With The Cost Of Being mixtape coming soon, south London lyricist BlazeYL reflects on musical firsts, from being a drummer boy to headlining with House Of Pharaohs.

Evolving each time a new sub-genre rears its head, UK rap is a vast space and not straightforward to pinpoint sonically. South London’s BlazeYL succeeds in touching all sides of this scene whilst simultaneously existing in his own. Next week the skillful bar slinger is dropping his debut mixtape The Cost Of Being which flows through the golden eras of rap, hip-hop, grime and drill, and hits them with masterminded collaborations.


His solo venture isn’t all that’s consumed BlazeYL in recent months. He belongs to the cult-followed rap crew House of Pharaos, who recently regrouped for an eagerly-awaited comeback project, Only The House Vol. 1. Cutting his teeth alongside Sam Wise, Bandanna, Kevin Taylor and Danny Stern, they’ve risen through the ranks of rap as part of a collective; the moment they stepped onto SoundCloud in 2016, House Of Pharaos had the rap landscape listening.


After a three-year hiatus, Only The House VOL:1 has everyone, including ‘Mad About Bars’ pioneer Kenny Allstar, talking. The album’s lead single ‘New Era’ does what it says on the tin, serving up icy grime alongside legendary emcee JME. BlazeYL is stirring up just as much anticipation on his solo journey through thought-provoking lyricism, natural charisma and a passionate delivery.


On The Cost Of Being, fans can expect crisp production and hard-hitting rhythms as BlazeYL dynamically explores themes of infatuation and living in the moment. The 12 tracks also debut noteworthy collaborations with homegrown talents including Blanco, Arz, AntsLive and El Londo. As we countdown to the official releases of two inevitable masterpieces, BlazeYL shares his firsts with Notion – revealing how he arrived to rap from Brit school and what he’s ticked off the musical bucket list so far.

First song you ever made?

My first solo song was called ‘Nights Like These’ and it’s still on my SoundCloud now. I made it in 2015. I had a mic and access to Garage Band in my house, so I used to do a lot of covers back in the day. I’ve used all different kinds of beats. I spat over a Drake beat, which hasn’t seen the light of day. But ‘Nights Like These’ was the first and fans can still tap in on my SoundCloud!

First bar you remember writing?

“See the roads cold it ain’t funny… Hit SB and get the money” – SB stands for Southbank, Waterlooo. I was over there doing some business back in the day. That was my first bar and it was either on a track or a freestyle but I honestly can’t remember.

First CD or record you owned?

N-Dubz’s Uncle B from 2008. I got it on CD. I was heavily involved in N-Dubz back in the day.

First time you realised you wanted to be a rapper?

When I first met the House of Pharaohs collective. Before then, I was more into dancing and singing but being around those guys, when we linked up everyone was very heavily on rap and that made me want to dabble in it. In school and around friends, whenever I spat bars, I’d get sick feedback, with people telling me to write them down. That made me realise I should rap more and take it seriously.

First gig you went to?

I’m the youngest member in House of Pharaohs, so I performed at 15 or 16 years old, before I was legally allowed into places. I also went to Teenfest back in the day. Section Boyz and Stormzy performed, that was one of my stand-out memories of seeing other artists performing on stage.

First time you faced an obstacle in your career?

At the start of lockdown, I couldnt perform or go to the studio. I didn’t have a studio at home at that time, so I was writing and trying to stock up on bars.

First instrument you owned?

A drum. I’ve still got it now, an old-school African drum. Back at school, I was one of the drummer boys, I loved drumming; that was my thing.

First time you felt like giving up?

Lockdown again. It was a difficult time both solo-wise and with the collective. We couldn’t do much, everything was slow and we dropped music. We started breaking the rules; I remember wearing masks and shooting videos, but it was a tough time.

First time you felt starstruck?

I dont think I’ve ever met any of my greatest heroes. Someone who I did see and thought ‘oh shit’ was when I was doing some extra work on set for Luther and saw one of the greatest actors we have, man like Idris Elba.

First time you ticked off a bucket list goal? 

House of Pharaohs’ headline show at Electric Ballroom. We sold it out and I said, ‘Listen, I am doing a stage dive today’ and went for it. Luckily I got caught and it was a lit moment. Ever since then, I have been stage-diving for fun. There is a lot more stuff on the bucket list that I am working on right now, trust me.

Listen to 'Inconsiderate' now: