- Words Yazzi Gokcemen
Fresh on the scene, punk-rap trio Frozemode are being hailed an influential player in UK music - their debut mixtape DEMODE provides sound proof.
It’s been less than 12 months since I.V.Gatlin, Cho-Hollo and Lisong introduced themselves to the world as Frozemode, but they’ve already risen up the ranks and towards musical acclaim. The punk-rap trio’s ascent began with their inaugural single ‘Maybelline’, which won over radio networks and announced them as artists for a new age. Between raucous gigs at unpretentious London pubs and a consistent stream of fierce releases, Frozemode also cultivated a venerable reputation in underground music circles. Performing at Reading & Leeds and The Great Escape this Summer, the band’s swagger, riotous energy and experimental rap style struck a chord with live audiences across the country.
The wait for a Frozemode project is finally over. Earlier this month, the band stepped out with their debut EP, DEMODE. Across the seven tracks, they sbow striking eclecticism. Distorted guitars, punk rock raps and a left-field spirit blends with hip-hop, grime, drill and trap, distinguishing DEMODE‘s anti-establishment nature. ‘RUFF’ is the mixtape’s hard-hitting standout, and rightly so, since it’s a tribute to the late DMX, one of hip-hop’s greats.
Meeting at school, the trio connected over music. Freestyling as teenagers and college students was their boundaryless equivalent of a music education. Lockdown was when the trio decided to take music seriously, which might explain the intoxicating high-energy and rebellious nature of their sound.
To celebrate the release of DEMODE, and their impending success on the gig circuit, I.V.Gatlin, Cho-Hollo and Lisong of Frozemode reveal their musical firsts. Tap in below.
First song you ever made?
Lisong: I started by making freestyle-type tracks on rap songs I liked. The first one I made was on J.Cole’s ‘A lot’.
I.V. Gatlin: When I was about 6 I wrote a love song to try and win over a girl in my class, but it didn’t work.
Cho Hollo: When we were 12 a friend and I dropped a track called ‘Everyone Knows’. The whole of secondary got lit.
First time you fell in love with music?
L: Listening to the radio in the car back from school and when I got my first mp3 player.
I.VG: It’s always been just me and my mum so as a kid I’d use music for company.
CH: When my cousin uploaded songs to my iPod nano, he put me on to people and songs I’d never have found otherwise.
First CD or record you owned?
L: G-Dragon – Coup D’etat.
I.VG: Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP. When I was very young I stole this from a family friend and listened to it secretly on repeat for years.
CH: Lil Wayne – Tha carter III.
First time you realised you wanted to be an artist?
L: Around the age of 14 when I started really getting into hip-hop music.
I.VG: When I was in primary school. I tried to form a group but nobody else was really on it.
CH: Seeing Will Smith in Wild West and then hearing the song ‘Wild Wild West’ – I just thought, I want to be like that guy.
First gig you went to?
I.VG: My mum got free tickets to George Michael and brought me along.
CH: Culture Clash.
First time you faced an obstacle in your career?
L: Balancing uni with wanting to pursue music.
I.VG: The first time we received hate comments on social media.
CH: Trying to balance acting and music.
First instrument you owned?
I.VG: A keyboard.
First time you felt like giving up?
L: I don’t really have a specific time but there are periods when things don’t go your way which can be hard to get through.
I.VG: Honestly, never.
CH: I haven’t if I’m being honest.
First time you felt starstruck?
L: To be honest, I haven’t yet.
I.VG: I met Paul from the Chuckle Brothers once. RIP Barry.
CH: Seeing 67 at Carnival.
First time you ticked off a bucket list goal?
L: Performing at Reading & Leeds Festival.
I.VG: When I got my first acting job.
CH: When I secured my first acting role.