’ is to be released in October | Artwork by Cloud Lu



Twitter/Instagram/Soundcloud: @CritsOfficial


Interview by Love Lee

Twitter: @ItsMissALee


by: Love Lee | October 10, 2015 | News

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