By Joseph 'JP' Patterson
Artist Name: Smiler
Location: London, UK.
Musical Style: "Bringing back that '95 rap sound into the post-millennium."
Smiler, a conscious-minded rhymer from south London, is what hip-hop has been missing. His style of rapping will automatically take you to a place of yesteryear, where lyrics had more meaning to it, where flows were much more complex than a lot of today’s nursery rhyme-style rubbish. Having grown up listening to dons of hip-hop lyricism, namely Nas, Smiler picked up skills from his favorite MCs and molded a unique sound for himself.
After six years of putting blood, sweat, and his own money into music (see: "Neighbourhood"), it all finally paid off when Warner signed the Lana Del Rey collaborator at the end of 2011. "It has been very different being a signed artist," Smiler told RapFix. "If you had of asked me towards the end of last year, after I just signed my deal and was in the readjusting stages, I probably would've told you that it was not much different, due to the fact that much wasn't really happening – as we were in the process of strategizing a whole new plan.
"Since we started to put the wheels in motion for my All I Know mixtape project, and I went on the MOBO tour, I began to feel everything going up a notch or three – from my profile, the speed at which things were getting done and, of course, my network. It's a beautiful feeling working with a team of people who not only share your vision, but are also as enthusiastic and excited about your future as you are."
This week’s "UK Video Of The Week" comes from Smiler, featuring Professor Green and Tawiah. "Top Of The World" is the new uplifting single from the smooth spitter, and the title pretty much speaks for itself. Smiler’s flow on this track just makes you want to smile and bounce, while Tawiah’s amazing vocal will make you want to put it on repeat all day! If you haven’t heard of Professor Green over in the States yet, I’m pretty sure you will do very soon. The former battle-rapping, now chart-topping star adds some braggadocio to finish off the track nicely, which was only right.
"It was great working with Pro and Tawiah on "Top Of The World" because before anything, they're both really talented musicians,” Smiler says about working with the rapper and up-and-coming vocalist. “I was familiar with Tawiah prior to working with her, but hadn't heard too much of her music. Her future looks real bright.
"It's a pleasure to work with Pro, it's something that the two of us had been discussing for a while but schedules and finding the right song hindered us. I sent it to him, he liked it, we bounced dates back and forth, he invited me to his studio and he laid down his verse. I've got a lot of time for Pro, he has kept it 100 with me from the second we spoke, so it's all love."
Smiler has high hopes for his future. "I hope "Top Of The World" connects with the masses, in the sense that it familiarises them with Smiler and makes them look forward to hearing more. I believe I have a lot to offer and would love for the nation to give me the opportunity to show them," says Smiler on his next major single release.
He added: "Over the next 6-12 months, I plan to solidify my position as one of the most exciting artists to come out of the UK. Also, I aim to deliver a classic debut album and remind my existing support base why they've supported me to this point, and entice them and everybody else who aren’t yet familiar with Smiler to join me on what could be a long, illustrious and eventful journey..."
RapFix’s "UK Video Of The Week" is a new weekly column by UK-based music journalist, Joseph 'JP' Patterson, designed to give us a closer look at hip-hop across the pond. Stay tuned.