Earlier this month I had the honour of getting to shoot someone I'm a huge fan of - rap and grime artist Mic Righteous. I realise the kind of music he is involved with isn't to everyone's taste, but anyone who follows the UK grime scene will tell you Righteous is one of the hottest talents emerging from this country.
Below is the first set of pictures from our shoot.
I was heading to London the first weekend of December for a trip with family, so suggested to Mic's team that we could schedule the shoot to align with those dates. He is based in the small town of Margate, Kent - right in the South East.
When I arrived, his manager Jack had picked out a series of locations, since I was unfamiliar with the area. He chauffeured us from place to place, and once we arrived at each stop, was happy to leave us to it. For most of the actual shooting, it was just myself and Righteous. Every place we went to was spot on. Margate reminded me a lot of the Isle of Man, since there was urban areas, beach and countryside all within a few miles of each other.
I was in Margate for a grand total of 7 hours from start to finish. I was asking Righteous what it was like opening for American artists The Game and J Cole, as well as working with Cher Lloyd. After spending so many hours watching him on Youtube, it was a pleasure to get to not only chat with him but also photograph him. I even got an exclusive performance as I had him freestyle whilst I captured 'action shots.'
On numerous occasions there was also groups of youths watching us. I could hear them whispering, 'Is that Mic Righteous?!'
The pictures are ultimately intended for promotional use, so I figured it made sense not to over-complicate things by making the shoot overtly creative or artistic.
At lunch, over a KFC, we discussed the best nights out that we'd ever had. Later in the day I got to watch 2 of his new (and at the time, unreleased) videos, as well as listen to unheard tracks from his upcoming debut album. All in all the day could not have gone any better. The team - Jack, Pete and Rocky - were excellent to work with and we had a laugh. It was a surreal experience and I'm incredibly proud I made it happen.
Here's to the next one!
The next 4 pictures are 'action shots' as I had Righteous freestyling. I wanted to do some spontaneous pictures that weren't staged as such, so I figured asking him to rap would be appropriate. His bars were incredible. There are 2 lines that will stick in my head forever.
As much as I like these pictures, I sort of wish I'd video'd it instead.
WEBSITE: http://www.micrighteous.com/ - you can also download the debut mixtape 'YOB CULTURE' from here for free!
YOUTUBE: 'Fire in the Booth' - for Radio1XTRA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEo7xY8TPaQ
Cher Lloyd's 'Dub on the Track' - featuring Righteous: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG6RatujjW0