POUNDZ x KING
POUNDZ is a UK artist that’s blowing up on the scene right now. His video 'Opp Thot' has over 7 million views on YouTube and over 6 million streams on Spotify. If you haven’t heard it already make sure you check this one out – it’s a track!
This kid is truly the real deal and a viral sensation for good reason. His flow on the beat is insane and he’s different to any other drill artist out there right now. POUNDZ brings a different flavor to drill, not afraid to experiment in his music videos, brings comedic elements and creative concepts to his videos with props and catchy dances to buss down in the club and of course a banging sound to vibe to. A newcomer in the game but already doing bits and it's only the beginning for this young talent. Homegrown out of Thornton Heath, South London, (big up the endz), POUNDZ is definitely the man of the moment and we caught up with him at the POUNDZ x KING shoot to find a little bit more about the artist.
POUNDZ performing at Capital Xtra Homegrown (top left), Performance on stage at Parklike Festival (top right), POUNDZ cover shoot (bottom right), Opp Thot Single Cover (bottom right).
Firstly of all why did you want to collab with KING?
" I liked their look, I feel like what they put out relates to me and I can see myself in these clothes, it's my style".
Have you always been a fan of fashion?
Of course, I think everyone wants to look good, looking good makes you feel good.
POUNDZ in the new Royal Injection Range by KING Apparel
What kind of music were you exposed to growing up?
You know what Im'a just be real, you see the music playing right now (90s Hip Hop plays in the background), this and Ja Rule, Jay Z, Aaliyah, Beyonce, Drake....these are the mains ones.
We spoke earlier on the shoot on how your recent success in music has opened more doors for you, i.e. this collar with KING Apparel. Do you have aspirations of becoming moving into other areas such as acting, and if so, what type roles could you see yourself in?
"Yeh, of course. I would love to get involved in all these areas. This is all new to me but I'm trying to take the right opportunities brought my way, and so far I'm enjoying it. The roles I could see myself in.....hmmm.....you know like them gangster Netflix Movies and shows hahahah. 50 cent has been a big inspiration in my life, his story is something I can relate to and aspire to be like, Rapper, Actor and businessman - he patterned up the game, POWER is my show!"
You have done some acting in your music videos already, you like to paint a story and in some scenes, you wear a clown mask, ('Who's Laughing', 'Lions Den', 'The End'), why?
"It's to shoot the theme of what I want the video to be about, the clown is a persona, an alter ego. You know how you have POUNDZ this is like Skengman POUNDZ when the mask comes on. It helps build the character, he's supposed to be intimidating, not a guy to be messed with but at the same time it's bringing comedy and humour to the video. He's a gangtser but he's unpredictable, you don't know what to expect."
POUNDZ in his hit music videos 'Lions Den' & 'The End'
You like to create your own dances and introduce a comedic element to your music videos, it's clear you're style is different than most drill artists out there. How do you come up with your creative concepts for your videos, what's your process?
"It has to be organic, the dances come about because when I write the lyrics and i'm jamming to it, that's just me vibing to it, then i'll find a little weird move and I think you know what, I'm gonna be myself and put it in the video. Then the content and creative ideas for the videos itself comes from a picture I paint in my head as I write my lyrics, I try to create a story from my words and transfer it into real life. What you seen in the videos is just me being me, having fun and trying to show who I am, its all natural and doesn't have to be so fictional."
Your music has managed to get crazy attention of all types of people, not just those in the urban scene. Talk to me about the the viral video of you performing your 'Opp Thot' dance with guests from a random wedding party infront of the big red double decker bus?
Bro....that was hilarious. I didn't even want to do it at first but my boy convinced me that it would be mad funny. So we went up to them and they were so happy to be do it. They were feeling the tune and everything.
POUNDZ Wedding Party Dance
On Tik Tok, they're going crazy doing their own dances to your music, so for you when you created Opp Thot, did you think you'd receive this kind of reception or are you shocked at how its all turned out?
"Don't get me wrong, I always believed in the song and always felt it was gonna be a banger but I didn't really anticipate the numbers and how far it was really gonna go, I just knew it would do well. But 5 million views on YouTube, 6 Million streams on Spotify, it's just crazy how its all happened, and honestly it makes me go harder for the next single."
TikTok Fans Opp Thot Dance Challenge
Instead of most songs where we vibe to the rhythm of the beat, fans have described that they actually move to your words on the beat, which is a massive difference and great compliment. It's obvious you have a unique gift in your lyrical flow. How did you learn that ability, did it take time to master that style or did you pick it up straight away?
"You know what, a lot of great things happen by accident, believe it or not. Even the hook for Opp Thot, was originally the opening for verse 1 on the track, but as I was going down writing line by line, I was thinking nah this is wavey! So I kept that as the hook and then the song just pieced together. The flow came about just from vibing, when you're in your element, you do awkward things and the awkward things are the creative things."
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
"Good question, I see myself doing crazy global features, I would love to work with someone like Jhene Aiko, she is at the top of my list. It's a long way away but that's where I hope to be. She's very different and unique. I see myself hitting all the big festivals, just conquering everything that the game can offer."
So breaking America would be the aim, do you think your music would vibe with the listeners across the pond?
"Breaking America would be mad cool, and I think UK Drill is growing over there. You see the reaction videos on YouTube and i'm like raah, they feeling my music, they feeling drill. It's motivating and inspires me to continue. Some UK artists have gone over there and done well so it's very possible and I want to emulate that and more".
UK Takeover: Stormy headlining Glastonbury (top left), Dave winner Mercury Prize Awards (top right), Krept and Konan (bottom left), Dizze Rascal (bottom right) and newcomer POUNDZ in KING Tennyson Hoodie (centre)
With the UK grime artists such as Stormzy, Krept and Konan, Dave and Dizzie Rascal all making big moves in the US, although POUNDZ may be from a different genre of UK Drill, the ambition and goal to emulate has not been diminished and the desire to follow in their footsteps is strong. There's no obstacle too high or hard for this young one. I love the enthusiasm and positive outlook and have no doubt he will reach the heights he believes.
Keep an eye on this kid cos he's ready to blowwww!
Check the new 'Opp Thot Remix' featuring feat Ambush, Snap Capone and Yxng Bane
Words by Ali Walji
Instagram - aliwalji17