J Hus posing for FS magazine photoshoot ()J Hus posing for FS magazine photoshoot () © Copyright

Preview: J hus exclusive

J Hus is changing the game, so we met him and put him on the cover (that's just #CommonSense). Here's sneak preview of what he had to say. Check the full story to hear his thoughts on Drake, the music industry, coping with success and what to expect from Hus in the future. Fisherman special is in stores now, go cop it.  

...When Hus grew up in Stratford, Newham, it was was the most ethnically diverse place in the entire UK. It’s an area which, prior to 2012, was known chiefly as London’s eastern transport hub.

It lies on a flat plain just north of the river, beneath the mountainous skyscrapers of Docklands and a couple of miles east of the City.

The Olympics cast a spotlight on Stratford, an area long neglected, and subjected it to rampant regeneration.

Today, new builds are filled with city workers who file in and out of the train station each morning and evening. It’s become the city’s closest commuter suburb, but despite a changing face, it remains a heavily multicultural area.

J Hus in a green vintage tracksuit for FS magazine photoshoot ()

 

The children of grandparents from the West Indies, West Africa, India and Pakistan grow up and go to school with the children of refugees from Somalia, Kosovo and Sri Lanka. Kids also arrive from across Europe. The result is a cosmopolitan, densely populated area where different ethnicities are grouped together, and must learn to coexist.

It’s the kind of place where teenagers have to entertain themselves. The indoor shopping centre, opened in 1974 and left unloved since the bigger brands moved their stores to the Olympic Westfield, has become a de facto 24hr skate park.

Stratford is just a mile, one junction along the A12, from Bow – birthplace of Wiley and Dizzee Rascal, and the area largely regarded as grime music’s ground zero. Stratford, too has a thriving, homegrown MC scene.

Tell me about Stratford. That’s an area that’s changed a lot with the Olympics – what was it like growing up around all that?

Before the Olympics, it was just… growing up anywhere, you have good times, bad times, that’s just growing up. It was a nice area, actually it was a lovely area. Then the Olympics came around and in those times, I was up to no good.

The Olympic things started happening, and the police started trying to clean up the area, you know, sweep up all the criminals, and I was part of that. They locked me away, and as it was changing, I came back out. It’s changed a lot since I was younger, but I still love it, I still represent it. It’s still my area.

J Hus in FS magazine cover photoshoot ()

 

Do you see yourself staying there?

I grew up there, and spent a lot of time there, so I’m trying to do other things now, but it’ll always have a place in my heart, and a lot of memories.

There are lots of MCs from Stratford – it seems like there’s lots of stuff going on. Do you feel like you’re part of a scene?

To be honest, with all that stuff, I’m a bit anti-social. I’m very anti-social. When I get to know you, I’m open, but I don’t go out my way to meet new people, I don’t really do that. Look, when I know people, I am fine, but more I just keep myself to myself.

J Hus modelling for FS magazine style shoot ()

 

It’s where you met your producer, JAE5, though, right? How did that relationship come about?

Back in 2012, one of my friends was rapping a lot and he started on this music course, and there was a deal where if you brought a friend along to the course, you’d end up getting money.
So he brought me along and JAE5 was teaching people how to produce.

But me, I just wanted to do something with rap and record, not produce, so I lasted like two weeks. Not even two weeks, maybe a week. That was the first time I met him.

Then, end of summer 2014, I went to watch some local DJs – one of them DJs for me now, actually. It was at this little festival thing, and I told them I was taking things more seriously.

They reconnected me with JAE5 and we booked a studio. For the first two sessions, he didn’t even bother showing up, he didn’t take me that seriously. But when we linked up, we realised what we both can do.

J Hus in FS magazine cover style shoot ()

 

He only seems to make bangers. Why do you think the two of you work so well as a team?

He understands me. He knows what I can do. He understands my voice and he knows what I like, and what I don’t like. I don’t know exactly what it is, but the chemistry is just there.

What’s the experience of making your first album been like?

It took six months in the studio, me and JAE5, it got hectic. At first I had a bit of a block, and I couldn’t write anything. June, July and August, I didn’t really make anything, but by September, I started really getting back into it, and by the end of November, my part of the album was done.

Have you played it to many people, and what have they said?

Yeah, they all tell me it’s a game-changer. Everyone I’ve played it to has loved it.

For the full story, pick up this months FS magazine in all good newsagents, supermarkets and Sports Direct stores.

Photos: Leigh Keily

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