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credit Kitwah (@_kitwah_)

Navigating his own, sincere take on road rap, DC’s racking up plenty of accolades in the early stages of his career. From supporting J Hus on tour to Stormzy championing his diaristic delivery, the South London native is getting the backing of Britain’s illustrious list of artists. As commendable as these cosigns are, they don’t tell the full story. For years DC has carefully crafted a mellow flow that delights in equally luxurious and gritty tones. Colors Berlin tapped ‘No Manners’ for their channel in 2018, and since, the South London native has enjoyed several successful mixtapes and singles.

In an age where artists continue to pump out features to maintain their relevance, DC has only ever lent Knucks the space to bar on his tracks. The rapper, in every sense, continues to go against the grain of modern music whilst grabbing the attention of a continually growing fanbase.

Standing for “Dock City”, DC’s name isn’t to be taken lightly. He wears his place of birth, Greenwich, proudly every day, exuding an admirable humbleness that pulls through all his music. We linked up with him at Manchester Academy before his set supporting US heavy-hitter Cordae.

DC jumped on stage and instantly won over the crowd with his tune ‘Receipts’, followed by plenty more head-boppers from his discography. He also performed unreleased tracks, before rounding off the set with a lively performance of his top tune ‘Neighbourhood’. DC left his audience hyped and ready for more; the perfect supporting artist for headliner Cordae.

After his energetic set, featuring tunes from ‘In The Loop’, we settled down to talk all things DC.

You’ve supported some big names on tour, J Hus among them. How does it feel to be here supporting Cordae tonight?

Feels good man. It’s a good experience, haven’t been on tour in a long time so it’s good to be back on the road I guess.

You’ve built up a strong creative relationship with TSB - how did this happen and why do you think you work so well together?

It happened because I actually met TSB through I think Young T and Bugsey on the Hus tour and yeah we just stayed in contact, had a session and I think we work well because he’s very musical init. It just works naturally.

There’s clear UKG influence to your productions. Maybe influenced by TSB? Why do you gravitate to this sound? Were, or are you a garage raver?

I don’t know if it was TSB’s influence cause in my early music on Soundcloud I jumped on garage, like I jumped on a song called ’Strong’ with the Daniel Bedingfield ‘Gotta Get Through This’ instrumental.

So I’ve always loved the beats innit but I’m not a Garage raver {laughing} I’m not. Never have been, to be fair I don’t really listen to Garage like that, never really have but I just really love the beats and the drum patterns so I’ve always liked rapping over them and it's similar to Grime tempo-wise.

What is a DC-type beat? What does that sound like, describe it to me.

It sounds like a beat with a skip to it, that allows me to say some real shit but it’s still got that feel-good to it. Yeah, that’s a DC-type beat.

I’d love to understand more about your creative process.

What sort of environment gets the best from you?

I like writing a lot in my room, so my house is my favourite environment for it.

So you like a quiet setting?

Definitely, I like to be in my own space.

What’s the recipe for success in the studio?

I don’t think there is one. Every song’s different, and every session’s different. You’ll make a good song in a different way every single time.

I’ve had your track Lost on heavy rotation over the last couple of years.

Is there a tune of yours that you feel has defined/developed your personal/artistic vision?

I would have to say maybe Neighbourhood, that was the first song I made for In The Loop so probably that. That was a big stepping stone.

Everyone in this industry deals with setbacks. What inspires you to keep things moving?

That there’s always another day, do you get me? I’m not gonna remember this moment in 5 years, I’m not gonna care about it. So I always keep that in mind, that’s the most important one to keep in mind. In the low moments, just keep going.

There are ups and downs init. That’s life, you been down before you been up before, if you’re down now you’re gonna get up again. You get me? Just life cycles man.

What do you do to get in the zone before jumping on stage? Mindset? Routine?

I don’t really have much of a routine, most of the time I just chill out, put my headphones in and maybe listen to some songs. But I like to go quiet init, just focus. There might be some nerves.

When I saw you before the show you didn’t seem nervous at all. I thought this guy is ready!

Yeah on the outside but on the inside there’s still the nerves but at the same time you’re excited so yeah I just stay quiet, try to focus and just yeah make sure I start right.

What’s next for DC?

More music. Better music.

Are we gonna be seeing a new album?

It’s always in the works but there’s another release coming very very soon. So the first one [‘The Latest’] was just a little freestyle kinda reintroduction kinda thing but the next one is a proper single so yeah, we move!

This next release he was referring to has since dropped; ‘Firing Squad’ tells a tale of regrets and road drama, delivered with his hallmark effortlessly cold flow. Alongside excitingly smooth production from TSB and Matteo. Featuring bold black and white visuals directed by Tyler Prince Fraser, the release of Firing Squad has proved that DC is not stopping any time soon.

Words and photos Kitwah (@_kitwah_)


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