Exposure: Northern Xposure
Feted by The Culture Show, name-checked by the urban music press, respected by an army of sometime tour-mates and artists they’ve played alongside (including Dizzee Rascal, Naughty By Nature, Estelle, The Roots and Amy Winehouse) and still based in the council estates of Calder (they call it ‘C-Block’), brother and sister duo Ibrahim and Eunice Olumide are Northern Xposure. They’re too much of a well-kept secret around these parts, though; Eunice tells us what we all should know.
How did you start making music together? I started singing at a young age in church and my brother – who’s older than me – was into making rap almost as a joke. Not many people in Scotland were into it, you know? He never thought it would go anywhere. So I basically copied him.
So when did you both start taking it seriously? When I was about 18 I got a scholarship to study at the University of Pennsylvania, and I got some work presenting shows out there. That’s where I met Naughty By Nature; we got on really well, they found out I could rap and I ended up touring round universities with them and meeting The Roots. When I came back to Scotland, I think the fact people like this liked what we were doing re-energised my brother.
What is your music about? It’s there to help people’s lives, that’s the sole reason behind it. We don’t want to be famous, my brother doesn’t even like giving interviews – if we had the money we’d be cartoon characters, like Gorillaz. But to be honest, taking crack was an option for me growing up, because there’s nothing much for kids to do in our area. So if we can show young folk that there is something better you can do with your life, that’s enough for me.
Northern Xposure play the Take One Action Film Festival at the Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Thu 17 Sep. The album The Last Piece of the Puzzle is out now.