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Maxsta (Ian Koromah) is the first act signed to SBTV founder Jamal Edwards’ label Just Jam. The Peckham-born 20-year-old’s parents escaped the civil war in Sierra Leone to London. Aware of the sacrifices his folks made so their children could have a better life, he is determined to succeed. Debut single ‘I Wanna Rock’ is receiving recognition from fellow UK rappers Wretch 32, K Koke and DJ Charlie Sloth. Flavour meets up with Maxsta to talk women, beats that bang and cheesy motivation...

How did you come up with Maxsta? I’ve had the name since I was about 11. I saw it written on a bus one day, and at the time I was looking for a tag, but wanted one I hadn’t heard before. I saw it graffed on the window and I thought, yeah, I can remix that.

How did you get into music? When I was young I played the cello, guitar, piano and drums. Before I picked up the pen and started to spit, I always liked making music. At school I would always be in the music room in break times. Then I started writing lyrics. But I didn’t spit them to anyone. I didn’t know about flow or how to spit. It took a while to realise I could rap. I was 14 and doing it for fun. When my songs started to play on the radio, it made me think, well, I didn’t ever think I would be on radio, imagine what else I could do...

Tell us about ‘I Wanna Rock’. The producer Show N Prove showed me the sample, and at first I thought, hmm, it’s a bit corny and I don’t want to do it. But I ended up giving it a go and actually liked it. This track is just me in my natural energetic element. I’m going crazy with the flows, on a beat that bangs! The chorus is so simple it lodges in your brain after one play. It’s floor-filler stuff.

How does it feel to be the first act to be signed by Jamal Edwards? My path was meant to be. There were many artists doing so much more that he could have easily chosen. I guess

he thinks I’m an interesting person and I’ve got an interesting story to tell. I’m like, yeah, let me get in the studio and make some music!

What’s the plan for the future? After ‘I Wanna Rock’, two more singles. Hopefully my album drops in February, which means all my singles have to do well. Obviously my team around me have input, but if I don’t like a track, it’s not going on there! It’s my album and not anybody else’s!

Most embarrassing moment ever? Vomiting in the cinema! It was about two years ago; I was a lightweight when it came to drinking, but she suggested we go down to the canal and drink vodka. I was like, yeah, cool, let’s go! The soundtrack for that day was ‘Blinded by the Lights’. I couldn’t order the tickets, so she had to! I don’t even remember what the film was. I’m there with my hand on my head; it was getting worse by the minute. Then I chucked right in- between my legs. She knew people in the cinema, which made it even more embarrassing. She just said ‘Get up, were going.’ An all-time low.

What motivates you? My family. The reason I wanna do stuff in the world is because my family have been through a lot for me

and I wanna help them. I think life itself, if you look at it in a cheesy way.

Are things better since the riots? No. Some people are in jail because of the riots. Give these same people the chance to do it again and tell them they will definitely not get caught, they’d do it again. It shouldn’t be about whether you’re going to get caught, it should be a moral thing.

So... are you single Maxsta? Yes. I’m floating, but you need time to have a girl. A girl asked if I look to the other side in bed and feel somebody should be there. Sometimes, but most of the time I’m just on the go. .

Who is hot right now? Rita Ora! I like that chick Emma Watson. I’ve always been a fan of Harry Potter. I’ve read all the books and watched all the films. I’d marry her character in some dream world, but not as myself! My ideal woman would be Eva Mendes. I don’t know what it is but I’m trying to hit up the older women these days. I’m 20, but in terms of settling down, I need her to be at least 25, especially now I’m going to start driving and stuff.

‘I Wanna Rock’ is out August 5 Follow Maxsta on Twitter @itsMaxsta


MAXSTA Natural energy...

Interview: Debbie Cotti

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