Ambush Discusses His Debut Project, Being Independent, Who He's Listening To & More!
With the release of his debut project Ask My Brother imminent, we had a chance to catch up with him to chat all about it.
Storming into the scene with early anthems such as "Already" and "Blood", Ambush has always presented himself with an uniqueness that has set him apart, striking again with smash hit "Jumpy" and it's remix alongside Skepta and Chip, the Camden rapper hasn't missed yet.
Diving straight in, we ask Ambush about his latest single "Winners ft. C Biz & H Moneda".
NW: Your video "Winners" was just released, tell us about that and how it came about?
A: I got the beat sent to me, made the hook, did my verse and just felt like I needed some other winners on there, Biz, that’s my guy, H Moneda, he's on the come up, real winner, real guy from the streets, he's proper hard. My bredrin was fresh home so I thought I might as well just shoot the video on that day, got an apartment and shot the video, doubled back, got some girls as well…theres a real story but I’ll save that for another day *laughs*
"All my lyrics are just stories from my life. Eastenders was like me telling others people's stories but from my perspective"
Praised for his ability to tell a story, Ambush has delivered several instalments rich with content all while booming sonically, shown on previous releases such as "Scary Sight" and more recently with "Eastenders", we ask him about it.
NW: With "Winners" and "Eastenders" it feels like you’ve told a story but in different ways, is that something you feel like is important to do in your music?
A: Yeah definitely, what I say to people is that if you actually listen to my lyrics, all my lyrics are just stories from my life. Eastenders was like me telling others people's stories but from my perspective, it's just how I write my bars in general, I just listened to the beat and thought I need to tell that story, then another one comes to my head etc, you get me?
NW: You pair them with cinematic videos, which is cool - there a lot often familiar faces.
A: It's important to include the scene in these things, things like that, it's part of the culture, we’ll be able to look back at it in 20 years. A lot of the actors are my childhood friends that are doing acting now, I try to bring everyone together to make a movie.
Moving onto the his forthcoming mixtape, we ask why he didn't give us something sooner.
A: I've got a street tape but this is my first professional body of work.
NW: You’ve been dropping music here and there for a minute so what do you think stopped you?
A: Just the way my life has gone, I would’ve but jail and many different things, my friends dying, things kept interrupting me and I couldn’t put something together properly,I’ve just been in and out of madness.
Facing understandable obstacles but still going from strength to strength, we both acknowledge how good it is that he's here now and ready to go!
The mixtape is complicit of features from D Double E, Giggs, RA, Presi Pros & more.
NW: You have Presi on the project, he’s also on "Mama N 'Gai"?
A: Presi’s my blood brother, he’s fresh out prison tomorrow, I had to put him on the tape.
NW: What about the Giggs and D Double features, how did those come about?
A: Giggs that’s my guy, he shouted me separately and said he was a big fan, we linked up, he wants me on tour, went on tour with him. He showed me life differently, I had just come out of jail, he gave me that opportunity. We went studio made a couple tracks and said these are going on the tape *laughs*.
D Double, fan of a fan. D Double and RA, I got them both on the same track, they were my favourite grime mc’s growing up. I slapped out a verse on a grime tempo beat and I thought I need to put these lot on it. One of the flavours I got on my tape that I wanted to show people.
NW: What else can we expect from the mixtape, any thing we should look out for?
A: I want you especially to look out for "Side Bitch", it sounds mean but it's really an honest depiction of my relationship with girls, I'm a bit toxic. Maybe the tune should be called toxic masculinity *laughs* but it's just an honest version of events and how I feel about certain girls, it's like a 21 Questions.
It's real gangster street album though really but an honest version of me, literally me from top to bottom, an honest body of work and how I’m feeling at the moment.
"Ownership is a big thing to me, I'm not signed, fully independent, trying to build my catalogue."
NW: So would you say you have a musical process?
A: It does change but more often [than not] I just get a beat and if I vibe to it; I listen to it again, write in my head, if I need to write it down, I write it down. A beat will tell me a story in my head.
The "Jumpy" rapper is someone that regularly does things off his own back, often opting to release on his own channel as opposed to a platform and his Buzzworl label branding can be seen on all his ventures.
NW: You put out a lot of videos on your own channel and do things by your own accord, is that something you wanna keep up?
A: For sure, ownership is a big thing to me, I'm not signed, fully independent, trying to build my catalogue. Everything up until Jumpy was all me and Jumpy wasn’t a hard thing for me to do and it blew up so we. I have a whole label, my family and my people that I’m trying to promote, now people can hear us. I wanna make sure they know its all us!
Going viral on several occasions, Ambush is a rapper seemingly well versed in social media today. Back in 2018, his #ManCantChallenge launched and saw many budding new rappers jump on the instrumental. The video featuring the challenge's winner now sits on 1Million+ views.
NW: Do you feel like its important to be active on social media platforms?
A: Yeah. Man Can't Challenge, I got over 1000 people that sent me challenges and their going in, it inspired so many people to just write! It opened my eyes to how important it is to be social. With that I could’ve done a big remix with the big names but I thought these kids are just hard, it was the 1st Million views for a lot of them.
Eager to find out what Ambush has had in heavy rotation, we ask get stuck in. He lists off many of musician's New Wave also love.
A: BackRoad Gee, IDpizzle, Tiny Boost, Snap Capone, Cash, SP Montiz, Frank Ekwa, CS, Dutch, Skepta, Chip, Young Adz, Burna Boy, Potter Payper, Giggs, Shaybo, Millionz, Mowgli, Ard Adz, Suspect, Rimzee, Mercston, those are all the people I like.
NW: So what about U.S, can you give us a Top 5, no particular order?
A: 50 cent, that’s my guy, A Boogie...I don’t listen to Americans like that...Meek Mill, Drizzy.
NW: Any girls, doesn’t have to be rap? Jhene Aiko maybe?
A: Ah yeah, her! That’s my girl, she got me through my whole sentence, she's the hardest!
Brim full of new and interesting Ambush info, we move onto Things We Love about him which can watch below!
Keep your eyes peeled for Ambush's debut mixtape Ask My Brother out on 5th June. Available to pre-save/pre-order here now!