- Words Mike Vinti
- Fashion Kojo Hammond
- Photographer Ollie Coghill
- MUA Naomi Lake
- Photography Assistant Victoria Courts
Our internet crush this week is South London upstart Little Torment.
Social media has changed the way we interact with our favourite artists. More than just musicians, they’re now personalities, people we can interact with on the daily. Now more than ever we’re aware that musicians are pretty normal people, they just have a weird job. Every week we get to know one of our favourite SoundCloud heroes, internet dating style, in our new column, Internet Crush.
South London is the rap capital of the UK at the moment. It seems like an endless stream of new talent has been born from beneath the river this year and heading into 2018 that doesn’t look set to change. A contender for South London’s crown next year is Little Torment, a highly lyrical MC blessed with both the ability to craft a compelling narrative and turn up anthems, 2018 looks set to be a big one.
First album/single you ever bought?
Get Rich Or Die Trying (Laugh out LOUD) 50 cent.
My 3rd birthday, random, but its still so clear and vivid in my mind.
What do you like to do in your free time?
My best moments are when I get to spend some quality time with my son.
First lyric you ever wrote?
Blimey, I’ve been writing since I was a kid. But my first ever proper crafted song was ’96 Barz’ – it was actually a grime song. On the legendary grime ’96 Barz’ beat. It’s on youtube I think so check it out. I was spinning certain man in grime from way back lol!
Favourite song of yours?
‘Still Dreaming Ft Vile Greeze’ from BCD3, unreleased so keep your eyes peeled and your ears clean.
Tough question, really tough. Just gonna pick the first three snippets that jump to mind:
“Let me tell you about Ellis, see Ellis was a rookie in this game, but it was calm coz he was sure of what he could be” – ‘Ellis’, BCD1
“I went to war with them, for them and now them man are friends” – ‘Behind Bars Take 2’
“If Mum had rent Ps I might have gone to uni, and graduated with them (old) friends that knew (new) me, now they don’t know me, I’m a different guy… The streets ain’t nice they’ll kill you for that shine, I didn’t wait for bread I had to jump the line” – ‘4 am In the Streets’
What was the inspiration behind the ‘4 am in the streets, 5 am, 6 am etc.’ singles?
The inspiration behind the ‘Time is Music’ tape was mainly based on what was happening at those specific moments in time. They all happen to be late nights / early morning because that’s the nature of the game I’m in! Majority of the songs were written or recorded (or both) at the time stated in the track title. The lyrics give you a deeper insight into what was happening and where my headspace was at during those moments. Almost like highlight reels into the life of Little Torment. It was only after a few songs were made in that way, it was organic, so we made the decision to keep working that way for the project. Hence all of the releases. I’m a nocturnal being ha!
You’re latest single ‘Freedom’ is a bit of a departure from your previous work – why did you did you switch up your style?
It’s not what you’d expect to hear traditionally from Little Torment, but at the same time, it’s still me. It wasn’t that I made a conscious decision to switch up the style, it naturally happened. I’m Carribean and grew up in South West London, so that type of music and vibes is always natural to me.
If you were to check my playlist, it’s not exclusive to one sound or one genre of music. It was a fun record to make, one the ladies can whine up themselves too!
Where did the ‘Scummy’ tag come from?
Haha! I’m the original Scum-Lord!
Na, in all honesty, my reputation before music was known to be a bit mischevious (the streets raised me lol!) and I originally only had it as an adlib for one of my songs (One Time). When we heard it back, it was one of those moments where it just fit perfectly. While I’m a good guy at heart with real principles (my peoples can vouch for me) Scummy is that alter-ego, that IDGAF South London gritty ish lol. Everyone’s gotta bit of Scummy in them.
It just so happened that the fans also connected and the rest is history. Scummy is an offshoot of the Little Torment brand.
You’ve spoken about wanting to show people what life in South London is really like – what do you think people need to know about your areas?
It’s not about what people need to know, its that South London has a stigma attached to it. Everybody has their opinions, everybody has their thoughts, but not many have a true understanding of the whirlwind South London really is. Somedays I love South, some days I hate it with a passion. The good and the bad, the ups and the downs. I feel like nowadays everyone is glossing over the good, or really exaggerating and glorifying the bad. I see my place as really painting you that accurate picture, deep in amongst the bullshit that is going on all around us.
Do you think people overlook the problems now that the music is blowing up?
I don’t think people overlook the problem at all, and to be honest I think its the other way around. I think more than ever, UK Culture has that spotlight and now the world is looking deeper into what is going on. So I think its the opposite, as our culture continues to rise and dominate, more focus is being put into our problems, especially now that our voices are being taken more seriously. On the surface, it may seem that our problems are being undermined as we only ever see the good. However, I’ve definitely been seeing more effect to try to understand what we are going through and what is happening. From mental health to gang violence, to drug issues, sexual health the list goes on, I think we are putting a spotlight on these issues more so that ever.
You took a break from music and have started gearing back up – what are your goals for 2018?
The whole thing of taking a break irks me sometimes. If I choose to take time out to actually live a life, it shouldn’t affect how I’m perceived when I do decide to release. I think only rap/hip hop artists are looked at this way. Its almost like I have an obligation to release music on everyone’s say-so when in fact its the opposite.
Saying that 2018 will be a strong year for me music wise. I have at least two projects geared up to be released, plus popping up in the woodworks here and there. 2018 definitely isn’t going to be a quiet one for me, I promise you that.
Who do you want to see blow up next year?
I just want everyone to continue blowing up and doing well. Then there’s myself; it’s about time I take it to that next level and really push on. My journey has been like no other.