Milli Major

Selected by: James Keith

Name: Milli Major

Where He’s From: North London

Genre: UK Drill/Rap/Grime

File Next To: Bossman Birdie, Paper Pabs, Meridian/Bloodline

When He Started: “I’m not sure what year exactly, but it was definitely around 2002. I was still in school and me and my friends started a crew called Cold Blooded, and we got a weekly slot on our local pirate radio station Heat FM 96.6. Seeing my older cousins Big H, Paper Pabs and Bossman Birdie really inspired me to say to myself and my friends that we could really do this.”

Sounds Like: “I would say my sound varies from rap to drill to grime and garage. Depending on the production and how I feel at the time, it can either be an energetic sort of rap-infused grime sound or a dark drill sound. I’m very comfortable on anything on and around 140BPM. On another day, you might hear me with some catchy melodies creating good vibes over a garage record.”

First Music That Inspired Him: “I remember when I was in primary school, we had a talent show in Year 5 and me and my friends entered and performed as the Backstreet Boys. We performed their song ‘Back Again’ [laughs]. I took that competition so serious it’s unreal! I stopped talking to my friend because he turned up and his dress code was off.”

Nearly two decades into his career and Milli Major is still evolving. He first made his name with Scorcher, Dolla Da Dustman, Terminator, Cookie, Jonson, Kase, Revolver and others as part of grime crew Cold Blooded. Eventually, after Scorcher left to form The Movement, the set fractured and Milli joined up with the Bloodline family. The Bloodline days are in the past now and Milli’s already fired up on a bunch of different projects, including a solo career that’s seen him expand his palette to take in garage, drill and rap, his 3Smoke venture with Pabs and Bossman, and a budding career as a screenwriter and director.

Growing up, the music filling the family home was varied, but the classics were always at the core (as well as a couple of curveballs): “Everything from Chaka Demus & Pliers to Micheal Jackson to any of the Magic FM tunes my mum use to play,” he tells TRENCH. “Believe it or not, I use to listen to Guns & Roses for a hot sec, too.” Making music came early. After a brief stint covering Backstreet Boys in school before finding grime, things started to get a little more serious, and slowly but surely a career started to take shape. “I started off as Major Man, then I tried a ting and changed it to Double M,” he says. “Next thing I know, my boy Scorcher one day decided to call me 9 Milli Major, and then when things got serious I changed it to Milli Major.”

It’s been a wild journey for him and grime’s taken him right across the globe and given him a lifetime of stories to tell, including a run-in with the police up North while on tour with Big Narstie. “That was funny because so many different popular rappers were there and we all got kicked out. It was my boy Black The Ripper’s fault! Rest up, homie.” The new chapters he’s opening up now—screenwriting, putting out rap and drill bangers with 3Smoke, managing his little brother Trillz CB—have the potential to be the most exciting and fulfilling of his career. It’d be easy to look back, and there’s a lot to look back on, but with his sights set on pitching film scripts to Netflix and Amazon (they’re already written, by the way), nostalgia would be a waste of time.

TRENCH Highlight...

Posted on February 10, 2022