Former member of Young Turks crew TTY, alt rapper LYAM — real name Liam Harris-Williams — is currently gearing up for the release of his debut album N_O Caller ID (due tomorrow, July 10), an intoxicating whirlwind of the myriad influences that surrounded him growing up in London. If there's a unifying theme at all it's that they're all derived (however loosely) from soundsytem culture. Everything from jungle and hip-hop to soul music and ambient.
In April he began teasing out the first tracks with "Angel", which was quickly followed by "AWAI" and "Moonbase", and now he's ready with the fourth, "Frith's Place". Of all the tracks on N_O Caller ID, this collaboration with Jeshi, Lauren Auder and Fredwave is probably the best distillation of the time and place that birthed the album. As he describes it, the time spent on the album was one filled with chance encounters and bonding experiences with like-minded artists, each one helping to sculpt what would become the finished product.
"I first heard the instrumental at a rehearsal in London Fields Brewery, when my boy Frith was spinning some of his beats," he explained to us via email. "I knew I had to reserve it quickly. I can't remember too well now, but I think it may have been as soon as that same evening. At the time we were occupying one of the studios at Young Turks, where we ended up bumping into Lauren who literally blessed the track on the spot as soon as I laid my verse. She knew exactly what to do without writing or overthinking it, her hook came out of pure spontaneity.
"This era was filled with all-nighters, linking up and churning out mad tracks for the hell of it, the song is bare nostalgic in that sense. Jeshi and Fred were equal parts of this period and exactly what we needed to make the story whole. The song was finished that same evening.
"In terms of what the song's about, I think that's pretty much it, an average night for a group that was quite openly labelled as the delinquents, making noise where we could. But it was our hustle, and the madness came with a cost, for many of us the streets were pretty sombre at times.
"'N_O CALLER ID' is a huge reliever in that sense, I had to reserve a portion of the tracklist for my more recent work and it was a mission to boil down the last three years in there but with that, there's an end and an ode to too many chapters including this one."