One very influential Grime artist in the scene and somebody who has watched all generations of Grime come up has now got his album ‘War Is Normal‘ on sale after a long wait. Known for his unique flow and complete savageness, Merky Ace dropped the 13 track album last week and has received a lot of love from his core fans and peers.
I had a deep conversation with Merky and spoke on his past as he breaks down ‘War Is Normal’.
What drives your passion ?
When I first started it was the music itself, I was in love with just music. I didn’t really understand it as such, I just knew what I liked and since then what drives me is putting across my particular message, unique style and sharing my creative output to the world. When I first started it was the excited and I wasn’t really concerned about how good I was, I just wanted to be involved and show the world what I’m capable of.
How do you overcome internal battles?
It depends on what type of mental battles they are, usually it’s the same thing. Usually head on but sometimes I push things to the back of my head, I’m not one of those people that let a mental battle bring down my whole world.
How did the EP cover come about ?
War Is Normal is a abbreviation of something that happens in life, war is our history, even in terms of music and through my life. I’ve been accustomed to these things to where it is normal to me, it’s not a big thing just back to regular programming. With that being said the artwork reflects being that and the creative bit of it as well.
Are you into history ?
What’s your favourite part of history ?
It’s always what I don’t know. I’ll most probably say black history because that’s something you haven’t really been taught and I’m sure that there is a million and one things that are out there to do with black history that we don’t know about. Once I know some knowledge about something, I just move on to the next piece and find out more.
Talk to me about the track ‘Anger Management’ and ‘Ruff is the new buff’.
Anger management is a skit more than a track, it’s because DJ Argue played being a councillor and replicated what’s going on in my head that meeting. The answers that he is giving is things I already know that are problems but it’s weird because I feel like there are two version of me and that’s shown on the album. There is a track called ‘Crash Bang Sound’ featuring Mad Max but I am Mad Max and I feel like ‘Anger Management’ is a conversion with the councillor with that part of me also coming out. I’ve done concealing before but if you listen to the track, there is a second voice in the background and that represents what is really going off in my head.
Ruff the new buff is just the guys that are out here for weeks on ends that know about the graft and they know Ruff the new buff, it’s not always about being buff. I’m trying to start a new movement ! [He Laughs]
What have you learnt since catch up Vol.3 ?
The whole catch up series is me just training myself, doing music, staying active, keeping busy and setting the levels, telling everyone to catch up to my level. Whereas ‘War is Normal’ was created as an album in terms of diversity of the songs and that’s the main thing. I’m always learning how to be better received and I think that this is better receivable then my last project and I hope that my next project is more receivable than this project because at the end of the day I’m trying to reach the masses as well as cater for the people who can relate and that’s never going to happen unless I become more receivable that’s always the quest.
How do you become a quest?
I think it’s relating to as many people as possible but relating to them so well it fills them. For me that is not necessarily the easiest thing to do straight away because just the way I operate I’m always trying to think out the box, represent where I come from mainly and who I am. I’m a lot different to many of people in which I have realised over the years. I have to kind of like find the middle ground.
Do you think growing up in Lewisham has shaped your attitudes ?
I think it did but more when I was younger, when I think back to when I was like 16 17 all the way up to 21 I then realised I am a complete different person to the way I am now. From down to the way my mind worked, I think as time goes on you forget things and I sometimes think back to the thoughts I used to have, the people that know me from back then that haven’t seen me for a while, even just memories, I was just a complete different person then and I feel like that has a lot to do with where I come from.
I even met someone the other day in Burger King and they was talking to me and I was just thinking this person (like so many people I know growing up) the way they where raised and their outlook on life almost seem like a disease. Where I have been doing music and stuff I’ve been away from that this guy reminded me how everyone I know was and potentially I could have ended up like. I think what saved me was my intelligence, some people don’t have the luxury of being intellectual and South London enjoyment can get to people as with everything, it can have an effect but its not the be all and end all.
Do you think you have grown as a person from the start of War Is Normal to now ?
Yes, 100 percent. Even when I listen back to the music, (music is like a diary to me) I know that’s not today, when I listen to ‘War Is Normal’ I know it’s not today, it was when it was made. I know when I make music today it’s going to be completely different to my previous tracks, which is only right because my life changes a lot.
What is your favourite track off of War Is Normal ?
Lewisham or 13, it is hard for me because they were all my favourite tunes when making them so I like them for different reasons.
What was you actually thinking on the BBC 1Xtra Clip ?
I actually forgot there was cameras actually filming me. When you go to BBC there are cameras everywhere, there’s probably like 8 cameras on a monitor and I’m just there doing my day to day business. I was probably thinking about stuff going off back at home, like if I left the iron on.
You cut your hair !
I did, this is the whole old look, I was growing my hair for 5 years, for a lot of people it’s me going back to what they know me as.