Catching Up With 17 Year-Old Rapper Harvey Marwood

We caught up again with the Kent-based rapper Harvey Marwood, who returns with his new single “17”.

So many artists around the world have somehow convinced themselves and those around them that they have what it takes to be the next big thing. Although it may be inspiring in a way, but there’s a lot of delusion behind that. What these artists often lack is real and honest people around them who would give them honest feedback at all times. However, there’s a list of gifted artists out there who remain humble despite their superior abilities — one of them is now 17 year-old rapper hailing from Kent Harvey Marwood.

For an artist his age, Marwood is as mature and responsible as an adult. Throughout our interaction in the past six months I’ve noticed that this young man has similar personal traits to South London rapper Dave. As artists they have a few similarities too — they are both lyrically talented and create music with substance. With his new single “17” out now and a forthcoming debut EP on the way, it was only right to catch up with one of the best rising rappers in the UK. Read our conversation below.

How are you doing Harvey?

I am doing good thank you.

What have been doing during lockdown?

My lockdown has consisted entirely of completing coursework and making new music. Having a home studio set up has been amazing in the sense that I can stay creative and record when I need/want to record, as well as being able to prepare myself for future releases etc. It’s also seen me work a lot more collaboratively with other artists and people, which I hope has been beneficial for everyone that has been involved in the current projects being worked on.

That sounds good to me. Has school affected your creativity at all?

I think in ways it’s boosted my creativity but in other ways it limits it. I wake up on some days and I can feel really motivated and creative but on other days I have very little motivation and creativity. Writing lyrics for me is heavily inspired by things that are happening in my life and what people are talking about, so of course school is influential in what I put on a pad; some days I will wake up wanting to be in the studio but have to go to school, and by the time the school days over I’ve lost my trail of thought and ideas.

I understand man. As it’s mental health awareness week, I was wondering if this lockdown has affected you at all?

I would be lying if I said lockdown hasn’t affected me. It hasn’t affected me as bad as I thought it would but certainly some aspects have been challenging, such as a lack of sleep and routine. This has allowed me to have a lot of spare time to think; where I would usually try and keep myself busy as much as I can. Any negativity from within lockdown I am trying to channel into my lyrics, so have been writing a lot as you can imagine.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

My motivation comes very much from other people, but also through the music. I am a music lover, so if I make something sick in the studio that I’m vibing with then it helps to boost my morale and increases my want and desire to stay focused, and make more music. It’s about who you surround yourself with; good people with good energy and good intentions guide you to success. I am lucky enough to have so many people around me that I have serious love for, who are always sharing and supporting my stuff, even when I can’t find it within me to support myself.

Well said man, I love that. You’re still trying to find your own sound as an artist, but you’re one of the most talented teenage rappers around. Who are some of your inspirations?

I like a wide variety of music from all genres, so my music inspirations are often influenced by who I am listening to at a specific period, as well as the artists that made me want to start music myself. Some of these artists include Loyle Carner, Cadet, Dave, Sampha, as well as AJ Tracey, Chip and a variety of other MC’s and singers. I think this reflects in my music as well; obviously I have shown I can be diverse by giving a variety of sub-genres a go and now it’s time to crack down and know what kind of music I want to make, without rushing it too much.

Amazing, rest in peace Cadet. Your new single “17” is fantastic, talk me through the creative process.

First of all, the idea begun with me wanting to release a personal song, in which I wanted to document aspects of my past to give a brief insight into events I’ve lived through. The title ’17’ is inspired by the release date, 21st May being my 17th birthday. I made sure the lyrics were personal as well as being able to maintain interesting word play and punchlines, with relatability as well. The song is about me growing up from a youth, and as cliche as it sounds, my journey up to now.

Do you have any expectations for the single?

I think it would be unreasonable for me to have expectations that are set in stone, but I do have hope that this single will do a lot of me in terms of exposure and credibility. At the end of the day, it is not my opinion on the track that counts for anything after it is released – it is solely in the hands of my fans and my listeners.

Oh, it definitely will do a lot for you in terms of credibility for sure. What can we expect next from you?

My next release will either be a second single from my upcoming project, or it will be the whole project drop itself. I have been working on something exciting that I hope my listeners will like as much as I do at the moment. It is been in progress for many months now, and I am just trying to finalise some bits and do some last recordings and then I will start putting everything together fully for a release.

In your own words, how would you describe your music to a stranger?

I would say, at the moment, my music is a variety of different sub-genres within rap, that touches on an array of topics such as personal life struggles and social issues, that reflect the reality of what living as a teenager in todays age can be like. It’s difficult to write one statement about my music and sum it up, as my songs are all very versatile and portray different stories and vibes in each one.

Stream “17” below:

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Photo Credit: David Campbell

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