We connect with one of underground UK hip-hop’s most interesting names, Slim Papi, to discuss wine, food, artistic growth and collaborations.
Please introduce yourself, who is Slim Papi?
I’m Noonian Soon aka Slim Papi, writer, rapper, producer and wine-importer.
I really appreciate you linking like this; why does now feel like the right time to drop and grow your music?
Sometimes you can sit on different ideas for a while and I think the thing I learnt is there’s no point just having it sat there on your laptop. I’ve got collabs on there that I wish I’d dropped at the time cause now it’d be out there but you know I kinda left it and now it’s too late. So just put it out there and it will find its audience, I don’t think there’s any point holding anything back, especially in the streaming era.
We had a taster for your sound in 2020 with Excellent Adventure, what changed between now and then that has led to the release of Chateauneuf-du-Papi and the singles that followed?
So with the Chateauneuf-du-Papi projects the vinyl manufacturing takes what seems like an eternity sometimes, they take about four months. I originally made Chateauneuf-du-Papi as an 11-track album, and I thought if I just release that people will only hear bits of it, not all 11 tracks. So I figured let me break it up and release them all as singles, with the stronger ones as we go, then to press them into vinyl for people to buy. So Chateauneuf-du-Papi Vol 1 and Vol 2 were all written largely around the same time.
How has where you have grown up affected your music, and what influences do you hold closest?
When I read that question kinda two things came to mind. You know Steely Dan? They were a yacht rock group from the 70’s and the guy had a lyric like “I recall when I was small, I spent my days alone. I will climb the garden wall and find a world my own”. I suppose what I found in rap was somewhere to make sense of myself and the world around me as a kid that I don’t think I was getting from school or home life really. I was talking to my friend yesterday Murkage Dave, and I was like when I was back home I came out the shop and saw a guy that was my homie growing up bothering old ladies for 20p because he’s a junkie now, and he (Murkage Dave) said “that’s the type of stuff you should talk about in your music”. So I think Slim Papi as a vessel is kinda escapism, a lot of Chateauneuf-du-Papi was written and recorded during lockdown and I think that was (me) pining for travel, for catching a fish on a boat and cooking it on the beach. The way I frame it now Chateauneuf-du-Papi is like the vineyard and I’m writing from the vineyard, whereas the new stuff I’m working on has been whilst I’m travelling so it sounds a bit different.
The artists that I look to that helped me with self-discovery and gave me knowledge of self was A Tribe Called Quest, MF DOOM, Mos Def the likes of Sean P. I made music under different aliases and that wasn’t me rapping, whereas this is more, going back to the music I loved growing up. I don’t know how articulate an answer that is, but…