Preditah - The Sound Of Birmingham

The producer re-energising grime stands tall for his hometown in this Dazed-produced film

Video by Cieron Magat and Nina Manandhar @ ISYS

Concise and distinct. Two words that define grime generally and particularly the Birmingham producer Preditah, whose breakthrough 'Circles' EP on DJ Logan Sama's Earth616 label in February of last year was an exercise in lean, forward-thinking  grime production.  Spartan drum lines, saw-like bass, tense strings, big brass, heady melodies and a couple of trademark vocal samples configured five different ways.  It followed the approach of fellow Midlands producer S-X, whose Wooo Riddim completely took over in 2009 because of rather than despite its simplicity and refinement, but where he takes his cues from hip-hop, Preditah's heart is in 2-step.

His local history isn't heavy metal but the gospel, R&B, reggae and bashment played at home and the electronic sounds that crept up from London to the Midlands when he was a teenager: “The day I first heard garage, I heard something new.” he says. Growing up in the second city was a rich mix with: “the sound of pirate radio stations like Silk City FM playing music from London or where ever it was from, everything I listen to is from the UK”.  Preditah's beats sound like they could've been made in the fertile moment when garage was refracting and styles eventually grouped as grime like Eski, Sub-Low, 8-bar and Dirtee Stank were still being coined.

He remembers seeing the likes of Heartless Crew, Dizzee Rascal and Tempa T at venues like Ruskin Hall and the Aston Villa Leisure Centre in shows his mentor and local youth worker Souljah used to organise. The older promoter wasn't really with it but supported the rising talent: “It went from garage to grime. That's what I wasn't having! When it was garage it was more happy, dancing with the women and partying. When it turned into grime it was all boys pushing each other and jumping up and down and making noise: 30 man over here and 20 women over there doing nothing.” Preditah got his first booking at the YMCA in Erdington supporting Jammer, who was late, and, well, “destroyed it”. Today, Preditah's tracks now show that heritage: with breezy garage like La Playa, wayward anthems like Off Track with his brother C4 or Murking with JME and stripped back aggro cuts like I Hear Ya Don by the popular local collective Stay Fresh sitting side by side.

He's currently making his debut single with a view to an album and stays committed to the new: “I want people to be excited, like something's coming” he explains, “I want to make a statement and do something different to the game”.

Video by Cieron Magat and Nina Manandhar @ ISYS