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First Listen: Motive105

Motive105 wastes no time – on nearly every track he lands with impact, making no exception with his latest single “Kings” which we talk about for this First Listen feature.

Motive wants to illuminate one particularly important matter: “Give them their flowers.” Tell them they inspire you, tell them they’re appreciated, show up for them and remind them of their value, don’t assume people know they are recognised. ‘Them’ being the fathers, sons and brothers that never stop the grind. Those that never have a moment to reflect and or receive the recognition they deserve. Those that are exposed to a system which constantly fails them. No one to tell them it’s okay to hurt, that it’s okay to not be okay.

Over the last few years Motive has established himself as a truly royal member of the UK scene. This year alone he started on a strong note after the release of his debut with “The Drive Downtown: Part One”, an exploration of independence and a disarmingly vulnerable message confronting sacrifices made in order to survive. He was also chosen to be enrolled into Billionaire Boys Club class of 2021 alongside some of the UK’s most compelling acts. And ending the year with an equally seismic impact Motive will be dropping the sequel to The Drive Downtown so make sure you keep an ear out in the coming weeks.

Motive105 kicks off his next campaign with an audio & visual for his new release, “Kings”. Read below to get an insight from Motive about the significance surrounding the single.

Our Take:

His music evokes awareness of the UK’s failure to let stars shine at their brightest and within his lyrics a knack for finding common ground with almost anyone. In music, as in life (and name). His lyrics are powerful because of their subtlety, because of what’s left out. You still get it—even when you don’t fully get it. His smooth beats, often courtesy of his producer Selasi Ayettey, help connect the dots.

Artist’s Perception:

“I can talk about the deeper emotions within me, but I can also then translate that same emotion and take it to a place where it can be digested in a masculine form”

I think it was when I was having a conversation one time with one of my friends and he was in the car and he was just says something like, 'Yo, I've been on these streets for years. I put people on, I changed people's life, I ain't never got my flowers. They never got to appreciate me, no one ever shows me mad love like I should'. At that point, I remember this conversation and I guess when that my producer Selasi played the beat it brought me back to that conversation I had with my friend in the car. And instantly, I knew that it was the correct concept. It just felt like with the pianos in the introduction, we just felt like it was leading to a deeper narrative. And I knew that I had to take it in conceptually.

The rollout of every song there is a huge incentive behind which ones go first. Funnily lot of males are saying "No Secrets" was eye opening for them. When we went into “Kings” I didn't want to take away from that feeling. Exploring the concept of men being forced into certain areas of life, when they don't necessarily want to be there, they have to do or be in to survive.

"Kings" was largely about me growing up on the streets around my friends... And it was one of those situations where we never got to stop and ask each other 'how the hell do we survive this?' Or 'how the hell did we get here?'.”

I would say the reason why music always resonates is because I'm relatable and I see a lot of people who provide a lot of work across a load of genres and I didn't understand it thought what do you mean our sounds aren't really the same... but then I understood where it came from it didn't come necessarily suddenly, it came from the fact that we make music that is relatable to not only just one set of people. So I can make music for people who relate to the shit that I grew up on, something for a vulnerable person that's going to be about love and kids, you know, going through insecurities within myself and learning I can be that brash, confident rapper, that's just all flash and kind of aggressive. I think most people listen just because I'm a relatable person.

I don't want my children to have to be in that type of position or environment where they feel like they can't be themselves. I've got friends from both walks of life, I've got friends that grew up on the streets and had to put a mask on for the majority of their life and I grew up with guys that had parents who showed them a different life, guided them through different experiences, and really sat down with them and started dismantling emotions and how they about who they are. It reflects who they are as a man because, unfortunately, the guys that grew up on the streets, including myself, we all have huge insecurities. When you're in the thick of it, you don't get time to reflect. You don't have time to reflect on the whole experience. So when you're removed from it, that's when you're able to actually think about it correctly.

“The song was about why people deserve their flowers way before even being acknowledged that they deserve it. I think we all grow up in position where we have to do things to survive, and we have to be kings of our own environment, our own kingdom.”


I recently gained a good relationship with a DOP called Brandon Quan. We got along straightaway, and he actually introduced me to Ben Ngondo-Cooke (the director), which is the director of "Kings". When we were talking about concepts for the video it was really surrounding two things: I wanted the video to first fulfil a film and I didn't want it to be performance heavy, so I knew that I had to team up with Ben because Ben's actually a film director, I knew he would be perfect for creating the correct narrative, but also the correct shot selections throughout the video. That's why a lot of the people that are watching the video now they're saying 'I feel like I just watched a film'. We were trying to explore the concept of having three different people at three different levels of life or street hierarchy. And we're trying to show how they are valued differently in the real world but should be valued the same. How everyone plays a vital role in the ecosystem.

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