Behind the Track: All That We've Got by The New Consistent
The New Consistent is a rapper from the West Midlands inspired by UK Hip Hop and the Neo Jazz/Soul scene that has been emerging in recent times. Only 2 years into his career, and with 2 EPs under his belt already - 2019’s ‘I.S.A.A.C’ (prod. Austin Williams of Swim Deep) and 2020’s ‘Stories From The 01905’ - as well as a Remixes Mixtape dropped in Lockdown 1, TNC has really started to make a name for himself, gathering comparisons to the likes of Manik MC, Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn and Loyle Carner along the way.
In 2021, he looks set to really cement his place in the underground scenes, not just locally, but nationally too. TNC describes new single titled All That We’ve Got, as his best yet; a track with a refined sound that will prove to be a flagship amongst his vastly growing discography, and one he looks to use as a reference point for future releases.
Describe your sound in three words.
dilla-inspired (I know thats 4!!)
Where does the name The New Consistent originate from?
So it comes from the lyrics of my first ever single! I’d written that one in a time of huge change in my life, when I was 18. Literally my whole world like flipped on its head and so in the song I’m questioning ‘Is this the new consistent?'
The producer I was working with on the track was helping me come up with a name for the project cos I was like 18, didn’t have a clue about anything and I didn’t even have one and the song was coming out like the next week. His girlfriend suggested that and it kinda stuck. I really liked it at the time cos it kinda summed everything up and made sense.
Whilst creating your music, is there a specific approach you take?
In terms of writing lyrics, I kinda just write whenever a line or two comes to mind, like I’ll write it down in the notes app on my phone, and then when I actually need to sit down and write a song, I’ve got loads of starting points. From there I stumble along until I hit the writing spark and then I end up writing the whole rest of the song in about 20 minutes!
In terms of the actual instrumentals, nowadays I’m working with producers. I produced my last project but felt I really needed to develop my skills more before putting self produced stuff out again, so am focusing on lyric writing and collaborating with my friends for the beats. It’s worked really well so far this year, and takes the pressure off me needing to develop my producing skills at an impossible rate.
Turning to your latest track 'All That We've Got', what is the message behind the track?
I guess to put it simply, its a call for everyone to just look out for each other, and to remember to take it easy on yourself. We’re coming out of lockdown, the weather is slowly getting better and theres lots of good times ahead. It's easy to forget that not all of us will be going into it with blind enthusiasm, some of us might be feeling slightly anxious, or nervous because we’ve been inside for so long, so its kinda just saying like look out for each other and make sure everyones all good. On a personal level it has a much deeper meaning, like my lyrics talk of personal experiences from the last 18 months or so and how I’ve felt in certain situations with friends and stuff, its been confusing time!
How would you say this song differs from your previous releases?
I like to think it sounds much more mature, with a more defining sound. Previous releases have showcased development, and this one is just another step as part of that, but I feel that it’s a much bigger step up, partly to do with the production, and I’m more time rapping on this track, whereas in the past I’ve been more spoken word at a slower pace. I’m hitting my groove in my music making and this is the first dose of a new era of TNC.
What is the most important thing to think about when writing?
I always seem to use it as a way of getting things of my chest. Things that I didn’t even think were occupying space in my mind end up finding themselves getting written down, and its important for me personally to acknowledge those thoughts and emotions. I’m sometimes realising these things for the first time as I’m writing so its important that I reflect on them afterwards. Also making sure words that I use are one, actually real and two, make sense in the context of the line - I’m always messaging my mum lyrics to check that they make sense - haha!
What is your favourite lyric within the song and what is the meaning behind it?
I quite like the line where I say...
'The suns got my back, even if the people around me struggle to grasp the task that, is gaining some knowledge of what I’m actually doing, to be fair I don’t blame them in my own language I aint fluent.'
I’m kinda just saying that I feel most people fail to understand how I say things or how to act around me sometimes cos I’m quite introverted in person and quite reserved, and it can come across the wrong way to some people, by calling it my own language it also just emphasises the feeling of alienation. But at the same time I don’t blame them cos I struggle to understand myself and my own moods at times, although to be fair I’m slowly getting better at it haha!
What was the process like when conveying your sound into a visual, specifically with the video for 'All We've Got'?
I took heavy inspiration from people like Crowns and Owls, and The Rest. I wanted to create really striking visuals and concepts, and put equal amounts of effort into those as I did the music because I just feel that its so important. The first thing people see before they even hear one note of a song is the sleeve, and so its the first way of drawing people in. I wanted the video, sleeve and press shots to be all set in the same place, as if the song comes from this one world, and then bit by bit throughout the campaign I’m showing people more and more of the world around the song.
I worked really closely with two friends of mine who are ridiculously talented and we just put all our ideas intro practise early on and it all developed rapidly. It happened so smoothly because once I had the location, and the colour scheme, everything else just fell into place, the props were also something we focused heavily on. It’s important to have extra meanings within art because it draws people in more and makes the world around it all much more realistic because of the depth and detail thats added in.
If you wasn’t to do music would you still be venturing down a creative path? What would you see yourself doing?
Yeah definitely, I was meant to go to uni in Manchester to study graphic design, but was like nah I’m gonna do music and tackle it head on. I hated the idea of being taught how to be creative. But yeah I would probably be doing something like that, or product design, I did love that at GCSE tbf. Other than that I would have probably ended up being a chef and worked ridiculous hours every week, it’s been my part time job up until this year!
Is there a message you always aim to convey in your music? And why is it important to you?
I just always try to be as transparent as possible, and lay all my cards on the table in all my lyrics. Its important to be honest, and show vulnerability at times, and I hope I help people to realise that and do so in their every day lives. Have confidence in your emotions and let yourself feel them all, good and bad, thats what I wanna try and show people, thats very important.
Top 10 Tracks that inspired 'All We've Got' by The New Consistent.
The New Consistent's Links
Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdqGW2otOOg