“There’s a different element to me now…”
The grounding of Unknown T’s sound is inseparable from his roots. Teeming with social commentary, circumstantial experience, and the gritty realities of life, his music is a means for catharsis, a greater therapy than dialogue could ever be.
What lies beneath his publicised temperament is vaster than the Unknown. “Now that I have shown the growth, I want people to see the continuation of my journey.”
In anticipation of releasing his second solo project ‘Adolescence‘, Unknown T isn’t afraid of showing his physical and emotional changes by means of rhythmic dexterity, in sync with his individualism that he is very much aware of.
In an exclusive interview for PAUSE’s Digital Cover, Unknown T voices his self-development, his stance within Fashion and unveils that behind the masked façade of a rapper is a real comedian.
Unknown T. The man of the moment. PAUSE Magazine’s cover boy. The Louis Vuitton, Paris Fashion Week trekker. A COLOURS show artiste. How would you summarise your relationship with 2021 so far?
Joyful. It’s been joyful this year.
Do you believe in manifestation? Are you the affirm-your-dreams kinda’ type?
I definitely have started to believe in it now. Like, I’ve come to notice that if you put your energy in the right way and believe in yourself, you can actually make what you want to happen. It’s just about hard work, time, and patience.
You’re approaching your birthday soon, as am I. I feel like 22 will be a golden year. Do you happen to have any presumptions?
Definitely trying to show a different element to me now. Now that I have shown the growth, I want [people] to see the continuation of my journey. It’s a whole new chapter. Going into 22, it’s going into adulthood properly now. We have to just enjoy it and resonate with it – I’m just thinking of how I can resonate with the people a bit more as well. I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of eyes on the UK at the moment.
So, surely it makes you feel better too.
It makes me feel better. It motivates me to keep on pushing for the people. As I keep progressing, it motivates people to work. One time, I was with my hairdresser and when I first met her, she told me when she listens to my music, it motivates her to work harder. To do more hair. To get more sales. It made me realise how my music has an effect on people and I have to think of the right ways to divert it. It’s a mixture of the music and my character, it all counts.
It must be so revitalising to be able to document your personal growth through doing something you love
It’s a beautiful feeling and it’s a relief to even pass mistakes, or certain stages in life with valuable lessons, I can just talk all my pain and then once it’s out – it’s onto a next journey of life.
Music definitely plays as a form of therapy in terms of moving on from one stage in your life to another.
It’s so crazy that you’ve said that. I even say in one of my songs. I haven’t even gone to therapy since I have come out of prison, but music is in fact my therapy. That’s what keeps me sane. That’s crazy still.
I think the beautiful thing about music being a therapy, is that it’s not applicable to the artist itself. Even me, a journalist, can feel something by listening or resonating with it. It’s a universal feeling. So, let’s look at Men’s Health Week, something we just celebrated. With Mental health being such a prevalent subject within your creation, how important is truthfulness? Is there a line between lyrical narratives and reality?
I feel like it’s important, to be honest with yourself and get your true emotions out on a song that you know will resonate with people. There has to be a fine line when it comes to being explicit – that’s the way I perceive it – but in terms of truthfulness, so you can reflect on your growth, it’s definitely important. That experience has to be balanced, per se.
You’ve been engaging with a lot of Brooklyn drill artists too, the late Pop, Fivio – does it evoke a feeling of understanding when it comes to the New York and London sound?
Yeah, even the producers. I feel like there’s an understanding. We have the same type of pain, but we have to understand their culture first. We have to understand their energy. When you actually get to communicate them and understand their lifestyle and their background, it helps.
Are state-side collaborations something we can ever expect?
Most definitely. Right now, I just want to wow everyone with myself. But most definitely in the future.
Finally, to draw our interview to a close – what is something you think people should know about you that perhaps we don’t?
I’m a comedian behind the ‘Unknown’ you know. You know what? If I stopped music –
Actually, that’s a question in itself. If you didn’t do music, what would you do?
I’d jump on modelling. I feel like I could definitely get somewhere in the acting/entertainment bag. Somewhere. That would be lit.