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Interview: Prose

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Forging a new genre, winning awards and working with Naughty Boy - it's all in a days work for Manchester trio Prose.

Prose

And all before they have even released their debut album! Two thirds of the band (Lee Royle and Dave Stone) sat down to explain exactly what is giving the band such momentum ahead of their highly anticipated first release.

 So where did it all begin?

“Six or seven years ago. Dave and Mike are cousins and I grew up on the same street. We were all doing our own thing. I was in a band, Mike was rapping on his own and Dave was right in the middle of it all. When we were younger, Dave was passing beats to Mike and Mike was writing over some of Dave’s beats and Dave was like “you need to check my cousin out” and this went on for about a year.

Then Mike turned up to Daves’ one time and said “I wanna make some guitar music, some real music” and Dave said “SHALL WE” and when we made our first song we just sorta never looked back.”

We never officially said we were a band either, we just started writing, jamming and stuff and did open mic nights.”

Since then, the band have gone on to carve out their own unique sound. From a city that has always worked new ideas into the indie music template, Prose blends hip hop into the mix.

“It’s hip hop, but more like lyrics with guitars. The boring answer is acoustic hip hop!”

The distinctive Manchester sub genre the band have created has led to them being the stand out winners at the City Life Awards, taking home the coveted ‘Best Breakthrough Artist’ for 2015 award, months before their debut album is released.

“We hoped to win and were positive, but never really knew that we would win. It’s a big Manchester institution, it adds more weight to it.”

Are the band feeling the pressure of the title on their debut album?

Nah. We’re just gonna’ keep doing what we love doing. The award has added more good things than pressure, it’s just a saying we can’t do much with it. It didn’t alter our music but we’re definitely going to milk it for another year! Maybe we should boycott the awards next year so we can hold the title forever...”

Coming into a Manchester musical legacy that features the likes of The Smiths, Joy Division and The Stone Roses can do wonders for a young bands reputation, but it can also come with a down side.

Coming from Manchester the Oasis thing drags people down. There are so many ‘cover bands’ that take inspiration from bands like Oasis who were smashing it. Manchester is the creative hub of England. Not Liverpool, they’ve got the Beatles but Manchester stacks up and can’t be overlooked.”

Prose’s debut album Home of The Brave is a perfect distillation of everything that makes the band great; anthemic tales of life and love growing up on Manchester council estates.

“We’re nervous and excited for it to drop. More excited like a gig init, you get a lil’ bit nervous before but it’s more exciting.”

With this debut dropping on a major label (Naughty Records/Virgin EMI) did the Trafford-raised lads ever expect this?

Probably not but it’s amazing. It’s the sort of thing you dream of from a young age, everyone wants to wear the big guys stamp. Everyone wants to play for Man United don’t they?”

The band were signed by the high profile Brit producer Naughty Boy who they had met through twitter.

“We met on Twitter first. Another rapper tweeted and naughty boy saw and started tweeting our lyrics. Invited us to London. It’s mad, we only had two or three videos at the time. When we went down it was kinda like us guys meeting and nothing official."

Aside from being signed by Naughty Boy, the band have received support from BBC Introducing, showing that their music is gaining support across the board.

BBC Introducing is massively important. You get the BBC Stamp, but it still feels local. Radio is getting smaller and introducing is becoming more important. The live shows are incredible, we did one in Reading. Everyone meets through introducing , it’s good because we’re all up for sharing new music. Nat and Michelle at BBC Introducing Manchester have been great.”

Following last year’s “What If” EP, the band have released a number of tracks including their freshest single ‘Further’ which when asked what song they recommended, they jokingly chose. As for the song that they’re the proudest of?

“We all have different favourites and they change all the time. One day we might like acoustic sounding songs, another day something else. But probably Run With Faith, it was the 1st to come out and is a good mix of all three of us. Or What If, our most powerful song.”

Fresh off the road, the band share their touring highlights.

Sound Control is the stand out gig, our Manchester headline show at the end of March. King Tuts in Glasgow was good and we’re looking forward to Barn on the Farm!”

With the album right around the corner, what does the summer hold for the band?

A few more gigs, writing and pushing the album! We’ll Maybe Steal some fans on support tours, sell some albums. (ha ha ha )”




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