Talks musical style, the mask and social media

Interview: Johnson Gold // @Johnson_Gold
Photographer: Jack Bridgland // @jack_bridgland
Videographer:  Ben Francis // @rtizt
Stylist: Samantha Ria // @samantharia
Assistant Stylist: Rhys Marcus Jay // @rhysmarcusjay

“Earth is a Place in Hell”

British born Scarlxrd is just as renowned for his exceptional visuals as he is his unique musical style. Featuring both heavy metal and rap influences, his self-described ‘trap-metal’ is a juxtaposition of genres that works better than you might initially think. We sat down with the Wolverhampton native to talk all things music, style and his take on social media.

Jumper: Andrea Crews, Trousers: Palm Angels, Trainers: Vans @ Schuh

I know your real name is not Scarlxrd but why Scarlxrd?

There’s no other name that I can call myself. But it’s the perfect name to describe who I am as an artist.

Where did it come from?

Biblical references have always kind of inspired me. I’m not religious but that’s always inspired so that’s where the lord aspect comes from. Scar has always been, it has many meanings to me, from the character in Lion King to being cut and having it be there permanently.

And why did you put the ‘x’ in their as well?

I just felt the ‘o’ didn’t fit, I never place o’s in songs or in my name because it’s part of who I am and my aesthetic, and staying true to that your staying true to myself, so by doing something so simple as taking out the o’s and replacing them with x’s constantly, it’s like a never-ending reminder of who I am and what I’m doing.

So you’re originally from Wolverhampton and you currently live in Birmingham?


How has living in Wolverhampton impacted your music?

It’s humble beginnings I guess, Wolverhampton isn’t a shithole, it’s like every city there’s nice areas to it but being from somewhere that’s not popular, it’s not a popular city.

I guess the guy from Led Zepplin’s from there but other than that it’s kind of low-key and I feel like that’s helped my art because it’s been inspiring to dig deep and not have any distractions from my environment. I can really dig deep and be myself because I’m in an environment where it’s so low-key and it’s just so ordinary I guess, and you can really dig deep and be yourself and express yourself.

Did you feel kind of odd growing up?

Yeah, I was definitely a bit of an attention seeker growing up, I was the class clown for sure. But I was always like the outsider, but I’d force myself to be liked so I changed my personality quite a lot and shit like that. In school and growing up I was always the odd one, even if people didn’t see it that way or perceive me to be the odd one, I was always in my head the odd one out.

You started out as a YouTube personality, right? What kind of stuff were you doing in the beginning and how did it take you to music?

I’m just creative, and anyway I can express my creativity I will always try and do that, so I was making vlogs and stuff like that but I’d add my creative element, but it wasn’t enough, I still felt like it was draining it was horrible, it wasn’t fun.

Like, it was fun when I first started, I let the business side of things take it to places where I didn’t really want it to go but it was the most lucrative at the time, so it just sucked and it was horrible. I was just someone I wasn’t so I had to move on to being myself and just creating for myself.

And how did you do that?

I just stopped making YouTube videos and started making music.

How did you discover music was more yourself?

I was in a band for a very long time, it was a metal band I was in, I was the vocalist and that’s when I got a passion for heavier music and got a passion for letting loose and being artistic on sounds. That inspired me to carry on and do my own solo projects, like my band, unfortunately, broke up so after that I was like cool I’m not going to stop making music so I kept going and doing my own thing.

You music composes a mixture of trap and heavy metal, I feel like that’s completely new, where would you categorise your music?

It’s for the people to decide man, I don’t really want to put a label on my art. I think that’s one thing I don’t want to do, like I thought about it, like many people ask me ‘how would you explain it’ and there are other people that make similar sounding music to myself, but for me to do it the way I’ve created it, it’s kind of refreshing, it’s different. It’s new so it’s like I don’t even know what to call it, some people call it Trap Metal, some people call it whatever, you know what I mean I’m letting the people decide I’m just going to focus on making the stuff.

Describe your music in one word.



Because it’s beautiful. Horrible is beautiful, for something to be created and presented to the people in it’s rawest form, emotionally, and put together as a piece and presented as horrible and for it to be accepted and understood, and for it to be misunderstood also, that’s why I describe it as horrible, this is horrible but it’s supposed to be.

So reflectively it means beautiful?


Look: Andrea Crews, Boots: Dr Martens @ Schuh

Describe your personality in one word.

Beautiful. I don’t know, seriously though if I could describe my personality erm…

Or three words to describe your personality?

Ok, it’s liquid, mechanical, it’s not here I can’t explain it, calculated I guess.

Describe your style in one word.


You like a lot of black, you wear a lot of black, what is it with black that you like?

It just makes things easier, I actually don’t like dressing myself… as in, I don’t like having to decide what to wear. I feel like it’s such a waste of my brain power to wake up in the morning and say “f*ck! I want to look fresh, I want to look dope, I want to have people look at me and say ‘shit I’m heat, dripping,” but I don’t want to have to think about it, so having everything black is like, it makes things a lot easier.

Jacket: Palm Angels

Why do you wear the face mask?

Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t, a lot of the times I wear it just to demonstrate who I am is not really important, that the face behind the music isn’t important, it’s a bit of a paradox, because by wearing the mask you kind of are portraying an image, you’re being mysterious so people are going to ask questions. When I perform live I really do want to connect with the people and I feel like I’ve made something that they wanted to see so I give them myself, I don’t need to wind myself, but there’s some times I’d just wear the mask because it’s awesome because people don’t really speak to you when you’re sitting there with a mask on, I’m quite anti so it’s nice to wear it sometimes and have no one bother you.

Why didn’t you say anti as a personality for you?

Yeah there we go, anti is definitely a trait of my personality. I’m just not in the biz at all, it’s exhausting, it’s too much.

You not really a social person?

No, not really, I kick it with my mum, I kick it with the people I work with, other than that its like.

And you got a tattoo on the back of your neck that says ‘Made in hell’, what inspired this?

Earth is a place in hell.

Why do you think Earth is a place in hell?

Look around, look around man, hell’s on earth at the moment, it’s up to us to change that or to enjoy that, that’s my perspective.

And what do you decide?

I decide to take what I see and make art out of it and express myself honestly how I feel about it. There’s a lot of exterior stuff going on but I don’t even have time to really think about that because I’m dealing with so much of my own shit, and I feel like that’s what’s happening with a lot of people that are dealing with their own inner issues, inner problems, their own problems for themselves, we don’t even have time to look anything else, and if we look at it it’s horrible it’s like shit, it’s interesting but it’ll be fine we’ll be good.

Collar: JW Anderson @ Browns Fashion, Top: 3 Paradis, Trousers Issey Miyake @ Browns Fashion, Trainers: Axel Arigato

What advice would you give to young people going through stuff that they feel is draining, like you said with YouTube, you said it was draining, and a lot of people are living like that right now, especially a lot of youth, because they only thing they can look to is social media and the internet, which also can be draining, so what advice would you give to young people?

Stay off social media for a week. Take a break from social media, spend some time with yourself, learn to love yourself and that is surprisingly not difficult when you step away and maturely want to better yourself, you kind of have to want to feel better to make those steps and give yourself the props and give yourself the pat on the back and saying ‘listen, I’m sad I’m depressed and whatever but I’m willing to get better’ and it’s a battle for sure, but battles can be won.

How does it feel when someone overcomes that battle?

It’s liberating man, it’s liberating, I was down as f*ck before I started making music, I was in a horrible space, and it was the music that took me and uplifted me and offered me a different perspective and gave me a voice to speak to other people, I am no prophet I am no preacher, I’m no motivational speaker I’m no one to give anyone advice I can only talk from what I’ve experienced and how I got over things, so sometimes topics like this I kind of tend to not weigh in on because I can come across insensitive sometimes and that’s never my intention, having been there and experienced things the way I’ve experienced and got out, I will only speak my truth, I’m not here to be this guy that’s like ‘look up to me and everything will get better’, this is me and I’m going to present myself, take what you will, be inspired by it if you want, hate it if you want, love it if you want, it’s there, it’s just there.

Your music video Heart Attack has got 35M views, what inspired it?

The heart attack story is ridiculous, we were broke as f*ck, we parked the car somewhere we shouldn’t have parked it, and the traffic warden was walking so we only had 20 minutes to film the video, so we went and filmed the video in 20 minutes and then got back in the car and drove home. It’s funny because we were in a dodgy area where we parked the car, so I kept my hard-drive with all my new tracks on there in my pocket, so in the Heart Attack video in my pocket there’s a hard-drive with all my music on there.

It shows if you want to do something you just got to make it happen.

You just got to do it man there’s no rules.

What’s next for Scarlxrd in 2018?

More music.

Your selling merch and you’ve got stuff that says ‘Lies You Tell’ and ‘Sorry I Still Hate You’, what inspired these lyrics/descriptions?

‘Lies You Tell’ was from a song I have called Lies You Tell and ‘Sorry I Still Hate You’ is directed at a few people in my life and I’m very sorry, but I still hate you all.

I like that, nice one (laughs.)

Full Look: Dolce & Gabbana, Face Mask: Talent’s Own

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