By Joseph “JP” Patterson
Location: Birmingham, UK
Musical Style: Versatile up-and-comer
Grime and hip-hop music from Birmingham, England, was once frowned upon by the capital’s close-knit underground music scene, mainly due to the difference in accents. Luckily, that all changed when London allowed the likes of Lady Leshurr and StayFresh to prove their worth in 2010. I knew that, one day, their passion would connect with an audience they tried so hard to break into for years.
While Lady Leshurr can now be seen touring with Azealia Banks and receiving regular praise from the legendary Missy Elliott, the StayFresh lads have become one of the most talked about, and respected, crews that grime has ever seen. A slew of other artists from the area have since followed in their successful footsteps, such as RoxXxan, Trilla, Invasion and Malik MD7, to name but a few.
20-year-old Trevion Rowe (pictured above), better known as SP, is soon-to-be another Birmingham success story. Born in Jamaica, he relocated to the UK when he was a toddler. Growing up in school, he always wrote poetry, and quickly became his English teacher’s favourite student. In his early teens, Rowe decided that he wanted to become an MC, and began building his name in the city’s grime scene – making sure that his presence was felt in the dubstep circuit, too.
Late 2010, SP released an anthem for his hometown called “Birmingham That’s My Bed,” which was produced by dubstep producer, Shackles. This particular track made me and other critics sit up and pay attention to the driven young man. Following that, SP and the well-known dubstep beat-maker, FuntCase, put out the “Gorrilla Flex Remix”– which gained major support from platforms such as BBC Radio 1, MTV UK and RWD Magazine. His energetic delivery and thought-provoking content was also picked up by the promoters of Tyga and Mac Miller’s UK concerts, and hired him to open up their shows.
There’s still a long way to go before the SP’s name is mentioned alongside the greats, but I believe that he has enough determination and authenticity in him to last the distance. The rhymer’s new single, “In Time” – featuring fellow up-and-comer, Dapz On The Map – is about relationships, and the ups and downs that come with being in one. It’s a completely different move for the normally aggressive mic man, but showing that you can be versatile at such an early stage in one’s career can only be a good thing.