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In a few days, CompreHend will be dropping his new project, Pariah, for all our ears to hear. In the back of an Aldi carpark some afternoon, he enlightened us on his thoughts of the project, the run up to the release, and what people can expect from it. 



The structure of this project differs from his previous works, as he told us about his excitement for the end product: “I’m excited bro, it’s definitely, in my opinion, my best project yet. It’s different to my other EPs because this one is like a story, there’s skits and things between that all explain things and put things in place. I’d like to think I’ve levelled up since the last one, so I’m mainly excited for people to hear it. I just want to get it out there, been sat on it for a while now, I just want everyone else to hear it instead of just showing people bits and pieces.


“I’m just anxious to get it out, and obviously the longer I sit on it the longer it’s older to me, and I've got newer stuff that I'm writing, which again is progressing even more. I want to get this out, then I'm excited to drop my other stuff towards the end of the year.” 


Pariah is going to embrace a more coherently structured path, where CompreHend will experiment with flows, narrative and structure: “I found before that my projects were more like mixtapes, it was just like five songs on a project and that’s that. Whereas this is more, it’s got more intent, it’s got more of a story behind it. It obviously connects well with people, and it’s more me than just making songs. I feel any great project to date has that sort of element to it, as opposed to just willy nilly putting tracks, I just wanted to switch it up a bit.

“It’s one of these age old questions, what box do I put myself in, but I don't like the idea of boxes. Some may say a mainstream artist would make a project with a narrative, and then an underground hiphop artist may make projects with wordplay and all of this stuff, but I’m trying to bring them together. To try and help solidify hiphop I guess. Whereas a lot of mainstream music is just oh, this guys looking at me, she wants the D, she’s gone get it from me, tonight at quarter past three, when I come back from the club steaming with my gs, do you know what I mean? That’s like every rap song I hear nowadays and I'm like great mate, just go do it, why have you got to make every song about that? Tell us something about you, tell us something you want us to know from what you’ve experienced in life, that’s what music is to me. So that kind of stuff annoys me, but yeah exactly like you say, that’s what UK hiphop is to me as well, it’s a message, it’s a movement.”


This project can see CompreHend’s trialling with different flows and wordplays, he explained how he’s been trying to adapt and enhance his flow, wordplay and delivery: “I’ve definitely wrote in a different way, there was a point where I started copying old school rapper’s flows, like Biggie and people like that. I would try and rewrite their bars in my own words, but using their exact flow, it was so challenging bruv, it’s actually mad hard. Eventually I did it, something clicked in my head and I was like, I see why everyone says you need to switch your flow. I get it now, I get what they mean, so the next wave of music coming from me is gonna be - even if probably a level above - Pariah, but Pariah is definitely a level above what I’ve dropped before.”

There are two exciting upcoming featuring artists across the project: "There's Rat Race, with a good friend of mine Gwiva, he's a rapper from Grantham, he's part of The Collective, which are a band from Grantham and they’re sick. They’ve brought me on different shows, and then all around the country, and they’re a sick bunch of lads, they’re so funny. I will be doing a tune with both of them. So I just made friends with them, I wanted to make a tune with him, he wanted to make a tune with me, so we made that. 


“And then there’s Callen Fortune from the lead single Broken, Leicester based singer, met him at open mics and stuff around Leicester. He hasn’t really been doing it too long, but I feel like he's getting into his flow now, and he wrote the hook for Broken, it was the first thing he'd ever wrote. I came up to him like I want to do a song with you, your voice is amazing, he said cool just give me the lyrics and I’ll sing it. I was like nah, I want you to write it, and he was like I've never wrote anything, I can’t do it. I was like you can bro it’s easier than you think, especially with singing, but yeah, so he had a go and he came back with the hook for Broken, and I was blown away bro honestly. I was like, shit!”

The other features are included in the skits: “What I did with my first skit, me and my mate went to a Whetherspoons, in Coalville. We were in there, and we stunk of bud. I wasn’t high, don’t think he was high, but we stunk of bud. We were with people who had been smoking and we were in a confined space. So we’ve walked in, like alright mate can I get a pint? Asked him for a pint, then he served me, and then he’s come straight back over to us and he's gone I should kick you out, but you know what lads, I’ll let you have this one. I was like what? He’s like you're stinking my place up, and I was like okay but we’re not causing trouble, and I can take my jacket off and then you won’t smell anything. Then me and my mate got to talking about if someone came in stumbling about, steaming, they’d still get served. I've been steaming before and got served again, but if you’re literally sober, but just smell of bud, they’re like no sorry, and that’s turned into what that skit’s about, it was us talking about that. Then I've got my mum who's left me a voicemail, and I just said to her when you get a chance just leave me a voicemail, whatever daytime nighttime whatever, just tell me how you feel about me.”



Exclusive freestyle: CompreHend

It has been a conscious decision to have a fewer amount of collaborations on Pariah: “I think it’s too easy to collaborate with someone, I could easily collaborate every day for the next God knows how long and never put out one of my tunes. I don't like that because when it comes to live shows I've got to try and organise this person and that person and that person to come to the show to do the song with me, or have their verse prerecorded, which is a little bit dead, and then spit it myself. So I try to keep it to a minimum because I've realised more so now, that I need my own material to take round the country and be able to show people what I've got. Then when I'm in these places where these artists live, I can always call them to a show. I want to do hundreds, want to do loads loads loads more features, but at the minute I'm just trying to work on my solo content.”


In hype and preparation for the project release on the 28th of June, he has been embarking on a tour in clubs and pubs around the UK: “I’ve got a tour at the minute, it’s called The Pariah Tour, next I've got Kent, then I've got Western Park Festival, then I'm in bristol. It’s pretty much going from the start of June to the end of July, anymore dates I fit in will get added.” He then spoke about his time at the LCB Depot for his opening gig: “You can probably fit 30 people in max, it was chilling, everyone was bare close to me, people just sat down listening to the lyrics, getting people to stand up and hype up where need be, but yeah it was good man. I met more fans than fans were already there if you know what I mean, so that was good. So instead of people coming specifically to hear Pariah, there were people there who were like who's this guy, I'm going to check him out. It was sick like 60% of the crowd had never heard of me, and now do.


“Western Park Festival I'm really looking forward to as well, last year there were 6000 people there and the football was on so there would’ve been 10,000, so I'm hoping there’s about 10,000 people here this time. It'll be sick, people I used to go college with that had stalls and things up at the park were like, swear I recognise that guy, and they came over like, yo, I didn't know you were a rapper? Was sat there fuckin’ blasting it out to 3000 people in this park, bare loud conscious lyrics as well, felt good man. I felt like a preacher, so I'm looking forward to it this year for the same reason.”


The project is all independently run, alongside help from his manager, but all the legwork is being driven by Hendrik himself. His travels to Asia prompted the design of the album cover and a subtle theme throughout the project: “I was in South East Asia last year and the front cover is me in Cambodia, I made the artwork myself, it was the first time I've made my own artwork. It all just ties in with an almost non-British theme to a degree, because I feel like an outcast, I don't feel like I belong in this country, in terms of the visions of the majority of people. I feel a bit more tribal, a bit more primitive in terms of what I need and what I feel like I need in life. The word pariah comes from East Asia, I think it literally translates to outcast, so it all just ties in beautifully."

Watch out for the release of Pariah on the 28th of June! Preorder below:

Matt Knight

June 26th 2019

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