London-based singer/emcee/producer Vas Leon has been on his grind the past two years with a series of EPs and street singles. His most recent work called KROSSOVER (Deluxe) was released at the end of February, and has been killing it since.
Vas Leon’s flow on tracks like “Lyrical Slaughter” is classic UK grime, rapid, staccato and punchline heavy, but his pop instincts show he’s got his eye on the crown when it comes to North American crossover stars like J. Cole and Future. “I think I’m quite lucky with this, as it doesn’t fit into a particular genre,” Vas explains. “I would say it’s a movie in sound form. You can close your eyes and visualize a story.”
The artist is starting to make waves with a teaser vid for “Grime Kidd” from 2016’s NRD EP broke 700,000 views on Facebook, he opened for legendary DJ Fatboy Slim at London’s massive O2 Arena and he’s hooked up with Miami’s rising GTPS crew. These results have come from years of sacrifice. “I remember only earning like £200 a month and still putting money into music,” says Vas.
What does a typical day in the indie emcee life look like? “Writing notes or songs, storyboarding my videos, planning, and then speaking to my team. So it’s pretty much 9-5 then music then 9-5 then music. Nothing else.” Brutal as sleeping three hours a night to work on music might be, it goes back to a philosophy Vas talks about on “Hold Me Down” from KROSSOVER:
“If you’re not happy in any situation, doing anything that you’re doing, do not do it anymore. Make your f***ing happiness the most important thing in your life, ‘cause even if you’re making a f***ing paycheck, if you’re miserable you’re no good for nobody around you, straight up.”
Working on music at all times means Vas is always prepared for when inspiration strikes. “I’ve written some of the dopest stuff on the train. I’ve made some of the biggest beats straight after an hour’s sleep because I’ve woken up with an idea. That’s the beauty of it. And it makes me feel alive, being creative.”
KROSSOVER, which Vas calls “the first chapter” of his story, is more than an account of the emcee’s hustle and his ambition for the future. As he intones at the beginning of KROSSOVER’s manifesto “I’m Reborn,” “this life is not for everyone / only a chosen few.”
Vas expands on KROSSOVER by saying, “The great thing about the title is that it is identifiable with anyone. We’ve all made a crossover in our lives, making a big step to create something life-changing for ourselves. That’s what it is for me. I decided to give myself for the world to see. I decided to ‘Kross Over’ to the other side and just say, ‘Here is a change, something different, a bridge!’”
When asked what artists he’d like to collaborate with, Vas Leon commented with, “Ed Sheeran featuring Adele’s backing vocals, with a Dr. Dre Production mixed with Stevie Wonder on the harmonica.”
Where would be the ultimate place to perform? The White House. Vas Leon tells us he would, “Have a hype concert there. That’d be crazy! I’d have everyone possible, including Dre, Jay Z, Beyoncé, Kanye. Everyone I love in the music industry.”
It’s clear that Vas Leon’s dreams are big enough to fill any arena in the world. In the meantime, you can bump the document of his grind with KROSSOVER (Deluxe), available to download/stream from http://krossoverLP.com. “’Aim for perfection, settle for excellence,’ he says, “I love that quote, it has taught me to never give up and never put anything out until I know it’s a masterpiece.”