Pat Rocks

Interview with Grizzle Grind Crew: Hip Hop Singapura Style

By Patrick ChngEvents - 28 March 2014 12:00 AM | Updated 4:32 PM

Interview with Grizzle Grind Crew: Hip Hop Singapura Style

‘LimPeh’ was one of the most popular music videos to hit Singapore last year.

The catchy hip-hop track, rapped mostly in Hokkien (a Chinese dialect), is by Shigga Shay and features Tosh Rock, both of whom are part of the Grizzle Grind Crew.

Formed last year by Shigga Shay, the hip-hop collective is commemorating its first anniversary with a show on Saturday 29 March at JCube mall in Jurong. 

Asked about its most famous piece of work yet, which has been viewed on YouTube more than 380,000 times to date, Shigga said: “I was always fascinated with the word ‘LimPeh’ and how it was used. So I thought it would be cool to name a song ‘LimPeh’. I've always wanted to work on a Hokkien song with Tosh, it just happened to be ‘LimPeh’.” 

Typically, “lim peh” is used as a third-person address by someone who believes he himself is a wise old man dishing out a warning or advice, usually in a gangster-like tone.

Shigga added: “I've always loved Chinese gangster movies, so I thought it'd be fun to have a music video based in the 1960s with a retro Chinese gangster theme. The video was shot in one day and it was really rushed but we still made it in time! Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant was really kind to sponsor the venue and even meals, but the shop opens at 6pm so we had to wrap up by 5:30pm.”

Everything from the art direction of the video to the cover art design was by the crew, who are Shigga, Lineath Rajendran, DJ Lenerd, The Zadon and Enero.

On how the group was formed, Shigga said: “Ever since I started making music,I've always wanted to form a crew with people who shared similar visions as I did. Back in 2010, I was working very closely with OszKid and DJ Nash D. OszKid filmed all my music videos and DJ Nash D was my deejay for all my shows. Since we were already working so closely together, I thought why not get this crew going?

ALL IN THE FAMILY 

“At that time, Tosh Rock was still b-boying (breakdancing) here and there. We wanted to get a b-boy arm in the crew so I roped him in too. It was from there that I slowly recruited more members, people that I've met through shows, production sets, in the studio etc.

“The whole aim of the collective is to be a self-sustainable hip-hop movement, whereby we could shoot our own videos, produce our own music, create our own designs and clothing all on our own without depending on anyone else. So the crew has rappers, singers, filmmakers, designers, DJs and all.”

The past year has been eventful for the Grizzle Grind Crew and they had an auspicious start when their launch concert drew a turnout of more than 3,000 people.

DJ Lenerd said: “It has been a great year for everyone, with our fans being really supportive from the beginning. This makes doing shows such as our launch and Yfest (at The Esplanade last year) really enjoyable.”

Enero chimed in: “The biggest highlight to me was seeing the growth of each individual member. Everybody’s gone through a quantum leap! And it’s a pleasure for me to witness that.”

At its first anniversary show, the group will be debuting its “official anthem” (no, ‘LimPeh’ did not get that honour.)

Shigga said: “It's the first single from the crew's upcoming mixtape ‘Leaders of the New Skool’. We just shot the music video and we have cameos from DJ KoFlow, the Sam Willows, JubaFilms and more.”

Lineath said he produced the beat a couple of months ago and Shigga came up with the idea of it being the crew’s anthem. “When people watch the music video or listen to the song, I want them to know that we’re absolutely serious and focused about this and that we’re not doing this as a hobby or for fun,” he added.

Lineath will be performing brand new songs and also his solo EP, while Lenerd will be doing turntablism along with singers, rappers, beatboxer and b-boys. The Zadon is doing beatboxing and performing with special guests. 

Shigga summed it up best when he said: “You’ll see a hip-hop crew that has grown and matured a lot musically and with amazing guest artistes like Sheikh Haikel, The Sam Willows and Radikal Forze. Expect a lot of live collaborations too.”

Grizzle Grind Crew Anniversary Show | Date: 29 March 2014 | Time: 7.30pm | Venue: JStage, JCube, 5th level, 2 Jurong East Central | Free