HHK: Thanks for speaking to us Sir Tomz. You’ve recently been featured on Hip-Hop Kings with your “Lockdown The Mixtape”. How long did the project take from start to finish? And which artists have you teamed up with for the mixtape?
Sir Tomz: Sup Ryan; and thanks for the feature. First of all let me explain; “Lockdown The Mixtape” (Available Via Datpiff) is a mix of all the tracks from “Lockdown” which is a digital album (Available Via ITunes) The album took me about 3 months on and off to complete, but it was finished but not mixed for over a year before I released it. The Album features, Nih’illi aka Nihiliss’sis, Cyrus aka CY (You’ll C Y), Blackitude aka EBU and Juice Aleem.
Lockdown The Mixtape: http://bit.ly/l3tHlD
Lockdown (The Album): http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/lockdown/id434152916.
HHK: Why did you decide to give the mixtape away as a free download? And what previous mixtapes have you released and being involved with?
Sir Tomz: I decided that a mixtape would be an excellent promotional tool; giving away a mix of the album and not the whole thing. I thought it would be good to give away a free sample to the people, so they know if they want to buy the album and support the movement. It just made good business sense to me. Jailhouse Ltd will be making a minimum of two more releases this year; lookout for mixtapes with albums from the artists, “Nih’illi” and “Cyrus”. Straight Fire!!
HHK: You’re currently based in Birmingham. What is the Hip-Hop scene there like at the moment? And which artists should fans be looking out for right now?
Sir Tomz: I live and have always lived in Birmingham UK; I’m born and bred in Birmingham, Grew up in Aston, Chelmsley Wood, Ladywood, Hockley, Handsworth; that’s how it goes. The Hip Hop scene is very competitive round here, nuff MC’s, Crews, and Producers, everybody trying to make their way in the game. The city has a mad ethnic diversity, the mood of the city swings, they locking down all our spots, but we living life, getting money, we keep it moving. These ingredients create great music. Hip Hop can be a very tribal thing when dealing with artists, so right now I’m a keep this immediate fam, I’m feeling Nih’illi, she releasing her album “ILL-Sin-Drome”, and next I got Cyrus and he building his album to come out after that. My fams got it poppin so thats who I’m feelin; I like many artists but I’m building my lane before I talk to much about them, just keepin it real.
HHK: You’ve got an impressive history working alongside the likes of Roots Manuva and Big Dada Recordings. How did these collaborations come around? And what opportunities did these lead to?
Sit Tomz: Thanks for the compliment. My opportunity with big dada came about from my work with Gamma. I was asked to feature on the Gamma Album “Permanament” released on Big Dada Records; my feature was on the track “Supreme Confidence”. This happened around 1999/2000. Shouts out to Blackitude; Juice Aleem, Lord Redeemer and M3. One opportunity leads to another, and after the feature I ended up being in London on a regular basis, doing shows, or watching shows. I would always come equipped with beats, playing them everywhere and anywhere. One day I heard that “Will Ashon” Big Dada label manager liked my beats and I was then offered some production work. This materialised into me holding down three production credits on the “Extra Yard” album; 1) Roots Manuva Remix of Bashment Boggie; 2) The lead album single “Killer Apps” Ft Gamma and Shadowless, 3) A track called “No More Bananas” Ft Infinite Lives. I was buzzin.
HHK: If you could team up with any U.K Hip-Hop artist who would it be? And what music have you been listening to so far this year?
Sir Tomz: I’ll keep it real and say it’s all about my immediate family featured on my album “Lockdown”. I’d like to collaborate with UK artists that respect the Jailhouse Movement. It doesn’t make any sense looking from any other angle. When I do decide to team up with other UK artists, I’ll start in Birmingham. There are a few names in the hat but I aint revealing em yet. Its gunna be a surprise. This year I’ve heard so much good music from a lot of artists. But right now I’m listening to that Styles P & Jadakiss “Am I My Brothers Keeper”.
HHK: What other projects have you got planned for 2011? And where are the best places where fans can check for new music and updates?
Sir Tomz: Personally I got loads a tracks, beats, and many projects to release, I aint stopping right now. Jailhouse Ltd will be making a minimum of two more releases this year; lookout for mixtapes with albums from the artists, “Nih’illi” and “Cyrus”. Their Gunna Be Straight Fire!! The next release from Jailhouse Ltd will be from Nih’illi called “ILL’Sin-Drome”; look out for that! The best place for fans to get updates; are from the following sites:
HHK: What else would you like to add to the end of the interview?
Sir Tomz: Let me say, thanks for the spot. And I’d just like to tell the people that this album of music is creative, animated, enjoyable, informative, relaxing and intense. Its real music fuelled by life, experience and emotion, full of skilled diverse topics, hooks and beats. Cop the mixtape it’s FREE, if you agree that it’s on point support by purchasing the album. These are my download Links for the promotional tracks from the album. Each zip file has a US Remix and the accapella; so any producers wanna hit them up feel free:
25 Pence: http://www.sendspace.com/file/1k8o4y
Stack It Up: http://www.sendspace.com/file/teobz5
The Struggle: http://www.sendspace.com/file/943484
What You Know About: http://www.sendspace.com/file/x9pmv9
Send it back and email a download and a listening link to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you have completed and posted your remix, it may end up on the next Mix CD.
HHK: Thanks for speaking to Hip-Hop Kings Sir Tomz. Good luck for the rest of the year and keep in touch!
Sir Tomz: Word up! And I will.
Interview by Ryan Maxwell