Meet Jeshi, The Rapper Delivering an Unfiltered Insight into Britain’s Broke Youth

Photos by Michelle Mentu

On a sunny Saturday afternoon down at the beach at Brighton’s Great Escape festival, we headed backstage to sit down with East London’s rising star rapper, Jeshi, to discuss his upcoming debut album, Universal Credit.

Thanks for taking the time mate. How have you been, are you enjoying the festival?

Yeah, it’s sick man, just been getting pretty f*cked up. Pretty late one last night seeing Yung Singh do a set, then had a nice swim in the sea today.

For real?

Yeah yeah, it’s the most refreshing thing ever man, could cure a hangover instantly. When in Rome, right?

So, you have Universal Credit coming out soon?

I got my actual universal credit coming and Universal Credit the album, I got both!

You’ve been dropping projects since around 2016 though, what made you feel like it was finally time to craft an album?

For me, doing this album was like a big ‘f*ck you’ to everyone cause, nowadays ‘album’ is like a dirty word. People are scared to do an album, man, cause the whole concept of ‘the album’ has changed. Before, when I was younger, the first thing I ever heard from people was their album. Now, people think you shouldn’t do an album ‘till you have X amount of monthly listeners or win the BBC Sound or something. When you’re like poppin’ poppin’. But at the end of the day it’s like, I love albums, and what I care about is making great albums and I will not be dictated as to when I can make one by numbers. I have something to say, to try and compress that into something more easily digestible just doesn’t make sense to me. I think the audience is smart and people actually do appreciate great albums with an actual concept, when you can feel an artist really cares about what they’re doing. Which I think in anything less than an album is hard to get across.

I agree, I feel like nowadays a lot of artists just blowing up will only drop an EP, just to be safe.

Well, the thing is they have these people doing like 1500 singles, 27 EPs, and they just run around in that loop forever. I love EPs and there’s a lot of EPs I enjoy, but it’d be really hard to tell you any EPs that really impacted, like really made a difference to, well, anything, really. Like when people talk about classic albums and sh*t, no one talks about classic EPs, it’s not a thing. For me, I’ve done EPs, this album feels like the next level, what I should be doing.

Photo by Francis Plummer

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