The rat-a-tat histrionics and depth-charge bass of trap doesn't seem like the most natural of bedfellows with club music, but life's full of surprises and if David Gest and Liza Minelli worked (for a bit) why can't trap lay next to house, carouse with techno, snuggle up next to UK Bass?
LA producer RL Grime has spent the last few years trying to find a perfectly pitched down sweet spot between them. His bass-heavy workouts and reworkings of the likes of Benny Benassi, Chief Keef and, errr, Jamie Lidell.
We spent exactly seven minutes outside a swanky hotel in East London before RL Grime was whisked to a show at the Laundry in Hackney. it gave us enough time to run through the life of a trap superstar as he chuffed his way through a Camel Blue.
THUMP: You've been in the studio all day right?
RL Grime: Yeah, I got to London yesterday and I've been working all day today. I've no idea where it was in relation to here. It was a fifteen minute Uber away, near a bridge. It was a really nice studio.
What were you working on?
Just random stuff. Some rap beats, some stuff for a new EP. I'm slowly and surely putting that together for sometime this year, and looking at some collaborations too.
We'll keep that a secret.
How much do you enjoy collaborative work?
I definitely love working on music by myself but recently I've really enjoyed reaching out to friends and getting their vibe on things, seeing how they put their spin on stuff. Right now a lot of collaborations you hear online or wherever are conducted over email and I'm not so into that. It feels like a glorified remix. I really like to do it all in person.
Who's the most fun person to hang out with in the studio?
Chris from What So Not is someone I love working with. Salva is great too.
Are there ever times when it just doesn't 'click' with someone?
That happens all the time. It's never like awkward in person because I'll only go into the studio with someone I consider a friend so if things aren't working, aren't clicking, there's a mutual feeling of, "Fuck it, we'll link up again another time."
In terms of finding new artists, people to work with, do you just trawl through SoundCloud like the rest of us?
That's the only way to do it. There's no secret cabal. I'll talk to DJ buddies and they'll recommend stuff so I use that and things like SoundCloud. It's harder to find new music when you're out there on the road. I still love finding new stuff.
Are you acclimatised to jetting round the world now?
Totally. It's been like this for nearly three years now and whenever I'm home now I feel antsy. I need to be making music and putting on shows. It gets tiresome occasionally, sure, but you figure it out as you go. You sleep when you can, make music when you can. I never don't want to play a show, but sometimes you wake up and really don't want to get on a plane. But you do it.
What's the worst airport to hang out in?
Heathrow customs is the worst place ever. The rest of the airport is nice though. I was in the Athens one recently and that's just godawful. Horrible.
Where does life go from here?
There's no real grand vision. It's just trying to be happy in life and having your own version of success. For me that's being able to travel the world, making the music that I like.
What do you enjoy in live most outside of music?
I've got really into cooking. Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver are my favourite TV chefs. I cook two or three meals a day when I'm home and I try to never eat out. I enjoy food. I like entertaining. I recently did a braised beef short-rib with parmesan polenta for my parents. That's a four or five hour to make and it was my best so far.
What don't you like eating?
I don't like olives. Or mushrooms. I'm trying to broaden my palette so maybe I'll get into them soon.
What's the appeal or Ramsay? The sternness?
I never really knew anything about cooking and then I saw him on TV and watched his YouTube videos and stuff. I like how passionate he is. It makes me want to be passionate.
Can you see yourself ever swapping the studio for a Michelin star kitchen?
I think I'd like to find a way to balance them. Look at Action Bronson. He can do a show and then go and make an episode of his show for Munchies. That's the dream.