Interview by Ben Z @WI608
Ellis Meade is a rapper, producer, and label-head of Room2 Records. He recently released the video for his new single called “In The Zone.” Ellis teamed up with Alex Wilson to deliver a truly unique music video by using six Go Pro cameras, a specially designed rig, and plenty of creativity. The smooth back-drop for Meade's vocals was crafted by UK producer, Proclaimed Knowledge.
We here at Upcominghiphop.net were fortunate enough to ask Ellis Meade a few questions about himself and his career. Check out what he had to say and be sure to watch his video, “In The Zone.”
Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Ellis Meade. I'm a rapper/producer & founder of Room2 Records which is an independent record label/collective based in Manchester.
When did you first discover your passion for hip-hop?
From very young I was listening to hip-hop. Sharing a bedroom with my older brother meant I couldn't escape it. He was always getting recordings of tapes I didn't like all of it at the time, but as I grew older, I began to find more tunes I was into. I never forgot the track off of Illegal's album on tape "The Untold Truth" and a track called "Back in the Day" of which I've now managed to get a digital copy. My dad had a big Rotel stack system in the living room and was always playing house, reggae, lovers rock, and soul at a party volume in the daytime. So I think this played a big role in my passion for music in general.
What/who are your biggest influences?
Voodoo Black, Kydro, my Room2 family, Broke n' English, Skittles, Estate Recordings, and I guess just life in general. Sometimes you can be doing so "well" that nothing is changing or challenging in life, and it's at these times when I feel like I can't write so well. When you get some shit thrown on your plate you have no other option but to deal with it — trust me. When you're through with that, you should have lots to write about. I like to write about things I care about. So I guess the more uplifting ideas/experiences are what I'm usually trying to transpose from life into lyrics and music.
What is the hip-hop scene like in Manchester and where do you think it is headed?
The hip-hop scene in Manchester is getting more and more attention from around the country and the rest of the world. I think this is through people working together and collaborating with each other. Room2 Records is doing a lot to represent the city and we will be upping the pace of music video releases with more events in the pipeline. I'd like to personally see more collaboration between South and North Manchester hip-hop artists as I think there is a missing piece in the puzzle which will bring the whole community together. The Mouse Outfit and the work they've done with my Voodoo bredrins Sparkz & Dubbul O has been a catalyst for a lot of great hip-hop being made in the city. Ape Cult and more recently, Free Wize Men, are doing their bit to lead the way as well which is great to see.
Levelz are about to turn shit on its head though as well, so be ready for that one. Shouts going out to Rich and the team. Always love when people are prepared to undertake projects bigger than themselves alone. That makes great things happen (i.e. Tony Wilson).
If you could have the chance to work with any artist living or dead, who would you choose and why?
I'd love to work with Eric Lau. His tunes are too much! It feels like a lot of rap music is leaving its soulful edge, and that's one of the things I love about hip-hop. And Lau gets it every time. I'd also love to work with Joss Stone on some of my more 65-70 bpm tunes. She's absolutely bad. Wouldn't mind some beats off Sumgii.
A lot of heads I wanna work with I already have and many are involved with Room2. So I guess I'm blessed for that.
What do you hope to accomplish through your music/career?
I want to leave behind a legacy of music, video, and events — and to do my bit to let the world know Manchester is home to some of the greatest minds, artists & producers in the world. Not just for rock or house music, but hip-hop as well.