Hailing from Croydon; young rapper Hardy Caprio is rapidly cementing his name as the sound of London. Mixing his bars up between punchline grime flows and serious musical expressions, Hardy Caprio is a serious name to watch out for!
LET'S START OFF BY TALKING ABOUT THE ARTISTIC SIDE OF YOUR MUSIC AND YOUR VIDEOS THAT ARE CURATED BY FILM MAKER AND VIDEOGRAPHER CSTAR. HOW DID YOU GUYS FIRST MEET AND DEVELOP A WORKING RELATIONSHIP?
I was looking for a videographer that could match my work ethic so my friend Yanks connected me with him and CSTAR shot ‘IDFWU’ which was my first video of many with him.
WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT THAN EVERY OTHER ARTIST MAKING A VIDEO IN THEIR LOCAL ESTATE?
To be honest, I don’t try to be different intentionally; I just do things spontaneously which ends up reflecting my personality and character.
WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO FLOW OVER CONTEMPORARY HIP-HOP BEATS SUCH AS DRAKE 10 BANDS & BIG SEAN IDFWU INSTRUMENTAL WITH A TRADEMARK LONDON FLOW?
I grew up on everything from Dipset to Scorcher; so I like rap no matter where it comes from. When I find something I can really vibe to I write quickly. The day I heard 10 Bands by Drake it was really early in the morning and within an hour I had a piece written out and that night I was in the studio recording it.
I guess I pick what sounds good and what influences of my life. Every style that I listen to has had an impact on how I rap now.
SO IF SOMEONE HAD TO FORCE YOU TO DEFINE YOUR GENRE, WHAT SOUND WOULD YOU SAY THAT YOU CREATE?
It's the sound of London and the sound of Croydon. But most importantly my sound is genuine as it represents me. If I had to decide I’d probably say grime and rap. Pretty much everything from London falls under that umbrella term but I’m a rapper first.
STICKING TO YOUR SOUND TO STAND THE TEST OF TIME IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR AN ARTIST. LOADS OF ARTISTS HAVE JUMPED ON VIRAL TRENDS SUCH AS AFROBEATS – DO YOU EXPERIMENT WITH NEW STYLES TO STAY RELEVANT OR DO YOU STICK TO YOUR SOUND?
As much as I dig Afrobeats – it’s not for me. I stick to my sound and try not to get absorbed into all the fashions because I make what I like and what I want to hear. I always try to push myself and my style of writing has advanced over the past 3 years so I have much more fun with it and try to inject my personality a lot more and be more expressive.
HAILING FROM CROYDON, SOUTH LONDON WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED THAT YOU DISCUSS THROUGH YOUR MUSIC?
There have been loads - but I’d rather say it through my music. I have an old song titled '2012' where I’m really introspective and honest where I really reveal the emotional impacts of the things that have happened around me.
WHAT IMPACT HAVE THE ARTISTS YOU’VE BEEN SURROUNDED BY IN CROYDON HAD ON YOUR MUSIC?
The thing about Croydon is that there are a lot of artists in competition with each other. There are a lot of artists who I’m friends with but I look up to the big artists from that area like Ghetto Superstars who make you want to step your game up.
Naturally those artists inspire you, but the path I’m taking is my own. I’m probably subconsciously influenced by them; but the way I apply it to my situation and my lifestyle is different.
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE IMPACT OF UK ARTISTS SUCH AS THE LIKES OF WRETCH 32 AND KANO ON YOUR MUSIC?
If you truthfully listen to them I sound completely different to them both. My life experiences and story is never going to be the same as any other artist. Obviously there will be similarities and the reason people tune in to you to hear rappers talk about similar concepts. The biggest difference between me and them is that I’m cheekier with my bars.
That said, sometimes I do make punchlines; but other times I try to paint my story and be descriptive and personal. I always mix it up but naturally what happens around me is always the focus of my music.