With Shep3rd's blatant ability to spit bars to the beat with gusto and lucidity, the enthusiastic MC is now in completion stages with his debut E.P titled Never Look Back on DimeRock Records which is produced by the highly talented Calzo Houdini. (Callum James Greens) and Larissa Dahlbeck.
I caught up with Shep3rd just yesterday, and guess what? he had a lot to say!
LikeTheSound is proud to present to you LikeTheSound's exclusive interview with Shep3rd.
Addolorata : Hello Simon, let's start with name, why shep3rd?
Shep3rd : The name came about when I was at school, my brothers were called Shep by everyone, teachers included. I was the 3RD Shep so I took the name on.
Addolorata : Yeah, I know your brother Richard via The Streets, he's one of the best. Take us back to the beginning, where did it all start to kick off for you?
Shep3rd : I was a big fan of the U.K Garage scene, 10 years ago it was full of big beats with hyped lyrics. I then thought I want to give this a try myself so I did. I started recording on half broken microphones in dingy bedrooms. Writing all the time (not much has changed lool) I used to write lyrics in lessons at school and I was always performing one way or another. I then released my 1st mixtape No Holds Barred at the age of 16. I then started spitting lyrics all-day everyday, I suppose it is down to the hard work I put in then that now my career is progressing. My songs were flying around the midlands via the then new craze of bluetooth.
Addolorata : I first heard of you back in February 2011 with FREESTYLE! that was a pretty impressive freestyle practise session, spittin' to the beat with even flow sat in a mates car, I remember a lot of people on Twitter loving it when you put it out, so what sort of situations and feelings inspire your lyrics?
Shep3rd : I'm glad you enjoyed it! The lyrics I'm trying to write now are mainly life experience. I like to use words in a way people can put pictures to them. I've had a lot go on that I feel a lot of people have too so they find it easy to relate to my stories, but sometimes I throw the beat on and my mind just goes crazy with new ideas.
Addolorata : Who are your biggest inspirations?
Shep3rd : I have inspirations from all different types of music. Paul Simon has always been a massive part of my life as growing up I have always been around his music. In the rap world I have been heavily inspired by west side American rap. 2pac, Dre, Snoop and I also thought a lot of now passed rapper Big L. But the main inspiration probably came from The Streets - Original Pirate Material.
Addolorata : Have you been signed yet?
Shep3rd : www.shep3RD.com I am currently with DimeRock Records.
Addolorata : What are you representing in your lyrics?
Shep3rd : I am representing positivity rather than these artists that are talking about things that they don't see or do, I think that's not helping the scene in the slightest. I want to try to get people listening to the words of songs again rather than people just liking the chorus. My lyrics also represent a person who has struggled and has turned his life on its head. It's clear when you listen to the forthcoming E.P what I'm feeling at the time .
Addolorata : You have received and duly deserve a lot of support already, especially from the very notable Calzo Houdini. How essential is such support to you at this stage in your career and how does it feel?
Shep3rd : Everybody at DimeRock Records have been excellent. In my opinion I have some of the best producers in the country working with me and they have the ability to help me succeed . Calzo is a top man and a even better record producer as well as a good entrepreneur. Having people who know the scene inside out is what every up and coming musician would dream about having . Also having Warner's and DimeRock's very own Larissa Dahlbeck working on my material too its looking like a good mixture of musical input.
Addolorata : Calzo Houdini scored and produced a demo E.P for you didn't he? Tell us more about that?
Shep3rd : Yes Calzo has worked really hard to get this E.P out in quite a short time. The details of the release are yet to be discussed but in my opinion it has a lot of potential still, none of my new work under DimeRock Records has been released only one play on a radio station in my home town. I don't really understand the production side of things but it is definitely something I'm going to learn to be able to do. Calzo posted a picture on twitter showing the detail of work gone into it. People who I know have been in the industry couldn't understand it either . ( Calzo.co.uk - Building Shep3rd's E.P )
Shep3rd : I feel it is all about directing me down the right paths to get to my final location. If Calzo sends me a beat with a hook on it already I know he has seen a gap in the market for the sound he has created. I will then write like mad until I have the sound that fits his . Promotion is also massive from recognised artists. Also at their gigs the sound engineer of The Streets wore one of the official Shep3RD t-shirts for the whole gig at Mallorca Rocks and DimeRock just launched my .com website which is building the foundations for me to build on.
Addolorata : What do you hate about the music business right now?
Shep3rd : I think that it lacks originality from UK artists. Everything seems to sound the same. It's not boring but just a bit repetitive. That's why I mostly listen to old school Hip Hop and what I would call real music.
Addolorata : Who have you worked with so far?
Shep3rd : Apart from Calzo I have worked with an artist named Markus Krunegård who is also an artist on Dimerock Records. But I am sure in the near future I will be working with a lot more artists
Addolorata : I'm sure you will. Who would you like to collaborate with in the near future?
Shep3rd : I would love to collaborate with Josh Kumra his voice is top notch also The-D.O.T
Addolorata : Never Look Back is the debut E.P, what is it going to sound like and what is it about?
Shep3rd : Never Look Back is all of my feelings and emotions rolled up into one creative short album. though this is only going to be a taster of what's to come next year. I am hoping my music will get heard by more people than what was hearing my music already that is the aim for me personally. I wrote a song called Kick Off My Shoes which is my personal favourite on the E.P. though it is still in working progress what we have so far is sounding better than I would of ever wished for. I haven't had much feedback from anyone else but record execs and close friends as I am not letting no1 hear anything until it is completed, I have to hide my i pod from my girl friend so she doesn't listen lol. It sounds like a mixture of original beats and deep lyrics with a lot of meaning yet easy to listen to with Calzo's musical edge.
Addolorata : when is Never Look Back going to be released and where will we find it?
Shep3rd : Never Look Back will be released sometime in march or April, still awaiting release details. but it will be available on iTunes, Amazon and all other online music retailers.
Addolorata : What is the one question you wish I had asked you that I have not asked?
Shep3rd : Where would I see my self in 10 years time?
Addolorata : Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Shep3rd : In 10 years time I would like to see my self being very successful off this music thing and perhaps own my own label.
Addolorata : I'll look forward to being part of it. What is next on the agenda for you?
Shep3rd : I'm going to get the E.P finished off then work towards my album. Also get some visuals to go along with some of the songs and hit Channel AKA.
Addolorata : What do you hope to achieve in 2012
Shep3rd : I would hope to achieve some live performances along with radio play. Next year small stages at festivals.
Thank you Shep3rd, it is still early days and exciting times are ahead. I know a good thing when I hear it and I'm looking forward to watch this one get the recognition he deserves very soon.
I'm one of the lucky few to receive a copy of Kick Off Your Shoes for the forthcoming E.P Never Look Back in the making, the moment the smooth, gratifying production flowed through my speakers I was into it immediately. The pacifying production is a superb mix with Shep3rd's stirring manner, fury and defencive attitude that is set-free through his vocal output. I can't wait to hear the rest of the Never Look Back E.P
LikeThe Sound is going to be supporting Shep3rd all the way. Are you?
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