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Words Dr Khan
Tipped as the next big thing by none other than Roots Manuva, Jimmy Screech’s considerable talent has been carefully
nurtured over time. Blurring the boundaries between reggae and hip hop, this talented young artist is taking things slowly as he
approaches the release of his ‘The Remedy’ album. Kmag caught up with him before a community event in Camden and found
out that this young man is in it for the long haul...
“For me there’s so many different types of reggae with rubbish or talking about things that weren’t guns or knives. This is about good intentions and
and different types of hip hop,” begins Jimmy happening. There would have to be some kind of for me, ultimately that’s what hip hop and reggae
as we settle down for a nice cup of tea before his social commentary and substance to the songs. So are all about.
soundcheck. “Although the dancehall side of I had that infl uence from really young and that
things is at the forefront of my mind, I like to set stuck with me.” “You may have come to the dance with a bad
myself challenges. Can I do a roots reggae tune? attitude or you had a bad day,” he continues, “but
Can I do a dub tune? In doing that I’ve got an Having been singled out by Roots Manuva as one when you leave the dance you don’t feel the same
album’s worth of material and I’ve been learning to watch, Jimmy had a string of releases on the way anymore. And I haven’t had to be blatant
all along the process. By keeping myself on my Banana Klan label before being picked up by Map about it, I’ve just sung and we’ve played some
toes and producers keeping me on my toes, I keep Music who have provided the backing for Jimmy to tunes.”
the crowd on their toes.” push things further with his current ‘Scandalous’
single and forthcoming long player. Having As for the future, Jimmy has a tour to promote
An energetic performer with a singing voice and toured the length and breadth of the country ‘The Remedy’ lined up for after the summer.
a rapping fl ow to match, Jimmy has been ripping playing shows to rock crowds and at a number of “Then I’ll be going back into the lab and starting
up shows countrywide since he fi rst hooked up festivals, including Glastonbury, Jimmy recently all over again,” he reveals. “I’ve spent two years
with a certain Mr Manuva, but his experience of showed his versatility by converting the partisan working on this album but it’s been a labour of
music making goes way back to his school days. “I hip hop crowds on his recent tour with Ugly love. This music has been therapy for me and I
started going to a local play centre in Nunhead, Duckling. hope it’s like therapy for other people. That’s why
South London,” he reveals. “The guy that ran the my album is called ‘The Remedy’.”
play centre had a studio just down the road. It was It’s not only his individuality as an artist but also
used by Top Cat and some big reggae artists, so his positive attitude that marks him out from the
there’s me, a rapper, going into a reggae studio pack. “I’m not treading on anyone’s toes, I’m
and being shown how to record in a reggae or coming in from the left side,” Jimmy explains.
dancehall way. I’d be in there doing my thing and “This is what I do. I’ve got tunes and tunes and
I was developing as a hip hop artist but the reggae tunes but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The
dancehall and dub infl uences were always there. most important thing is that people understand
So eventually I started to record a kind of hybrid that this is what we call clean-hearted music. This
of both. That was really the natural thing to do. It is music to uplift and music to educate, but not
was like a regime in a sense. You couldn’t get away preach. Through my whole set I don’t mention
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