FEATURE: SIMON A. – BLACK AIRFORCE ACTIVITY & GRACE

Growing up, What music was playing around the house as a kid? 

All sorts of stuff to be honest. My mum was always listening to classic Italian music on the TV like Zucchero and Lucio Dalla. My sister and brother were playing grime and R&B. I actually learned what a simile was from D Double’s Street Fighter Riddim believe it or not. The first album I ever heard in full was Drake’s Thank Me Later, which my brother showed me. So I guess that’s why I’m all over the shop.

Black Air Force Activity is a really beautiful track that showcases your surreal level of pocket control and an ability to glide over a complex beat. Who produced the track and what was the initial inspiration for the track? 

Thanks! I actually produced the track myself. The beat came from a few things, fitting with the theme of the song actually. I was watching the anime Parasyte and I heard something in the background, and in my attempt to transcribe it came up with the melody you hear on the song. The drums are actually inspired by the opening to the show Succession, which has similar boom bap-style drums. Then the lyrical theme ultimately came from me realising how much shit I was actually stealing just to make the damn instrumental! So I wanted to discuss the creation of art and the process of gaining inspiration.

Listen To simon a.'s Latest Nonchalant Joint “Black Airforce Activity”

Grace on the other hand showcases your adept vocal ability, When did you first discover you can sing? and how do you approach constructing a track as your flow always feels very free flowing? 

To be honest, I just liked to sing whenever haha. It wasn’t even really a realisation, it was more of a “fuck it, I wanna sing on this first song so I might as well.” Nobody knew I sang or even had an interest in music at all, and people liked it so I guess that’s nice!

The songs really depend on whatever part I come up with first; could be the drums, could be some chords. The vocal melodies are always me just listening to whatever I’ve got so far and just vibing to it. And a lot of the time I get inspired by whatever I just listened to which could be anything! So yeah, I suppose it is pretty free-flowing ngl lool.

Who are you listening to at the minute, do you have any recommendations of creatives that you are enjoying at

Well Isaiah Rashad’s album dropped on Friday and I’ve just had that on repeat haha. PinkPantheress is blowing up and she has loads of bangers so been listening to those. I recently discovered this french artist named Lous and The Yakuza who’s pretty clean. Before that I was just binging the same albums over and over which is pretty standard tbh. MIKE’s Disco!, James Blake’s Overgrown, Jordan Rakei’s Wallflower. These are all great projects.

What’s the plan for the future? Any plans for an album or any live shows that we can look forward to? 

I’m actually planning to release a sort of mini-album next year, Black Airforce Activity is actually a single for it, as well as a song I came out with earlier this year called Badland, and another one dropping in November this year. I actually just did a live show at Folklore in Shoreditch! Haven’t got another one planned but can’t wait to do it again!


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