Get Familiar: AntsLive
Interview and photography by Deveka Davda
With a unique style and innovative approach to music, AntsLive is a North London artist who is making waves and pushing boundaries in the industry. Whether you're a long-time fan or new to his music, this Get Familiar is sure to be insightful.
Where did you grow up and how has that influenced your life?
North London. Growing up in the city has definitely motivated me to be somebody. London is full of inspiration, creative geniuses and amazing art. But it’s also full of people who get left behind, because there is so much going on. All I ever wanted is to not get left behind.
How did you get linked to Patta?
I seen a few of my boys rocking Patta in 2018 & then my old manager got me a Patta key ring when I dropped my first song with him. Since then I usually drop by whenever I’m in Soho. Big up him still, he put me on.
What was your dress code like growing up?
A lot of football trackies and sportswear. I still have a lot of work to do to pattern up my smart side of my wardrobe. But right now I’m into my vintage trackies and trainers.
Please take us through your creative process for Just a Matter of Time.
I spent the best part of a year going from studio to studio working with different producers. I don’t plan much before I get in the booth, I just go off energy. So every song on the tape was a result of good energy in the room with good people.
What is the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far?
Probably some self doubt. But I knew I was always gonna keep going, it’s just about staying positive through the journey.
What’s your day to day like?
It changes everyday really. At the moment it’s a lot of interviews, some shoots & fashion shows, luckily a bit of travelling, but hopefully soon I’ll get some time to fully lock in the studio again. That’s really what I’m best at.
How did the name AntsLive come around?
It was actually one of the mandem. I played him one of my first songs & he said ‘Ants-Live through my speaker’ that’s when I first heard it and I haven’t changed it since.
How did your relationship with music begin?
Music has always been my therapy. Whether it was watching MTV after school or to calm my nerves on my way to football, it always relaxed me and gave me clarity. There’s always been music around my house.
What is your dream goal/project?
After I have my own career I want to run my own record label so I can give advice that I never got. Simple things like how to navigate the industry, how to stay consistent. The things that matter
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
I just care about the music truthfully. But music is like any other industry, it’s a lot that I don’t enjoy. But it’s still the best job in the world. I’m grateful to wake up and pursue my dream everyday
Which other artists do you listen to regularly?
Changes literally everyday. As I write this I’m running Cleo Sol cos it's the morning and I need to start the day correctly.
Who were your main influences growing up?
J Cole probably had the biggest artistic impact on me. I liked how he paints pictures with words. Stories basically. I don’t listen to him much anymore though. But I also always cared about the business side as well - the branding. And I feel like I really studied how Skepta managed to cross into America. His cadence, his articulation. He’s the best to do it in my opinion.
Do you collaborate with others? What is that process like?
Yeah, I love to collaborate. I rarely write at home alone. It’s always in the studio after I’ve had a meaningful conversation or heard a chord that just gives me a feeling. But I like to hear opinions - the right ones - when I write.