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Interview: Paradime

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No Man Is an Island is a famous quote from English poet John Donne, Paradime is a direct representation of those words. Coming out of North London, the creative collective Paradime consist of writers, actors, singers, rappers, gym enthusiasts, sportsmen, producers and more. Created as a means to help one another achieve their goals, the Paradime name has recently been causing a stir in the London underground scene. Previously Next Up sat down with rapper 4i to discuss the release of his widely praised mixtape ‘Soul Rich’. For our print edition we thought it was only right to catch up with the team and give them their proper introduction.

What is Paradime and how was it created?

4i: Paradime is a collective of creatives that consist of a whole group of really close friends that all share the same vision and help each other achieve goals. Whether its music related or not. It was originally created as the Brotherhood which was a bit cliché and dead, it consisted of only a few of us but from there it grew out. My brother came up with the name Paradime and from then we ran with it. It sounds more universal and it resonated with everyone better.

Who is a part of the collective and what does everyone do?

4i: Number 4 and letter i. I’m a singer, song writer and rapper. I just dropped the Soul Rich EP, produced by DA.

Jay Paul: I’m Jay Paul, I direct and edit videos.

Xon: I’m Xon I do videography and a lot of the videos. I produce and sing. Live to love and love to live, no auditions.

Latir: I’m a singer and songwriter and now I’m starting to produce. Also a guitarist, pianists, clarinettist and all around creative.

Patch: I’m a rapper, poet and writer.

Levi: Just dropped my mixtape ‘Gym Life’. [everyone laughs] Only playing I’m not musically talented but I’m on a different journey, just following the whole fitness and healthy lifestyle. I encourage the importance of educating yourself about fitness so everyone can share their experiences and goals.

DA: I’m a producer, that’s as far as it goes.

Bobby Devyne: I play football but for me Paradime is not just music, it’s a collective of individuals trying to help each other. I’ve been here since the Brotherhood.

Karl: I’m an actor and I also came up with the name. Paradime is a small metaphor, without sounding rebellious it’s about making rules that fit our world, because if you don’t someone else will do it for you.

Andre: I’m someone who embraces the philosophy of incorporating mind, body and soul in whatever I do. I’m currently writing some children’s stories with the hope to inspire morals and values.

How does independence relate to Paradime?

Karl: Were reaching a new age, in the past you needed a thousand people to do one job but now three people can do it. It means standing on your own two feet and doing things for the greater good.

With the release of ‘Soul Rich’ your fan base is increasing daily, what have been some of the highlights since releasing the album?

It’s the response from people; I was talking to DA about it the other day. We’ve been getting messages about which songs people love and hearing stories of how Soul Rich has helped them in certain circumstances and it’s been great. I was saying to DA this is why we did the music, to get this human reaction. It’s very rewarding.

4i: It’s the response from people; I was talking to DA about it the other day. We’ve been getting messages about which songs people love and hearing stories of how Soul Rich has helped them in certain circumstances and it’s been great. I was saying to DA this is why we did the music, to get this human reaction. It’s very rewarding.

How have things changed since releasing ‘Soul Rich’?

Yeah in terms of exposure and the way people view you, were still up and coming artist but people have a lot more respect for my craft. Because everyone’s doing music, when you tell someone, the reaction is not always positive but now, with the release of Soul Rich and a lot of videos, people have a different perspective on us.

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In your music you mention your family a lot, how has your brother’s acting influenced you?
4i: His passion and work rate. He’s always taken it very serious and it made me realise that is how I need to approach my craft. Different areas but the principle is always the same.

Karl, at what age did you want to be become an actor?

Karl: To be fair I’ve naturally fallen in to it. It’s been the one thing where people have said ‘wow you’re really good at this’. It’s been that encouragement from school that has given me the support and confidence to keep me going with it. From primary school where I played King Louie from the Jungle Book, that’s around the time my interest started.

You have featured on TV shows such as the BBC’s ‘Murdered By My Boyfriend’ and adverts such as ‘Reebook’. What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt on set?

Karl: The discipline and humbleness required. A lot of the times, when you go to a professional set, you realise how insignificant you are. You’re a small part of a big canvas and you have to play that position. A lot of the time, ego trips can take over and it can be self-destructive. In the industry there are groups of people who like each other and have something in common, that goes beyond the acting. That is the reason why they work together. The lesson I’ve learnt is to be friendly and be open to new experiences. I’ve been able to reflect on it as a company and collective, when it comes to professionalism we might not all realise it, but professionalism has allowed us to get through the process efficiently and seamless.

As a person of colour is in the UK, are opportunities in acting hard to find?Karl: I work with a company, it’s a youth advisory channel that helps young black males get back into employment, something ridiculous like 55.5% are unemployed and this is not trying to sound politically correct, this is out there. In the acting world I can look up to Cuba Gooding Jr or Idris Elba but what I’ve realised is that, they are the minority compared to the big scheme of that playing field. You need roles models. There is an assumption that black men have to go down the artistic route to be successful and what happens is we all go in that direction and only a pool of us make it. With the advancement of technology there is more room for us to start to create our own fields.

DA you handle a lot of the production and Patch and 4i have very different sounds, how do you decide what beats go to which artist?

DA

DA

DA: I don’t have to decide. When I’m producing I’m trying to get the best out them whilst respecting them as artists. Because they are different entities it comes natural.

What music influences your sound?

DA: A bit of everything. Especially with 4i the music that we are making has been influenced by his love for different types of Hip Hop influenced by his family, from underground Hip Hop to Garage. For me I listen to a whole bunch of different people from Flying Lotus to J Dilla to 9th Wonder and more. I have influences from everywhere and the music is about getting the best out of the artist.

What is the recording process like and do you give artists comments on how they should sound?

DA: With 4i his recording process and what he does with the music is never expected from me. I’ll give him a beat and he’ll come back to me with what he’s done with it and I’ll be thinking ‘wow I never expected that’. With Patch, a lot of the time we will compose the songs together, so I have more of an input because we talk about the composition of the song more.

Latir you recently released ‘The Alpha Kid’ how would describe this song for those who haven’t heard it?

Latir: The approach I took was epic, I heard the beat and I tried to make it as big as possible, it was written for a future son, saying he can be the greatest if he puts his mind to it. I tried to play with the words. For those who haven’t heard it, I would describe it as epic and powerful. Play it through your speakers.

What singers inspire you?

Latir: Recently Frank Ocean, Miguel in the past John Legend, Stevie Wonder and a couple of jazz legends like Frank Sinatra. Those are the main ones.

Xon you produce and sing are you working towards a project and how would describe your production and singing sound?

Xon: I’m actually working on a solo project and something with DA. My solo project is completely abstract, old school Slum Village-ish vibes, basslines and funk. The project I’m doing with DA has a similar vibe, but more modern with Soul and trill trap. I would define my voice as a free spirit, when I’m writing my songs I try to bring a good tone and vibe to the music.

What do the golden masks in the music videos represent?

Xon: I think 4i would be best to answer that question but from my perspective, it represents how everything is interlinked from the concept of ‘Soul Rich’ it utilises how every aspect has soul and you have to embrace that fact. It has literal meaning, in that everyone has a mask that they show about materialistic things and with that mask, it’s a question of what is behind it.

Patch you recently released ‘The Pirate Ep Vol 1’, what can we expect from this?

Patch: With ‘The Pirate Ep Vol 1’ you’re going to get an introduction to me as a person and as an artist. It’s a small collection of stories from my life. It’s available to download at patchandonly.bandcamp.com

What is the Drunken Philosophy?
Patch: The Drunken Philosophy is a phrase that I put together to embody the ethos behind my music, which is to embrace your contradictions. I believe everybody has this element within them and a rounded set of characteristics but sometimes people can only show one side and I feel we need to embrace every part of who we are. Even if things don’t make sense. Drunken Philosophy came about because I’m a big party person and rum drinker but I’m also deeply spiritual and I like to read and I’m into Philosophy. Those two lifestyles are not considered to go hand to hand.

You recently released a single from your EP called ‘No Auditions’, which starts of aggressive but the tone changes towards the end. You end the song with the lines “I wanna live like I’m alive so I can give it all to you.” Who are those lines directed at?

The ‘u’ is twofold, firstly it represents my family, the benefits that I achieve I want to be able to share it with them. Then the bigger u is the audience because I want to be able to help people, through the things I do.

What can we expect from Paradime in the future?

Patch: You can expect consistency of music, visuals and positive energy. We are going to continue to build on that, the more momentum the more you will see.

Photography by Sid Black

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