Last time we chatted to Blazin Squad it was a week before the guys went straight in at Number One in the singles chart with their cover of the Bone Thugs and Harmony track "Crossroads". If it was any other band you'd be able to write them off as one hit wonders, but the Blazin Squad story is not the same as any other pop group. The group came together organically in North London independently of the music industry and even before they were signed the white label of "Standard Flow" was blowing up on the underground scene. This month they release their debut album "In The Beginning" which follows their second single "Love On The Line" out this week. We caught up with Melo D from the group to find out what's been happening over the past few months.
Q: We last chatted the week before "Crossroads" came out. Must have been a mad time for you - Number 1 with your debut single and all in the same week your GCSE results came out. Was it a case of GCSE's out the window then?
A: It was like that because we didn't really have enough time for revision and stuff. So I suppose it did get in the way a little bit. But it was mad because it was expected and unexpected at the same time. We were told by loads of people along the way that it would do really well, but when it happened we were all just stunned. It took a while for it to sink in for everyone.
Q: You've been doing music in your bedroom since you were all aged 13. Was this the time when your parents finally started taking you seriously?
A: Yeah. It's quite a big step up now from those days. We all started when we were 13, but it wasn't until we were about 14 or 15 that we were rapping and rhyming properly. At the time I was kind of looking up to Eminem and all the American rap stars as well as the garage crews like So Solid, Pay As You Go and the garage scene's pirate radio stations.
Q: So how did it all start from listening to UK Urban acts like So Solid to actually getting the crew together yourselves?
A: A boy from school that we knew did work experience in a studio and he knew that we were all into MC-ing, so he told us to go down to the studio just to like make a demo. We just thought it would be for us to listen to ourselves and then it was really good so they showed it to a few record companies and we got signed through that.
Q: The track "Standard Flow" that you got signed on was a lot more underground than the Blazin' Squad were used to now. The other guys were saying last time that they were worried the record company was turning you into a boy band - is that still the case?
A: That what we were like into originally, proper MC-ing, and I think as we've grown up since then we've changed our flow. It's a more mature sound as opposed to the usual garage MC-ing. We don't really think that anymore because we've got more of a say what's going on and were just keeping it how we want it.
Q: After "Crossroads" and the new single "Love On The Line", the album "In The Beginning" balances things up though with a few darker tunes and few different flavas?
A: "Love On The Line" is definitely the most poppiest thing on the album. The rest are R&B and garage. We were expecting to have lots more flava's on there, just something for everyone, but when we made the album we found out that the R&B and Garage tracks were the best ones so we just put them on there. It's a lot more laid back and chilled out than we were expecting.
We've known each other for ages and we know which flava's will work on a track. We all go away and write our own flow and then when we come together we see what fits best. Obviously we've all got our own favourite tracks, but for me it's gotta be "All About The Music" - it's the one track which people aren't going to expect from us!!!
"Love On The Line" is out now
The album "In The Beginning" follows on Nov 25th
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