Monday, 22 February 2010

Introducing: Testament

Here's the unedited version of my piece on Homecut, written for and published in HHC Digital 002:

When a friendly cuppa becomes one third of a collaboration and a case of stalking makes up the remainder, one should expect remarkable results. So it was that Homecut, the alias of MC, beatboxer and singer Testament, built his single ‘I Don’t Even Know’. The track features the vocal talents of chart topping songstress Corinne Bailey Rae who heard the track when she popped into the studio for a drink and subsequently demanded to sing on it. Then, after tracking him down and hijacking a radio interview Homecut also managed to get a sax solo and 16 bars from Birmingham jazz/rap cat Soweto Kinch.

Homecut’s debut album ‘No Freedom Without Sacrifice’ boasts contributions from over fifty musicians plus a couple of rap cameos. Ty firmly stamps his approval and American MC J-Live trades bars on ‘Time Difference’, a track that covers three concepts: time zones, the day in the life of a rapper and coming to terms with growing up. Working with a hero via phone and email after supporting them at a show may be unconventional and difficult but as Testament explains, “J’s really on it… he always comes correct” – in fact the hook-up deserves full marks.

Thematically, Testament raps about reality: “Life can be tough – I think everyone can identify with that. This is my attempt at expressing this…” Don’t get it twisted though, he continues: “…but also the sense of hope and perseverance that got me through it”. Moaning and negativity have no place in the Homecut repertoire - positivity is key to the overall sound.

When Homecut isn’t roaming the country recording in all manner of places (boats, dressing rooms, churches…) he’s busy being a part of Shlomo’s Vocal Orchestra, performing with a 6 piece band and running music workshops in prisons. It’s this unique combination of factors that makes for the refreshing musical output of this London-born, Leeds-dwelling, full time musician. Carving his own groove in a 30 year old genre, Homecut is stuck in no rut and fits in no mould.

HHC, in their new tradition of giving an mp3 of a track by each featured artist put up Homecut's collaboration with J-Live, 'Time Difference', for you to listen to. The album 'No Freedom Without Sacrifice' is out on Monday 25th May.

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