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Gloucester rapper Griz-O on why he makes music

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Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Monday, 23rd March 2020, 09:00

Griz-O Griz-O

Lucas Vaughan is a rapper and DJ better known around these parts as Griz-O.

Self-described as Gloucester “born and bred”, he’s one of the most recognisable faces and voices to be seen and heard in music venues around Gloucestershire, as well as further afield in places like Bristol and London.

He says he first knew he wanted to start making music after getting involved in freestyling at local youth clubs and events.

“I have been messing around with music since the age of around 14 or 15 so easily over 10 years,” he said. “I’d say I’ve been trying to pursue it seriously since around 2015.

“I was a massive fan of music first so I guess the day when I started making my own was always on the cards.”

Growing up, Griz-O says he was heavily influenced by his father’s musical tastes of 90s hip-hop and rappers like 2pac and Biggie Smalls.

As he got more and more into music he started listening to rappers like Ludacris and Busta Rhymes, as well as grime artists including Roll Deep and Skepta.

He continued: “I like artists who are real and not afraid to tell you their truth no matter how nice or bad it is – it inspires me to do the same myself.

“I don’t only love hip hop, but I find with hip hop there is more attitude and style involved – also I feel in some of the more raw forms it is a voice for the voiceless.”

Over the years, Griz-O has performed at some of the area’s biggest events, like the King’s Jam Festival and the Rooftop Festival in Gloucester.

He’s also featured on BBC Introducing and BBC 1xtra, and is part of local vocal collective 5 Mics.

“I’m a mixed bag of different styles,” he explained, “I try to stay versatile without compromising on quality, from the deepest, darkest to the lightest brightest!

“Performing is fun especially when I’m doing the grime and electronic stuff because there’s so much energy involved from the crowd and everyone on stage – it can go from casual to chaos in a matter of seconds if the combination of the MC and DJ is right! It’s also a good way to test out new material to see what works and what doesn’t work so well.”

Alongside a full-time job, Griz-O spends most of his evenings and weekends on music.

So does practice make perfect when it comes to creating new music?

“I wouldn’t say it’s gotten easier,” he admitted. “It has however become less complicated, I tend not to think too much these days about writing – I just go with what I feel or wait for the right words and motivation to come.

“I like hearing the beats and letting them talk to me – I ask myself, ‘what do I hear when I hear this beat?’ ‘What is it saying to me?’”

The coming months are set to be eventful for Griz-O, with a new radio residency in Bristol and shows most weekends around the county and beyond.

“I’m currently working on a new project called ‘Southwest Sicko’ and organising a small tour alongside it,” he added.

“I have also been working on some international collaborations which has led to me being invited out to Russia and also Kazakhstan where I played a headline slot last year.

“There’s lots more in the pipeline, most of which I’m not allowed to talk about at this moment but I’m confident that the rest of this year will be busy for me!”

For more information on Griz-O visit www.grizofficial.com

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