Aitch says the ‘Lost Files’ EP is “just pure vibes” and “for my old-school fans”

Aitch says the ‘Lost Files’ EP is “just pure vibes” and “for my old-school fans”

Aitch has spoken to NME about his upcoming ‘Lost Files’ EP, dreams of working with Liam Gallagher and how 50 Cent inspired him to become a rapper.

READ MORE: Aitch on The Cover – we meet the Manchester rapper at Factory Records

Last week (November 9), the rapper performed a one-off, intimate live performance at Lafayette in London, hosted by YouTube. The small 600-capacity venue was a stark difference from his last show in the capital, performing at the massive London Stadium back in September at the halftime performance for 2023 Sidemen charity football match.

“We can always do a big show and sell out arenas and that, but sometimes, it’s nice to do something a bit more intimate, something a bit that doesn’t necessarily feel like a big performance show,” he told NME. “It’d be nice to get on stage, talk to the fans, have a little laugh – just hold the vibes with people.”

For the fans who were able to get tickets, they saw the 23-year-old perform a collection of his chart-dominating hits as well as preview new songs from his upcoming EP, ‘Lost Files’.

When asked about the motivation behind this record, Aitch explained: “It’s good having a lot of songs, but then sometimes it’s a shame because not all of them are ever going to see the light of day. We just thought, for the sake of the fans who always want to hear music, let’s just gather up a couple of songs in the files and put them together and slap them out there.”

Aitch. Credit: Martin Philbey for NME

The ‘Taste’ star continued: “If I don’t release anything now, [the songs on the EP] might not ever be heard.” Before then, he thought to “cater to the fans and just give them something a little bit different, something they would never usually hear.”

‘Lost Files’ will be Aitch’s second solo release of the year, following the single ‘Round 2’ back in April. Since then, Aitch has been featured on songs with Clavish, A1 X J1 and Toddla T.

“The amount of DMs I get saying, ‘You’re not a rapper anymore, you need to start dropping music again’ is too much,” he tells NME, “so the EP is for them people there.”

He continued: “[‘Lost Files’] is especially for my old-school fans. I don’t always want to get caught up in doing more mainstream stuff, but I also don’t want to get caught up in just being a local rapper, so sometimes I just try to find the balance.”

There are five features on the award-winning rapper’s upcoming record; Cordae, Nafe Smallz, Potter Payper, PLK and Mazza L20. The EP’s lead single ‘Landslide’ features Smallz, who Aitch admitted to being a fan of “for years”, but they didn’t meet until not too long ago. “We just got in the studio and made like four songs,” he said. “I just think Nafe’s sick, and I feel like the ‘Landslide’ one was good because it was kind of like a different vibe for both me and Nafe.”

The pop-grime juggernaut also hopped on the remix to Mazza L20’s breakthrough song, ‘Murdaside’, with northwest London’s Potter Payper – which also features on ‘Lost Files’. Aitch said: “I’ve just seen what he was doing and representing up north, and I feel like it’s good to champion people from local areas to me.”

Aitch revealed he “always would hear [‘Murdaslide’] being played” around and that “all [his] friends were playing it. So I messaged [Mazza L20] one time, just said, ‘Hope you’re good,’ and he said, ‘Yo, I want you on this remix,’ and I said, ‘Say no more, let’s do it.’”

He also said that he put the Liverpudlian rising star on ‘Lost Files’ because he “wanted some up north flavour” since “every EP or tape [he’s] put out, I’ve tried to keep one or two up north features on there.”

‘Lost Files’ is also Aitch’s first body of work since his debut album, ‘Close To Home‘, which he released last year. “The EP is definitely a lot different from ‘Close To Home’,” the rapper explained.

“In my opinion, if you want to get to know me and hear my story and my feelings and stuff, you can go to ‘Close To Home’ and listen to that and really sit down and take that in. Whereas this one’s just pure vibes.”

This year marks 50 years of hip-hop, which Aitch told NME was “all [he] ever knew” while growing up. “My cousin always used to babysit me and all she ever played was grime music,” he reminisced. “Uncles and my dad’s friends – [hip-hop] was all that he was playing.”

He also remembered watching the 2005 crime drama film Get Rich or Die Tryin’, which was loosely based on 50 Cent’s life, “way younger than [he] was supposed to watch it.” Since then, he has been “hooked on 50 Cent forever” and that he was his “favourite rapper of all time”.

“There’s something about ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin’’,” Aitch told NME. “There’s no skips. When I hear that album, it reminds me of childhood. Theu were my little theme tunes growing up and I can remember certain things happening after certain things on the album.”

Aitch expressed his hopes to work with 50 Cent while the latter is in Manchester for ‘The Final Lap’ tour with Busta Rhymes: “If you see me jump on the stage and get chased down by a security guard, you know why?”

At the 2022 BRIT Awards, Aitch told NME that he’d love Liam Gallagher to feature on ‘Close To Home’. However, Liam Gallagher rejected the offer. When asked if that’s still a dream of his a year on, the rapper appeared less optimistic, saying: “I don’t know – you’re going to have to ask him. We’ll keep trying!”

“I literally found out the other day that when I was trying to get him on the song, he did actually reply to a tweet or something. I can’t remember what he said, but I think he kind of said that I was cold, but he also slagged me off at the same time. So it’s a love-hate relationship right now with me and Liam.”

The rapper promised “lots and lots of music next year, like tons of music, ranging from everything, from Nafe Smallz to Tom Grennan to 50 Cent”, as well as launching his drink brand Syps”.

Asked if he might release another album next year, Aitch said that he’s “not got one in his head right now”.

“There’ll definitely be other projects,” he said. “I feel like, for some reason, I’m back on grind mode and it’s going to be a lot of releases, a couple [of] mixtapes, EPs. I just want to do a little bit of everything.

“I feel like my next album needs to be a statement and needs to be something that’s a bit more personal to me. That might happen – I might get halfway through the year and decide that I want to release an album.”

The ‘Lost Files’ EP is out tomorrow (Friday November 17).

In other news, Aitch performed on the Pyramid Stage at this year’s Glastonbury festival, “shutting down” his set by debuting the new Manchester United kit. Meanwhile, in February, he won the 2023 BRIT Award for Hip-Hop, Grime And Rap Act.

Earlier this year, Aitch also joined Coldplay on stage in his hometown at Manchester Etihad Stadium.

The post Aitch says the ‘Lost Files’ EP is “just pure vibes” and “for my old-school fans” appeared first on NME.

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