#ExclusiveInterview: Stevie B | Football With Hip-Hop

I am unable to find anything more loved than an underdog story by an audience. Maybe the answer is an underdog story which revolves around football players. Stevie B drops a football anthem for all football and hip hop fans along with an underdog story. In my view, this might be the first of its kind where we can see the use of football players and team names used cleverly as references.

You can see in lines like “Remember when you tore his heart and told him he would fail”. If you are not a football fan you will not notice how cleverly he has used Torres and Hart. My favourite bats from the track would be the following:

“Now it’s crunch time, let me tell you what you’re gonna get-
In the face of defeat I’m Sergio Ramos and the clock just said 92:48”

Artwork courtesy Lalith’s Gallery

I caught up with Stevie B and this is what he told me about his latest effort, have a read :

SLYCK: For those folks who might not know you, introduce yourself?

STEVIE B: This is Stevie B. I was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Started rapping in 2006. Moved to New Delhi in 2008 and I’ve been here since then. So these are the two cities that I represent. Sure, there are lots of artists my age and many more that are a lot younger than me who are way ahead of me when it comes to their popularity, much love to all of them. But there’s no denying that the work that I put out is relatable. Through my music, I want to give a positive message that no matter how bad things are going and how tough times are, things will always fall in place through perseverance. Representing India and Iran through my music is very important to me and it’s something that I’ll always strive to do.

SLYCK: What motivated Stevie B for this project?

STEVIE B: Growing up in Iran, football is the biggest sport there, so I’ve been a big fan from a very young age. Once I started making music, there were a few things that I wanted to eventually accomplish at some point in my career. One of them was to make a football related song that every football fan and player gets to hear and enjoy. Kind of like the songs that come out during major tournaments like the world cup.

Let me tell you a little story about how this song finally came together. I was writing a verse for a song and I wrote a line that went like “Cause see us and you know things about to get messy.” Immediately the first person that came to mind was Lionel Messi and the “Cause see us” sounded like Casillas. Unintentionally I made a football punch line there. I thought I’ll write another line using another football players name. Lots of names kept coming up that I could do something creative with and I thought about taking all those names and turning it into a whole song.

SLYCK: How was the experience while recording the track?

STEVIE B: I had an amazing time. I love being in the studio so like always it was a great experience. I recorded this over at Devanzz Studio (New Delhi). What made it even better was the beat that Big Deal produced. It’s got an anthem feel to it. I recorded my verses the same day he sent it over to me. For the hook, I sent the song over to another artist who was in Delhi at the time, Amandeep “ALX” Mudhar and he arranged for the female vocals on there. So overall it wonderful.

SLYCK: How does it feel when someone like Big Deal affiliates himself to your project?

STEVIE B: I feel blessed to have someone like Big Deal on board for the project. This is the second time I’ve collaborated with him. The first was on a track called ‘Pipe Bomb’. This is something that both of us say all the time, “We’re friends before fellow artists.” I’ve known him for years now. I’ve always shared positive vibes with him. Been a huge fan of his work ever since I first heard him. That guy is criminally underrated as a producer. With all due respect to every other underground producer in India, Big Deal is one of the best if you ask me. The kind of beats that he makes are something that I personally enjoy which is why I hit him up when I wanted a beat for this song. I wish him the best always.

SLYCK: The video is dope and looks nice, describe the experience while working with Bishmen?

STEVIE B: Thank you! It was a lot of fun shooting this video with Bishmen in Bangalore. I didn’t know him personally. I had seen the work he had done with Big Deal in the past, but when that ‘One Kid’ video dropped, it was on another level. That’s when I first got in touch with him. This video of mine had been on hold for a really long time and I wanted to shoot with someone who is a football fan so that they could understand the concept better. We spoke, set up the shoot dates and I flew down to Bangalore and shot the video. He’s a great guy, really chilled out. So it felt like working with someone that I’ve known for years. Love what he did with the video. He made me look like a star!

SLYCK: How are your future projects looking like?

STEVIE B: I’ve got a lot of unreleased work. I will put them out soon. I’m shooting a video with singer Bianca Love soon and it’s the type of song that I’ve never done before. Lots of people who listen to my work say that I only talk about my story and they want to hear something else. I’ve got some tracks in the vault that are lyrically insane which every hip hop fan would love. So I’ll see if I should just put them out in audio format or if I should shoot videos for them like I’ve been doing. For now, I’m focused on this Football Anthem video. I hope people like it and it reaches out to as many people as possible, even the non-hip-hop fans.

SLYCK: Any message for fans and followers?

STEVIE B: Just want to say thank you for your constant love and support throughout the years. Thank you for being patient with me and not writing me off since I haven’t dropped any music in a really long time. All I can say is keep supporting your boy and I’m gonna keep putting out good music. Leave that to me. And to everyone else, stay strong, keep your head up, don’t let any kind of negativity affect you. We as artists are here for you and will keep trying to make a change for the positive through our music.

Check out the Teaser for the ‘Football Anthem’ here: