Tomorrow’s music today. This issue: Underling
Homegrown hip hop is a growing phenomenon and Underling find themselves at the front of the pack. Splitting their time between Dunfermline and Edinburgh, the fivesome are renowned for eclectic live shows, and are currently putting the finishing touches to a debut album, due out this summer. We caught up with rapper Aron Moorhouse
Your shows are hardly conventional decks-and-an-MC hip hop rallies, are they?
We used to put on community jam sessions and gig nights, and the guys in the band come from a jazz background. Three of the guys are multi-instrumentalists, which is great for improvising, it means you’re not tied to a strict sound. One minute it can be upright bass and harmonica, then it’s trumpet and guitar or keyboards and double bass, there’s a lot of variety.
Your rap style brings to mind the likes of Roots Manuva and Dizzy Rascal. What got you started?
Six years ago I started rapping along with other songs, then began writing my own stuff. I was in the forces, and I used to do it to relax and pass the time, but then gradually the writing took over and I realised I wasn’t cut out for the forces.
Scottish hip hop is really getting its shit together now, why is that?
It’s great. People are starting to support each other more, which is the most important thing, that’s what’s driven the success of the Scottish indie scene. When artists get behind each other, that’s when good things start to happen, and people are catching on to that. (Doug Johnstone)
Underling play the Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, Sat 30 Jun.