UK Interview: Cyrus Da Virus on New Mixtape, Future Plans & More
Underground UK Hip Hop emcee Cyrus Da Virus recently alerted us at Black Budget Entertainment of his latest official mix-tape ʻThe Spliff Tapesʼ, a joint venture with fellow emcee Ichelmee. Following on from this we decided to catch up with Cyrus for a brief interview talking about everything from his influences in music to meeting up with fellow emcee Ichelmee, check it out below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself
[I] am a south London based rapper. I began rapping in the early 90′s mainly performing at open mic’s and freestyle battles. Due to my harsh lyrical content I was a notorious battle emcee. The 1st studio album I made “what do u know about Cyrus” received great international reviews.
What made you choose the name ʻCyrus Da Virusʼ?
My real name is CYRUS and I guess “Da virus” is my alter ego.
What, if any, are the main influences for you when writing your music?
My main influence is everyday life. I document personal experiences and give them a slightly comical twist but still keep it real. As no one has lived “my life” this makes my style unique
At what age did you first decide to make Hip Hop music?
I was about 10, I always had a love for music, all music but for me hip hop was the only way. Initially all of my influences were American artists i.e Red Man, Wu Tang, Mobb Deep and due to this when I first started rapping I sounded straight out of New York. As this was not the way I normally spoke every time I would recite a rhyme it would sound completely different. I began to link up with other UK emcees who were more experienced and already had their own style i.e Black Twang, Rodney P, Fallacy, Skinny Man I then saw that you could actually rap with an english accent and still sound good.
What is the main theme behind your current release ʻThe Spliff Tapesʼ?
My current release “The Spliff Tapes” is not as you may think, just about smoking weed. It’s more of an indecisive discussion about modern day life. We were just smoking when we had it. While recording the mix tape the London riots erupted and we felt compelled to write and add “the people are scared” to the mix tape. Sometimes I think I write a lot of the things people are thinking but can’t or don’t know how to say.
How did you meet up with Ichelmee?
I have known Ichelmee for around 10 years we met through a mutual friend and as we both have a passion for music we soon became good friends. At the time of meeting Ichelmee I was fascinated with his style, even though he does rap in English he also raps on French as well. The combination is really good. Even though I can’t understand the French I still love it
How long have you been working on ʻThe Spliff Tapesʼ?
We have been working on the mix tape for the last six months. It did actually turn out to be a very long process, but I thought it was only fair to drop a free mix tape before the album release later this year.
Who features on production for ʻThe Spliff Tapesʼ?
All music/instrumentals used on the mix tape are taken from well known songs. Once selecting the bests we intended to use, like I said we began to have our discussion. Fugees “ready or not” was transformed into “made this way” an outline of why our wild styles is so unique and Ichelmee let’s you know he can hold a note on the hook
Have you got any other promotion in place?
At the moment I have just secured mix tape distribution and have plans to step up the ad campaign over the next few months.
Have you performed at many live shows and what kind of a reaction do you get?
I have performed at lots of live shows, both here and overseas. Crowd reaction is always good as I have a very lively stage presence and always interact with the audience. I think this Is the most important part of the show.
Have you been on any live radio shows and what do you prefer, radio or live on stage?
I have been on various radio shows but not for a little while now. I think I prefer the stage but have no problem setting fire to a booth
Have you featured on any other UK Hip Hop artistʼs tracks, if so, who?
I haven’t really done any features as yet. I did however feature on a track with “Otee Scoundral”
Have you got any videos on-line i.e YouTube, Vimeo etc?
Have you been featured on any UK broadcasters like SBTV/Link Up TVʼs YouTube channels?
What are the plans for the future?
I have a new album that will be released later this year. Ichelmee will also be releasing a album. New singles also lots of collaborations new videos and freestyles. Watch out for the official “styles4free” cypher coming soon.
Thanks for your time, is there anyone you would like to shout out?
I’d like to shout out my production team Anodomini beats, Retaco beats,minister Chris, Just4beats, Kulture Black. ‘Nuff respect to Toxic tv taking the visuals to a next level, my manager also I’d also like to big up all the other UK hip hop artists making moves and improving the situation with music. Don’t stop!!!!!
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