Professor Elemental is a British rapper and lyrical mastermind. His comedy stylings will have you rolling in your seat and shouting for more, and as a comedian and songwriter he’s the perfect man to ask about making something of yourself in the new age where people can tune in and listen to you perform from all around the web. We hope this Bucket List interview leaves you feeling inspired and informed.
1. What was the spark of inspiration that got you into rap?
I was about 13 and staying with an uncle in America. He left me on my own for an evening with a pile of old rap tapes and I was completely astounded by them. I think ‘Self Destruction’ had come out and it was this enormous posse cut of American rappers – I wanted to find out about each and every one of them. The early 90’s were a great time for suburban white boys in England to get into Hip Hop. ’91 was the year rap exploded into the mainstream and a lot of that pop rap was a gateway to the good stuff, hidden just under the surface.
2. Why did you decide to take such a different path with your music?
Hip Hop can be anything – political, revolutionary, love songs, party music, stories – but a lot of older rap was really funny. The likes of De la Soul, Biz Markie, or Digital Underground were all very funny acts and it’s something that gets forgotten in Hip Hop’s history. It’s nice to bring a bit of that back into the music – but still celebrate Hip Hop culture at the same time. Plus, taking a different path allowed me to connect with like-minded nerds of every tribe and make songs about subjects that haven’t been covered much by traditional Hip Hop music.
3. When did you realise you could have an impact?
I think it was when I was doing the Hip Hop festival in Brighton in about 2003. It was a real success at the time and made me realise that you really can make a project happen through a combination of positive thinking and force of will.
4. What’s been the most exciting moment of your career?
That’s tricky – I get very excited at every live show I do. The work for Disney on Phineas and Ferb was pretty special, as was the first Glastonbury.
5. Three pieces of advice from anybody looking to follow in your footsteps?
1. Do the thing that gives you the most pleasure.
2. Do that thing relentlessly and single-mindedly (so long as it is keeping you happy).
3. Work with other like-minded people to help you achieve your goals and have as much fun as possible.
What’s next on your Bucket List?
The thing that is happening next will be a huge project called ‘The School of Whimsy’, which will be an album, website and more aimed at helping people improve their confidence in making more art of any sort.
I have two more bucket list things for Professor Elemental – an action figure of the prof and an animated music video. Then I can rest happily. Well, until the next idea anyway.
Thanks Professor, and to find out more or get in touch with him go to: www.professorelemental.com, https://www.patreon.com/