Words: James Keith

Name: Duppy

Where He’s From: South London

When He Started: “I started producing in 2015, so I’m eight years deep, production-wise. I started MCing in late 2019, so it’s been three and a half years on that part.”

File Next To: Jammz, Manga Saint Hilare, Mez

Sounds Like: “Grimey, raw, energetic, fast-paced, refreshing.”

First Music That Inspired Him: “Giggs ‘Matic’, which is probably surprising to some people! But this was the first tune I ever wrote a lyric to. And being from Camberwell/Peckham, Giggs was and is a big musical influence.”

A few weeks ago, UK video director Travs launched his Travspresents venture with a historic moment in grime. Packing out the Kindred shopfront in Central London with as many MCs as he could fit in there, it proved to be one of the most unforgettable radio shows Kindred has ever broadcast and a pivotal moment in a burgeoning new wave of grime. Right in the thick of it was South London’s Duppy, a supernova talent who’s part of a new generation pushing the genre into an exciting new era.

Duppy’s upbringing was soundtracked by a cocktail of soundsystem music from across the generations—jungle, garage, house, UK funky, hip-hop, soca, reggae, bashment, soul, R&B… anything built for great big bassbins. Ultimately, it was grime that caught his attention and really felt like his. Specifically, it was the sound’s energy. “It’s something that, from a young age, I felt like I could relate to,” Duppy tells TRENCH. “The way everyone dressed, the language everyone used and the sound of grime wasn’t something that I had to get used to; it just sounded natural to me. To me—unlike rap, for example—grime was an accurate representation of UK youth culture.”

Right now—along with his tight circle of contemporaries like Renz, Logan OLM and M.I.C—he finds himself right on the frontline of a new wave of grime that’s just about to boil over into something massive. There hasn’t really been a new “German Whip” or “That’s Not Me”, but there has been a gathering of momentum on a community level with more radio sets, more live shows, and more alliances, which should hopefully give us a more sustainable new era.

For the past year or two, Duppy’s name has been cropping up a lot, but he seems unphased by any talk of pressure and doesn’t seem to feel as if grime’s future rests on his shoulders. “It’s an honour that people are praising me in this way and holding me to a high regard,” he says of the attention he’s been getting lately, “but it motivates me even more. At the same time, I try not to watch it. I’m just doing what I do best.” Far be it from us to add to that pressure, but it’s easy to see why he’s got grime fans excited. He’s got all the credentials needed and he’s more than earned his stripes on air and in the booth. In fact, it’s hard to believe that it wasn’t that long ago that he got his first proper live booking. “Nothing has topped that yet,” he says of his appearance with Oblig. “That was the first time I saw a room full of people who actually wanted to see me and hear me perform. And the fact that it was my first booking, at a club as legendary as fabric, is a blessing. I’ll never forget the feeling that came over me when I first heard a crowd say ‘Wooshu!’”

Duppy won’t have to wait long for his second crack at the Farringdon club because he’s returning next month (June 2), where he’ll be side-by-side with Mez in Room 2 along with an all-star roster of grime legends including More Fire Crew, Riko Dan, So Large, R.A, Maxwell D, Discarda, Sharky Major and countless others. No doubt he’ll have a more than a few festival bookings as well. Unfussed by the spotlight, the only question now is whether or not his peers can keep up.

TRENCH Highlight...

Posted on May 03, 2023