I’ll save you all the rhetoric that has sprouted across countless blogs concerning a certain Only Real. Even though his bubbly charm may be his most immediately obvious unique selling point, it would be lazy and unfair to call him a one trick pony. With a songwriting process that derives from emotional responses and things that he sees and stories he encounters on a daily basis, the youthful exuberance that he expresses can be put down to a cathartic way of leveling out the imbalance in his mind. Music as a coping mechanism if you will.
The musicianship itself sees lo-fi strands of Deerhunter and Wavves intricately tied together with a more laid back hip-hop orientated approach that is already being championed by head honchos such as Rob da Bank and Huw Stephens. A cheeky west Londoner with a zest for the simpler things like eating sugary cereal, girls and Wu Tang Clan, Only Real shows that it doesn’t really matter what you do, just so long as you have fun doing it. And the sing-a-long nature of his tunes doesn’t hurt a bit either.
Dazed Digital: You like to rap about being a 'youth' - what can you see yourself delving into further down the line?
Only Real: Everyone always says that the music industry will push you in the way of like intense pressure and loads of drugs don’t they? So I guess I’ll probably start to age quite rapidly and then hopefully my music will mature as I do?
DD: Do you feel bad that you make old people feel old when they watch your videos?
Only Real: I love people that are young at heart, it’s so encouraging because I’m really really scared of growing old and feeling like I want to be young again. Better to just stay young you know? Maybe don’t wear shorts after like 80 though. Unless it’s hot, or you want to.
DD: All of your videos have summery vibes - what can we expect from a wintery Only Real vid / song?
Only Real: There is definitely a darker musical side that maybe people haven’t realised I have yet. Some of the lyrics in my single’s AA side Blood Carpet are actually really dark and fucked. I’ve got some things I’m working on that are pretty dark production wise too, also got some party joints in the bag, it’s just that I’ve only put a little bit of music out so far. I just need time.
DD: What’s the strangest way a fan has repped Real so far?
Only Real: There’s not been anything weird, just nice things and pictures and words of encouragement you know. It's literally the best thing for me to see people repping Real. I love interacting with people in other places, like I used to go on shit like isketch loads when I was bored, I suppose that’s kinda the same thing - actually, nah, it’s not really.
DD: What are your favourite slacker antics / TV shows?
Only Real: Slacker antics lol. I normally just wake up, have a shower then eat breakfast, like cereal and coffee which are two of my favey things, then I sometimes try and do some push ups. Then I literally spend the whole day making music, like writing lyrics and being on Ableton. Some days I tell myself I need to have a break because I'm going crazy, but by 2 or 3pm I’m back doing it without even realising I’m doing it. It’s just kinda what my mind does naturally.
DD: Will you make a conscious effort to maintain your lo-fi aesthetic if the chance arises to work in a big studio?
Only Real: I didn’t even think I had a lo-fi aesthetic until people told me I did. It’s just that the quality of my music is inevitably gonna be like that when you have my raggedy set up and no real understanding of the software you use on a daily basis.
DD: Favourite new artist/ tunes / albums of 2012?
Only Real: I never know what’s 2012, umm this is gonna sound surprising but the one that’s just come in to my head is Lucy Rose. I was watching some interviews with her and I just think she’s cool and obvs has a really nice voice. I like Channel Orange a lot too and Mac Demarco is really sick. Grimes is completely amazing too. They're just the ones that came into my head right now.
Pre-order Backseat Kissers out 28 January '13, here.