ARGH KiD is a Manchester alternative hip hop band led by the MC/Poet David Scott. With an eclectic approach featuring live musicians to provide a backdrop to life in austerity UK, with all its flaws and lingering beauty. His first two singles “Frank” and “Neighbours” were met with critical acclaim so with new EP “Derelict Dreams” released this week, Joni posed some serious questions to talk about his inspirations, and to better understand mainstream poetry as an art form – just how far can it go?
So, how did you end up here?
ARGH KID: Through a lot of trial and error. After school I went on to Higher Education doing media studies but at the same time I found other “extra-curricular” activities and found myself high but with little education – I was failing so I quit rather than get pushed. I never really struggled finding a job but it was more of a case of the job keeping their employee – I’m extremely restless, and that’s not the same as lazy, which is important. If it has my attention then I work harder than anyone if it hasn’t then I don’t see the point, much to my parents chagrin. The short story is I gambled on myself. I walked out of a job with nothing but a bunch of poems and thought well what’s the worst that can happen, and what’s the best…
Have you always written poetry? Have you always been a performer? The 2 don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand…
ARGH KID: I’ve always written. If you say poetry, spoken word, emcee then that’s for others, I don’t categorise my work. Once you say you’re XYZ, it’s harder to become ABC… I create stuff in a variety of forms.
The performing side of it was I didn’t know I was until I tried, and once I did and got the slightest appreciation I was hooked. Nothing I have done touches that adrenaline. But performing poetry and music are different gigs altogether. But performing both has helped the other.
Who were your inspirations growing up?
ARGH KID: Hip Hop first and foremost, but Quentin Tarantino, Irvine Welsh Books. Pub Culture – I grew up in and around pubs. Hearing people passing stories around a bar was like my going to library.
There’s great humour in your lyrics – who are your comedy heroes?
ARGH KID: I think humour is so undervalued and underused in music – for me satire can be incredibly funny but just as scathing but done badly it’s neither. My comedy heroes are Bill Hicks, Chris Rock, Dylan Moran and Richard Pryor – whose biography I’ve just re-read. What a story that is.
[Editor: Great shout, we’ll feature this as our #FridayReads recommendation – check out our social media feeds – it really is a fascinating book]
What do you consider was your big break?
ARGH KID: Well about 3 months after I gambled and it looked like I was losing the bet on myself I managed to have Christopher Eccleston read one of my poems. That was huge, not just in terms of him doing it but also that you never know what is coming round the corner or who is watching your work. This has been the case time and time again since then – just stay busy and what’s gonna be will be.
What can you tell us about the songs on the new EP? Is there an album to follow soon?
ARGH KID: Derelict Dreams is what I consider to be a 3 Act (track) Nostalgia Concept. There are several threads of a story that work through the songs but equally they’re great on their own. I found this quite liberating cos my first 2 singles were quite ska-like and I imagine other people were seeing a genre forming – but we’ve created a soundtrack to the story of the unnamed protagonist – part of which is obvs biographical. Expect Punk, Old School Hip Hop and Some Ambient Shit with Violins. I could release an album tomorrow if I wanted to, but do I need to, do people listen to albums in that way anymore….we’ll see.
You’re a proud Mancunian, what makes this city so special?
ARGH KID: I love the sense of humour, the mixture of quick wit and self-deprecation. We take it for granted as it’s part of our fishbowl but when you go live elsewhere you sort of analyse it more because other people will point it out as they’re unsure or threatened. Sarcasm doesn’t travel well down south.
You work within the community too with workshops, which must be hugely rewarding. As an art form is there more to come from poetry? Or is it destined to only be backed by music for mainstream popularity?
ARGH KID: That sounds like a loaded question… the music venture isn’t for any mainstream popularity. I’ve been making music as long as writing but no-one ever asks. I write all the time what shape they come out in who knows. Well I do but all in good time.
Which is your favourite Manchester music venue? Any personal highlights of performing there or seeing other people play?
ARGH KID: Night and Day Cafe for it’s cult status – and because I’m playing there on 22nd Nov and I’ve seen more live acts there than anywhere else. And for seeing people play would be Manc Academy, which is where I saw Eminem make his first ever UK appearance…now that was a gig! Also saw Prince at same venue. They good enough answers?
THE PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE FOR ARGH KID
We write about pop culture – as we approach the end of the decade, how would you sum up the 2010’s?
ARGH KID: Big question… you know what I love about this decade is that there seems there’s a lot of liberation, which is always a beautiful thing, but even more so in this fucked up political climate. I mean there’s shitload of way to go but it feels like it’s 2010’s are the decade where Zero Fucks Were Given. Sexuality, Race, Mental Health – it’s like we’re starting to have conversations about things that you’d have been castigated for in the 90s.
What does the future hold for ARGH KID?
ARGH KID: Mainstream Popularity 😉
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