MANCHESTER’S iconic music scene has seen something of a resurgence recently, with hip hop and rnb leading the way. Rapper Geko believes he is at the crest of the wave.
Geko, 20, has been in the game for longer than almost anyone his age. His first freestyle for Charlie Sloth’s Fire In The Booth was recorded when he was just 14 and is now racking up nearly a million views on YouTube. Around the same time, he was featured in Sloth’s “It’s Grime Up North” documentary showcasing his emotive bars. These feats came at such a young age, in fact, that BBC had to ring his parents for permission to feature the young talent.
Six years on and Geko is focusing on rhythms over rhymes.
Lock The Door, Geko’s new single, is a afrobeats inspired groover, with hints of J Hus among others. It came hot on the heels of his debut full length record, Lion Heart.
“When you’re an artist and you’re sick of a song, we just want to get it out there y’know,” he says of his fast paced releases. It seems to be working however, as at the time of writing “Lock The Door,” sits at over 258,000 YouTube views just a week after release.
Geko’s proud of his part in bigging up the current afrobeats trend.
“The dates don’t lie. I started it, everyone else started it. They don’t want to accept it though, ‘cause they’re from London and they don’t like things outside their city. But eeryone has to know me. I’m gonna make them know me by force.”
In an interview with Sky News back in May, Geko claimed to have once known the perpetrator of the Manchester Arena attack, “idiot,” Salman Abedi. He tells me that he doesn’t want to dwell on the topic however – “he’s an idiot and he’s dead.”
“Right now, in Manchester, everyone’s moving on. We’re all chilling.”
However, when it comes to the Government reaction to the atrocity, Geko goes on:
“It’s a cold world though. Like that Grenfell Tower, no one cares anymore. They moved on way you fast, they should be carrying on with the case.
“My response is to get people in the clubs. Releasing some bangers, you get me? Boom. Put some positivity out there, having people dancing instead of crying man.”
As for the Manchester scene, Geko believes that his city will one day be as important to grime and hip hop as London is.
“It will be, but it’ll take a couple years. ‘Cause no one looks down here, there’s bare people doing their ting though.”
The ILOVELIVE show that Geko is set to headline September 17th is the latest in a series of gigs that have made famous names including Ed Sheeran and Tinie Tempah in years past.
“I don’t even feel like I’m doing a big tour though,” he explains.
“I feel like I’m going to perform on a normal show. I don’t get hyped, though. You could say I got a tune with DJ Khaled. I wouldn’t be phased. I’d be like, safe. I don’t get hyped.”
Though his words are restrained, it feels as though Geko is confident he is the next big thing.
“If it happens it happens, if it works it works,” he grins.
Geko’s 22 EP is out soon.
He headlines the Zombie Shack ILOVELIVE show September 17th. Tickets available here.