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Nottingham Musicians Connor Spray and Jah Digga Talk Silver Spoon

25 October 16 words: Bridie Squires

"Notts is full of creative people from all different backgrounds, if we’re on that same creative level we will connect"

How did this collaboration come about?
Connor: Through the off chance via Luke Radford. He knew Jah and had the idea of us collaborating as soon as I met him.
Jourdan: I worked with Luke on the Guillemot short film. He pitched the idea of me and Connor working on a tune, he had this concept of us both playing in a Working Men’s Club.

What was it about being a working class lad from Notts that you wanted to put across?
Connor: I wrote the basic version of the tune, verse and chorus on my acoustic years ago when I was solo and a bit pissed off with the ‘scene’ in Notts. Same as anything, it’s who you know and what you’ve got that usually gets you what you want, and so me and Jah had the concept of the Silver Spoon over working class and moulded the song from that.
Jourdan: For me, it’s about coming from different worlds but having love for a same thing - music. It's expression, when things aren’t exactly rosy I can still express myself and get things off my chest through music. You don’t need money to be creative; I wanted to talk about everyday life. The video had to be real life, no Lamborghini or bottles of Bel Air Rose.

Silver Spoon is lyric-laced. What kind of skill sharing was involved between rapper and singer?
Connor: I just played what I’d written of the track so far to Jah and Nick at CRS one afternoon and that was it. Jah came back rapid with his verse and ideas of which way we went with the tune. Nick the wizard smashed it with the music as usual.
Jourdan: Connor is lyrical and he uses a rap structure in his tunes, he came with the hook and we just worked with it. We connected as artists and we're mates, the vibes we there so it was easy.

What were the benefits to working with Nick Stez from CRS?
Connor: His mad diverse taste and knowledge of all music is what made the collab work out as good as it has. He knew just what it needed and hit that fine line bang on.
Jourdan: Mate, he’s the professor, he’s an amazing mentor. Every session we have in CRS is with Nick. He’s taught me everything. Using the kit, breathing and mic techniques. It’s a pleasure working with him.

How were locations chosen for the video and why?
Connor: Hucknall cos that’s where I’m from, and same for Jah with St Ann’s.
Jourdan: Luke had his vision, he knew what he wanted. Once the tune was finished, it clarified everything.

Are you planning to do any more collaborations in the future, either with each other or with different artists?
Connor: Yeah got an idea being looked at which will take this an even bigger step with Jah again and two other Notts hip-hop/grime artists. It will be massive!
Jourdan: Yeah, I’m collabin all the time, deffo gonna do more work with Connor and Nick Stez. I’ve got an EP coming out in the New Year and there are some interesting collabs on it.

Is there anything in particular about Nottingham that inspired this track?
Connor: Not much really. This has come about because I don’t limit myself to playing a guitar with a big coat and sunglasses on just cos I’m in a rock 'n' roll band. I’m well into grime and rap and all that so when the opportunity came up to work with Jah who again doesn’t lock himself down to one genre, I was buzzing. Cos Notts is small once you start getting to know the right faces, links come about a lot easier and you can then start taking things in the direction that feels natural.
Jourdan: Notts is full of creative people from all different backgrounds, if we’re on that same creative level we will connect. Now that Hockley is the creative hub of Notts I’m networking all the time, at events, exhibitions, raves. My surroundings inspired me. Seeing things, both positive and negative. Seeing how other people live.

Are there any other artists you admire for pushing it forward, either locally, nationally or internationally?
Connor: I think what Sleaford Mods have done is fucking big. They have gone in to their own league with their sound. Then you go see them live and it’s just fucking chaos. Proper sick.
Jourdan: Loads mate. Young T & Bugsey and Mez from the younger generation. Nina Smith who’s been doing this for years. Wretch 32 and Skepta are amazing; they have put England on the map. Hawk House a crew from London, a conscious rap crew, they talk a lot of sense. Nas is the all-time greatest though.

Do you both have any solo projects on the go?
Connor: Yeah I’m the lead singer of The Ruffs. Get us up on YouTube naaah.
Jourdan: Yeah, I’ve got the EP coming out in January with Nick Stez, it’s about my life and the events that made me who I am today. It’s a personal journey. The whole EP is a counselling session.

Anything else you’d like to say?
Connor: Yeah. Get on YouTube and listen to The Ruffs for the next three weeks. Then download Silver Spoon from iTunes or Spotify. Sound.
Jourdan: Look out for future projects from myself, 2Tone, Nick Stez and J Littles.


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