#TheGhettsDown got over 200 entries, but there could only be one winner. Ghetts chose Gen, a 24-year-old from East London, and they’re currently working on the winning track together. We chatted to him about what it felt like to win, and his musical plans for the future.
What made you want to get involved with the competition?
“Well of course Ghetts was the main reason, but I also used to make music when I was younger, writing bars and stuff in school and college. I went to the same college as RudeKid funnily enough. But yeah – I stopped making music because of family stuff and I had to put music to the side to focus on work and my family, so when I saw the competition I thought it was just the perfect opportunity to get back into music. And Ghetts of course. I don’t usually get involved with competitions but when I saw it was Ghetts I just had to get involved.”
Have you been a fan of Ghetts for a long time then?
“Yeah, since the very beginning. He’s always been my favourite MC. I think he’s one of the best Grime MCs ever.”
How did it feel to win?
“I was buzzing! I couldn’t believe it at first, when I first did it – I just recorded it in 10/15 minutes – but I didn’t think much of it. Then I saw as the days went on that there were one hundred, two hundred people entering and I thought, ‘well, okay. That’s it, I’m done,’ but then I watched a couple and I thought ‘maybe I’ve still got a chance,’ and then I won! I was absolutely buzzing.”
Are you excited to get in the studio?
“Yeah definitely, this will be my first time properly writing, recording and going to the studio since I was like 18. I haven’t been to a proper studio before, when I was younger I just used to go to my boys’ house and record.”
What are you looking to learn from being mentored by him?
“It would be unfair to say everything, but I’d like to see his writing techniques. It’s more about layering, adlibs, the little details that you wouldn’t think of that I need to touch up on.”
What did you like about The Get Down as a fan of hip-hop?
“I think it’s really interesting to see the genre’s origins and its disco history, and I think it’s really sick. And Nas’ involvement too – I’m a massive Nas fan. Anyone like him and Ghetts – lyricists and talented song writers, I’m a massive fan of that. I respect it, I love it.”
After you record your track, are you hoping to continue with music now you’ve started again?
“A hundred, million percent. I actually said to myself, ‘if I win this and have the chance to get back into music, then I definitely will.’ I think after I record this I’ll use it as a chance to start getting my name out there again. It is my passion, it’s something that I’ve always loved. It was such a shame to have to give it up due to other stuff. I’m definitely going to continue on after the session. It’s an amazing opportunity.”
If you haven’t watched The Get Down yet, check it out here, and keep an eye out on GRM for the release of Gen’s track.