Today the Havering Daily has interviewed MC Vapour, an internationally known lyricist from Romford who found fame in the Garage music scene. For many years MC Vapour has dominated the club and radio scene and has performed at some of the largest festivals across the world. We ask the local lad about himself and his plans for the future.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is MC Vapour, I’m known foremost as a lyricist, performer and host in many dance music categories. In addition to this, I am an all-round music man including production, engineering, recording, editing, videos, and owning a record label (TaylorMade Music) and so on.
I grew up in Harold Hill in Romford through the 90’s when the (Then Local) Jungle music scene was evolving and from there had developed a talent with rhyming and words and performing my fast-paced lyrics. By the time I was 16 years old I had been introduced to local radio station managers at the height of the Garage music scene and began to work with them, everything almost organically stemmed from thereon.
How did you come up with the name Vapour?
While flicking through a thesaurus one day I saw the word “Vapor” with a few alternative contexts and definitions.
One definition was to “talk big, strut, outgoing, show off, swagger, shoot off one’s mouth” and a long list of words that were very apt and fitting for my personality at the time. So I added a letter U for English spelling and “Vapour” was born.
How did you first get involved in the music scene?
I was introduced by my cousin to a group of people behind the very popular 90’s pirate station ‘Force FM’ in late 1997. I started by just hanging around with those guys at the radio studio until one day I was unexpectedly handed a microphone live on air, so I took it. They invited me back to do more the following week! And so on…
What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
Definitely the perks, the free entry, the free gestures and gifts, the free or included travel and touring, the respect shown by people who appreciate your work and follow your creativity, the unforgettable memories of spontaneous moments etc… because there’s a LOT of downtimes and disappointment that artists have to deal with that people don’t get to see, behind closed doors etc, kind of like an iceberg where 90% of it is beneath the surface and out of view. So it’s nice to reap the rewards when they come. Also, things like performing on a stage at the Glastonbury festival in the UK or Outlook festival in Croatia to a huge sea of heads loving what you do is a massive peak as well, obviously!!
Please explain your creative process?
It differs. As I said above, I have many strings to my bow having been doing this for 22 years now. With the lyrics, it has changed over the years. I used to write in silence and have lyrics that were generic and could fit with any beat played on a garage set, but that was before I began going to the studio and making songs and tracks with verses and chorus’ etc… nowadays, I will usually hear a beat first, get a feel for it, and write to it. Sometimes deciding on a concept first, other times just writing a flow or a few good lines that go together and the concept will work itself out once the pen starts flowing.
What has been your favourite collaboration?
Oh, I’ve had loads. I’ve made tracks with some serious legends and inspirations of my own that I grew up listening to and now have music and memories with. If I have to choose one I’d say I was extremely proud to work with MC Skibadee of the jungle scene because he was my favourite MC as a teenager growing up. Our track is called “Next Hype” and is available on all streaming platforms and on my TaylorMadeMusic phone app.
Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
Yes and no. I would say that it would be more accurate to claim that I put a lot of pressure on myself to be impressive. When I walk onto the stage I don’t want to come off without having made an impact. So yes I do feel slight pressure before going on but it’s more a tension that’s created by myself to do my best. The pressure is never enough to overwhelm me or make me nervous and ruin my performance. If someone can tell I’m nervous then I failed. If I’m doing a show, I need to own that show.
How do you interact with and respond to fans?
Going by their words and the feedback I always get direct from them, apparently, I am unexpectedly friendly and “down to earth” and take time to reply to messages etc and show mutual respect, which apparently not many artists do, so for that, I’m grateful. As far as I’m aware, there are no fans or people I’ve met in 22 years who think I’m an A*se!
What is it like to have such a following?
As an artist, you could always be ‘doing better’ or some things are ‘never enough’ so there’s always that thirst to expand. But many people have acknowledged my following as a kind of “Cult following” and I’d have to agree. My fans are very very loyal and supportive and defend me to the core. I don’t consider myself to be famous but it can be rewarding and uplifting when you’re recognised in most places you visit, including holidays abroad. It gives you a sense that your efforts have been noticed and people in other countries giving my work recognition means I must be doing something right, or doing it well.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Do it for you and your own happiness. Don’t look for everyone else’s acceptance or try and make everyone happy because it will never happen. Individuals have their own opinions and preferences so you can never please everyone, so focus on the ones that you do reach. Don’t do it with expectations, treat it like a journey. When I started out I had a very different view of who I wanted to be, in comparison to who I want to be now, or who I am today. Knowing what I know about the industry today, I’m quite glad that my life didn’t go down the path that the younger, more naive me had wanted.
What do you have planned for the future?
Since the pandemic, I’m going to be changing the course of how I do things. My 2021 methods will differ from my 2019 methods. I have lots of new music coming, my next release being “Champion Sound” which is a collaboration between many legends from the garage music scene who I work alongside and see as family. I have my app which is available on Apple and Android which I’ll be continuing to focus on, it has a shop for my merchandise, fan pics, videos, social links, competitions, giveaways, new music and all sorts on there.
Taking my record label to the next stage also, new decade, new beginnings!!!
Download the TAYLOR MADE MUSIX app on Apple or Android now!!