Fumin Talks His Return, Grime And More In Exclusive Interview

Fumin
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Workrate is important, particularly for musicians returning to a very fickle scene. They must absolutely stay in our proverbial faces, or rather we, the listeners’, ears. I can see from recent output, that Fumin – a genesis Grime artist – is doing this.

An accolade like a MOBO Award during the starting point of Grime, against competing names such as Snoop Dogg, Pharrell, and Lemar, is admirable. For his joint effort on 2004’s Pow! (Forward) by Lethal Bizzle featuring D Double E, Napper and more, Fumin, at 16-17 years old, was a recipient of this. 2 years after his main inspiration (Dizzee Rascal) won a Mercury Prize for Boy In Da Corner, this was almost a you did it moment, for the DIY ethic attributed to the untitled Grime scene. Holding the first verse of the widely known track, the East London MC seized listeners with his bold bark, making his one of the standouts among very unique MC’s.

Still, time makes room for shifts, and the evolution of Grime is one that is impacted both by technology, and a simple difference in style contributed by new generation MC’s. The hustle is different. Luckily, Fumin, who is working closely with Sharky Major and his Grime Originals brand, is aware of this. Without bitter undertone, he tells me “I feel like a baby again, even though I’m called a veteran. A baby-faced old man. It’s a fresh start for me.” With the relative resurgence of Grime and a wave of new listeners that is helped by platforms like Spotify, Fumin discusses his plans for his return, beginning with a dive into a timeline of his most notable alliance – Fire Camp, with Lethal Bizzle; Face; Ozzie B; Whizzkid; Clipson; Knowledge; Gloka; Twister; Fader; Gambit; Topcat and Seany B.

Fumin: I was with Fire Camp for about a year. There was a lot of running around. I left school around 15-16 years old. I started a Music course at College. Half way through, I realised this wasn’t for me – I need to get in action, so I started doing pirate radio. I linked up with a guy called Hotshot around Walthamstow [where Lethal’s from], and ended up getting together with More Fire Crew. More Fire Crew was before Fire Camp. We then linked up with a few more artists locally and formed Fire Camp.

Winning a MOBO Award in 2005 for Best Single must have been overwhelming for you.

Fumin: I’m lucky to have experienced a lot from Pow! That one song still gives me opportunities till this day, and opens up doors, over 10 years later. As a young kid from the hood, you watch the MOBO’s, so being on there yourself was monumental.

The scene was different then, I’m sure. How do you feel about the current Grime scene?

Fumin: It’s a big shift. A whole sound shift. I’m fond of the older, raw essence, but at the same time, everything evolves in life. Things change, move, and get tweaked. I’m just happy to see the younger generation come through. Grime is still a factor. There are pros and cons. We’ve lost a lot along the way, but we’ve also gained. With the digital era, now you can do a video and not have to do the running about and radio stations etc, but the activity is what gets you linked in with other artists. With the click of a button, you can reach an audience on the other side of the world.

Understandable points. Since your return, you’ve dropped Quiet On Set; On Grime; featured on Sharky Major’s Grime Original with Manga, Bruza and Maxwell D, plus more. They are generally, Grime tracks. Will you be branching out to other genres or will it strictly be Grime?

Fumin: No, those that follow me know that I do like to experiment and I’ve been in the studio doing more melodic stuff. I also ghostwrite. I’ve been out of the game for 6 years, so I had to show my love for Grime – my core.

What were you doing while you were away?

Fumin: Getting my life in place. Finances, opening a concrete fence post supply business. I’m getting married in a couple of months too.

Congratulations!

Fumin: Thank you.

Do you still ghostwrite?

Fumin: I have been but currently I’m focused on my projects so I’ve put it to the back. When I first started and collaborated with singers, I used to write hooks for them. I realised I had the talent for writing things I couldn’t necessarily get out myself.

Without revealing too much, what genres are these?

Fumin: The latest one is more my sound, for some artists at Universal. I also wrote the hook for Sidetracked (one of my songs.)

So you’re working with Sharky. You’ve performed at 3 Grime Originals events so far. What do you think Grime Originals brings to the scene?

Fumin: Grime Originals does well because there’s a new audience now. Coming back from being out for 6 years, that was my first rave, so for me, coming on stage and seeing a different audience was a new experience. Grime Originals lets them have an insight to where it started; the feeling of how it all was. Maybe the new generation will try to recapture that. The feedback I’m getting is Grime Originals is more nostalgic. The sound I’m doing is purposely old-school because we’ve missed that along the way. With the evolution, it’s become more Trap orientated, so it needs a reminder of where it started.

Going back to Fire Camp a bit, what’s your relationship like with Lethal Bizzle? He mentioned the PRS issue in his interview with Not For The Radio. I saw you both performed at Grime Originals last December.

Fumin: It’s a non-existent relationship. It’s been over 10 years – I’ve let that go.

That’s good. So your single I Want In, produced by Teddy Music/Silencer has been released on all outlets today, and the video recently dropped. What do you want listeners to know now that you’re back?

Fumin: I want them to know I’m serious about it. Last time, it was a bit here and there. I’ve had a lot of time to grow, and you’ll hear that in my music. I’ve come to find that like with anything else in life, you need something to fund a dream. I’m back for good. Stay onboard, look out for the EP.

I Want Is is available via iTunes and Spotify.