Coventry native Icey Stanley has joined forces with Ironik in his latest single ‘SNM’. Fuelled with what Icey describes as “late night feels; when you’re left alone with your thoughts”, we found out more about his music, collaboration with Ironik and plans for the future.
From deep 808 drum patterns to smooth jazz bass; a genuine mix of sounds from the west, UK foundation and southern flavour.
First up, tell us bit about yourself - what first got you into music?
Poetry was a big part of my musical foundation allowing me to become more emotive with my song writing. I used to attend lots of poetry slams and young writers sessions in my early teen. All my peers around me the time used to rap and this transitioned from writing poems to writing raps. The performing element for me is a big part of why I fell in love with music. I remember watching Chris Brown at the MTV awards and watching the crowd’s reaction and the atmosphere I knew this is what I wanted to do.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from when you were establishing your sound?
Growing up on a lot of Lucky Dube (South African Artist), Ja Rule, Craig David, and many more great artists around my youth inspires my sound. It’s very flexible; we are adventurous when it comes to sonics, which can at times be risky in the music business but we feel sound has no limit. My teenage years were fuelled by a lot of Rap and Grime; from Skepta, JME to the obvious Tory Lanez, Drakes, J Cole.
How would you describe your style?
My sound unique in a sense I feel not many artists are on the same wave. The sound is based on feeling; it’s more than just the vocals but the way everything blends together. At times I add a smooth R&B element, which depicts my melodic flow. From deep 808 drum patterns to smooth jazz bass; a genuine mix of sounds from the west, UK foundation and southern flavour.
You featured on Ironik’s album ‘Truth Be Told’. How did that come about?
Ironik is such a legendary guy, genuine with a calm persona. It was early 2017 when we started talking, I hit him up looking for some feedback on a project I was looking to release at the time and from there I asked if he was working on anything as I would have loved to be a part of it. I produce also for some that did not know; I was looking to get my production on hit new project along side Kevin Gani (Best UK producer). We sent over some demos the rest is history - Ironik ‘Notice’ (feat. Icey Stanley) was created.
What did you take from that experience?
Ironik is very wise, he gave me some industry advice, he really inspired me to dedicate more time into perfecting my craft; putting more hours and being consistent.
You worked with Ironik on ‘SNM’. What did Ironik bring to that track?
I feel as a duo we compliment each other very well, his approach and delivery were on point completing ‘SNM’. If he’s down for a joint EP, let’s make it happen
How does it represent your sound?
I feel musically we are in the same lane, although I am looking to take up all the lanes. He’s also a versatile artist so I’m sure putting a verse on ‘SNM’ was effortless.
You established yourself in Coventry’s hip-hop scene. What’s distinct about that scene?
I call it the hidden city, not many know where it is but the ones that have to take time to look into Coventry have found an enormous amount of talent. You have artists such as Mugun (@MugunCov), Samson, who are really trying to put on for the city dope artist. The sound is varied in Coventry with a big Coventry University music scene, a vast amount of rappers doing their thing. Producers such as Kevin Gani & J Rocs who are now producing for phenomenal industry artists attended Coventry University.
You’ve played shows in Africa, Europe and America including sets at The Global Youth Conference in Carolina and Loveworld Music Festival in Nigeria. What have been your highlights on tour?
I believe experiencing different cultures is probably the best part of tour life. I went to Nigeria for the first time ever; I can tell you it’s very hot and the people seem free. I loved South Africa that possibly was my greatest ever experience I explored a lot of their wild life and food etc. definitely a place I would visit again.
All of these experiences have inspired a lot of my song writing on my follow project to ‘No Love In February’. It’s also an overwhelming feeling having people who reside in a complete different geographical location singing along to your music and also appreciate it.
When can we see you on your next?
We have the Afro Trap UK movement; that’s not stopping anytime soon and I’m working closely with Birmingham artists Mr Macee and Tashon; we have some music in the pipeline. We have some solo stuff but this year I’m looking to collaborate with a lot of artists.
What are your plans for 2018?
I’m currently in the process of recording my next project, parallel to that I have some joint singles and project; we can’t give away too much. More experimenting, I have been listening to a lot of European rappers, i.e. Niska (French Artist), Frenna (Holland); these guys are truly versatile; they mix it up, cultural sauce which has inspired me to venture out and expand my sound. It’ll be something to shake up the industry.
If you could wish for one thing to happen in 2018, what would it be?
I would really like to do a song with Yxng Bane; I feel our sonics are different, but the style/ approach is similar so I think we could make a banger.
Watch the video for ‘SNM’ featuring Ironik on YouTube below. For news and tour dates go to the Icey Stanley Facebook page.