Written by: Lauren Demir
Photos: David Franco
Collages: Annie Mcgill
Prynce MINI is a producer, engineer and artist from Peckham. The 23 year old produced Nadia Roses hit single Skwod. Seeing the great reaction the track received gave him the faith to focus on himself as an artist. Travelling with Krept and Konan on their European tour alongside Ty Dolla Sign inspired him to make his latest mixtape 11 Nights. Prynce MINI tells us, ‘I saw what music could move a crowd. I came off tour and was like I need a mixtape. It was probably the most fun project I’ve made. It was literally [made in] 11 nights, all off of gass’. The 12 track EP produced by Shax Maja captures Prynce MINI's raw sound and energy as he raps about a range of topics from turning up to growing up in London. His style is a mixture of his musical influences; reggae, grime, rap and he manages to capture that energetic feeling and put in into his music. His sound is unmistakable, that is instantly recognisable. His song with DC Smooth Criminal, a song that Prynce MINI produced, sounds as if it could fit perfectly on 11 Nyghts.
Despite making music for a number of years, it wasn’t until early last year that he took it as his craft and began to research it. ‘When my grandma died and I came back [from Jamaica] I was like I’m banging this because she was one of my main inspirations and she dropped out unexpectedly. I was like rah, I could drop out unexpectedly, my mum could drop out unexpectedly, I need to bang this and make something happen asap.’ It seems that as soon as he decided to take music more seriously things have come into fruition for him. We met up with the musician on a freezing evening in Peckham, as he told us about his journey so far.
Prynce MINI has been making music for a long time. He started producing at the age of 13 and got into rapping a year later. Yet, it has taken him a while to find the right sound and image that represents him correctly. He has gone through a number of name changes, from Dynamite Kid, DeeKay, Mr MINI finally to Prynce MINI, each representing a different time in his life. After things didn’t go to plan with his management team and he was left out in the cold, he thought of Prynce MINI. He tells us what the name means to him, ‘The Prynce part is down to mans black boy royalty, I got my dreads now. I'm a young king. MINI is an acronym; Minds Incarcerated Narrow Inwardly. I feel like I’ve found me as opposed to [before] I was doing me but Iwasn’t fully fixated on me.’ As if fate was on his side, it was around the same time that he found himself musically and the right team to work with. He set up his label Abzurd records, also home to Murdock Foster, Shax Maja and Richyett who collectively are working with an artist, whose names he doesn't disclose. ‘I want Abzurd to be a place for musicians to feel comfortable expressing themselves. I embody it as me, take it and be you. It’s free and open. Have your thing that’s you, stick behind it, embody it and we can all help. It’s about having like minded individuals.’ With his close circle of friends around him, they all help each other work and achieve their individual goals.
Prynce MINI hasn’t always had a strong support system around him. He attended Leicester University where he studied Economics. He explains how he was surrounded by bad influences and by people who did not have his best interests at heart. Then one of his close friends committed suicide out of the blue due to mental health problems, throwing Prynce MINI into a depression. ‘I knew man differently so that triggered something in me. It started as anxiety and it progressed. I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, especially the people I’d want to talk to. I felt like maybe its just me, or everyone’s gonna think I’m stressing. I wasn’t going to lectures I was just staying in my room. I was putting a lot of things before myself.’ This was the same year that he lost his grandma, and it was these experiences that encouraged him to continuously write. After going to a doctor and receiving counselling to help him he ended up dropping out of university as a bid to gain control back of his life. Slowly, by working on himself and his music, alongside a strong support team he is in a much better place now, ‘Always look after yourself. Take care of yourself, make sure you’re good. You can't be fussing and stressing over everyone else before you. If you don’t feel good within yourself, take the steps to make yourself feel good within yourself. Don't wait on it or expect anyone else to bring it to you, it all begins with you.’
Sitting with Prynce MINI on a cold evening in Peckham it seems like he’s in a good space. After the number of changes he has experienced in music, he is very grateful and humble for his recent achievements. He is not afraid to acknowledge where he needs room for improvement and is eager to learn as much about music as he can, surrounding himself with people that can only motivate him to do better. It was after just one studio session with Proton from Badside, which encouraged Prynce MINI to make the beats for Smooth Criminal, Boy A 10 and Black Socks II, ‘I’ve always got to be around people that keep me on my toes.’ He admits it has been and still is a upward struggle but it’s one that is worth it and he is enjoying the journey, ‘I’m just trying to study and be on game for everything. God knows what’s waiting ahead of me, I just want to be ready for all of it. Big up everyone whose been supporting man, I just want to get it and have a greater year than last year,’ With a busy 2017 ahead expect to see alot more of Prynce MINI.