After the success of Barking (77 million Spotify plays and counting), Ramz has jumped on the District line to Blackfriars, changed onto the Thameslink and disembarked at Mitcham Junction. Latest single Family Tree is an ode to his local area and the people that make it. The video is a friends and family affair with views already comfortably in the millions, and plenty of positive feedback to match.
A man with a calm confidence who’s already being shown support by trailblazers of the UK music scene, it’s not difficult to picture Ramz hitting the heights that he knows he’s capable of. From dropping out of uni to getting tweets from Sean Paul, we got through a lot in this one.
First things first, how are you today? How’s life?
I’m great. I’m currently in a Levi’s shop eating some jelly beans, so I’m great, yeah.
So the video for Family Tree is out now and features a load of your friends and family. How was it getting all of them involved?
Umm… Getting them involved was a very, very big task considering how many there actually were, and there [were] even more people that didn’t actually come down. Having them down for the video was a big, big thing for me. I feel that it made the video, and took the song the extra mile a little bit. The song is called Family Tree, and it was always directed at my family.
Were you ever worried about following up Barking after its success, and how does it feel to see such a positive reaction to Family Tree?
I feel like every song I’m dropping is getting better and better. The reactions are getting much better – people have less [negative] things to say, if that makes sense. People aren’t saying as much as they were about Barking. That’s because – and I’m gonna say it myself – [Family Tree] is a good track, and I’m very happy with the reception it’s got. It’s always scary to put a song out though. You never know if you’ve still got a buzz around you, or if something’s gonna get a certain amount of views or the reaction you want, especially when you haven’t dropped something for a long time.
Going back a bit, before you were doing this you were studying sports development at uni, right? What do you think you’d have ended up doing if Barking hadn’t blown up?
I don’t even know what I’d be doing to be honest. I’d most probably be still be in my area trying to make a hit song… and studying.
You’re from Mitcham in South London. South seems to be having a real moment right now. Obviously you’ve got Stormzy, and Raye, who you’ve worked with previously. What was it like growing up there, and do you think it’s influenced the music you make?
I guess when you see things, that’s the music you make, so you go for what you actually see every day. Being in Mitcham was sometimes tough, especially considering how the older people influenced the younger ones, sending them places or making them do certain things they didn’t wanna do… I would say it was rough growing up there, but it was good being able to spend time with my friends as well.
You jumped on a remix of Raye’s track Decline. How was she to work with?
Yeah she was really good. She’s a very good singer, very good. She pushed me a little bit more to make sure that when I was singing, I sounded good – I was pretty embarrassed. She’s a very good person to work with, her team are too.
You’ve said in the past that Travis Scott would be your dream collab. Is that still the case, and if so, why?
Yeah. Him and Bruno Mars… I feel like those people have some sort of energy to them, a different kind of vibe. It’s not just that they’re making music, everything they do is for a reason. When [Bruno Mars] brings out an album, each song is there for a reason. He knows what he’s doing.
I saw Sean Paul tweeted you recently. Is he someone you’d like to work with, and are there any people you’d like to work with that people might not necessarily expect?
There’s a lot of the obvious UK people, you’ve got Stormzy, Mostack, Dave – the artists that everybody wants to work with. For me, those are the main guys; they’ll always make a tune sound good. There’s a lot of others, obviously. With the Sean Paul tweet, when that happened my head was spinning, I was like ‘What’s going on here? This is Sean Paul. This is someone who has been in the game since before I was born’. You just starting listening to all his songs, catching up on everything he’s done… It’s great, yeah.
I can see that working, you both have those dancehall influences. Last thing, what’s the plan for the future?
A lot more, in terms of songs. It’s just about making the right moves with the right people. Letting people know I’m here, Ramz is here, and you’re gonna see me for a while.