For those with their finger on the pulse of the UK music scene, Aitch is no newcomer.
2019 has of course seen the young Manchester hailing artist become the man of the moment but this is all thanks to the consistent graft which was apparent and prevalent all of last year for those who were paying attention.
Catching up with Aitch at BBC 1Xtra Live, the artist is excited to perform for the Birmingham crowd and revels at his recent tour experiences at cities across the UK. When asked what his favourite track to perform is, Aitch reveals the track to be “Wait”, his grungy single that received stellar artistic visuals earlier in the year.
The last time I caught up with Aitch was exactly a year ago when he was beaming from recording his now-infamous Daily Duppy freestyle.
When asked about his goals and aims for 2019, Aitch said last October, “I want to leave 2018 with everyone knowing that when he comes, whatever he drops 2019, he’s gonna be one of the biggest artists about and that’s gonna happen as well, definitely”.
With several top ten hits, a number one with the remix to “Take Me Back to London” where he joins Jaykae, Stormzy and Ed Sheeran, a critically acclaimed new EP (AitcH20) and legions of fans scrambling for tickets to his headline show, the young artist accurately predicted his future.
When I mention to Aitch that it has been a year since I last caught up with him, he pauses just briefly to reflect on his last 12 months.
The young artist rounds up his biggest achievements in 2019 so far as “getting a top 3 and getting a number 2. “Taste” went number two, obviously the EP went number 3. Yeah, and the tour selling out. I’d say them three, that’s the little hat-trick there”.
A hat-trick it is; in just 12 months, Aitch has awarded himself a plethora of accolades that artists often spend years trying to achieve.
Aitch has mentioned before that he couldn’t go into the studio with the direct intention of recording for the EP and instead recorded tracks that he whittled down at a later date.
On his process for crafting the EP’s final form which eventually consisted of the tracks, “Intro”, “What’s Next”, “Already”, “2 G’s”, “Aeroplane Mode”, “Buss Down”, “Weekday” and “Taste (Make it Shake)”, Aitch detailed the project’s construction.
Aitch said, “It’s hard to choose what to hold back on and what to put out there and that but… I don’t know it just all felt natural and we sat there and put them all in one big file and just played them all one after each other and we wanted to hear like, what flowed better, what sounded nicer like next to other ones, do you get what I mean? And it’s just that final one, it just all worked out like that; it just all sounded right in my ears”.
Of course his achievements this year are an illustration of his incredible work ethic but with Aitch, it’s a thing of quality over quantity.
When I ask how many tracks he has waiting in the vaults, Aitch says, “I don’t know, I’m not even going to gas it; probably about twelve. Twelve solid ones, there’s obviously bits and bobs but yeah twelve, twelve finished songs”.
AitcH20 houses a carefully crafted selection of excellent features from MoStack, Steel Banglez, Tyreezy and ZieZie.
When asked about fellow Manchester artist Tyreezy whom Aitch endearing refers to as “my guy”, Aitch also reveals that he has several tracks with other artists from his hometown. “I’ve got songs with Manchester artists already init. It’s just when the timing’s right init and obviously, people are just busy, it’s hard to link up with people sometimes but, there’s deffo things with Manchester in the pipeline, 100%, definitely”.
Following his collaborations with Birmingham’s finest Jaykae, Aitch also revealed that he has some more music coming with artists from Brum; “I’ve got a song with Stardom, obviously I’ve got to work with Mist, Mitch as well, bare people but I’ve not actually linked up with anyone like that yet”.
As my time with Aitch ended, I kept to the tradition of our last interview and offered the artist the opportunity to once again predict his future.
What’s next for the remainder of the year according to Aitch? “What am I looking to conquer? I want to do the Manchester Evening News Arena, that’s what I want to do, that’s the goal. I need a number one this year and yeah…that’s it. Manchester Arena and a number one and I’m happy”.