Growing up in a struggle is always hard, regardless of where you’re from. Most youths turn to crime, violence and other forms of anti-social behaviour, but there is another way out that many have found successful and most importantly: helpful. That other way out is music.
RIO is one of the biggest names coming out of Manchester, and is undoubtedly one of the best names in grime. This documentary helps show the struggle he went through but how it all paid off, how you have to stick at what you want to do to be good at it. It goes through his trials and tribulations as a Manchester MC, and how Manchester artists like Shifty helped him really get into grime. Speaking about his origins of spitting bars on the estate to being featured on 1Xtra, and getting cosigns – also praise in the video – from the likes of Ghetts and Scrufizzer.
KTS.TV produced the documentary and it will be on their YouTube channel as well as the notorious Link Up TV, which well help push both KTS.TV and RIO’s names further out of Manchester, just like they did for Bugzy Malone as well as many other artists from outside London. KTS.TV been helping push young raw talent from in and around Manchester, and this documentary only further solidifies their status as a leading channel in urban entertainment. It is onwards and upwards for this company and RIO is just the artist to help promote the channel more, with this eye-opening insightful documentary, you’ll be sure to look out for more of what Kieron and co have to bring.
I was lucky enough to speak to RIO over the phone and he gave me a few words:
What can you say about the documentary?
The documentary is very insightful, I’ve wanted to do it for a while. It kind of starts with Street Smart Entertainment and documents everything through to my big achievements and also the ups and downs in my career. It helps document my kids importance to me and how they’re my number one priority. It documents how I’ve worked with Kozzie, Scrufizzer and Ghetts and what they have to say. How I’ve opened for NaS and Rick Ross, I’ve just wanted people to see it for a long time. The only reason that I’m doing a screening of it is because you get a lot of guys who just go “here’s a link for my YouTube” and that’s it, so I thought I’d do a live show, have a q&a after and let people see directly, first hand how I am. So yeah I decided to do the screening to connect with people, make it live and direct. Hopefully a few young artists come down and get inspired to do music too.
Who are your inspirations in grime?
Obviously the guys who were about when I was growing up, first getting into it: Wiley, Kano, Dizzee, the guys who were smashing it. My cousin T Bizzle who started Street Smart Ent. got me into grime, and a few of us just used to spit bars on the estate, nothing serious, just a little joke around. Then we’d go to the local studio, or bedroom and spit. I’d mainly link up with friends and then started to do sets and then it started to take off and I made a few mixtapes. I started selling mixtapes around Manchester, and cities around me and took grime serious after I saw the organic fan base had started to build.
How excited for you about grime as whole and how it’s taken off?
I love it. That’s the genre I’ve come from, what I grew up with. I’ve had management deals where they try to tell you what to make and dilute what you do but it’s good to see grime now. I’d sent songs to radios of grime and they’d be asking me to look at their playlist and do something like them songs, dilute my songs, so I started to make hip-hop and whatever, I’m not one to shy away from taking risks. Now I’m focused on making songs, and with grime at the forefront of UK’s music scene it is exciting and I’m in my comfort zone.
Obviously you have your EP Concrete Rose out soon, but what else is next for you?
You Don’t Know single is coming soon produced by Z Dot who’s the best producer in grime at the minute. We’ve made songs together before so it was good to do, the song is with Royce Da 5’9 which I was amazed my management got, he’s obviously boys with Eminem and doing his Slaughterhouse stuff which is massive so to do the grime single was epic and I wouldn’t let him spin me on grime because it’s my genre. I’m enjoying making music again, I’m in a good place. I lost connection with fans before as I didn’t let them into my life but it’s different.But yeah I’ve got a lot more features and a big announcement about the EP in the next week. I mainly want to help up and coming artists in Manchester, they’ve got crazy talent. I think 2016 is coming at the right time, I’m gonna start the new year strong, work on the album next year too. I’ve stopped putting pressure on myself, I’m more laidback in that I don’t say “this is gonna be the single that blows” but I just take it as it comes, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’m enjoying it.
If you’re not lucky enough to go to the screening you can view it here on YouTube