The latest episode of music show Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV has premiered online, with guests including singer and rapper Example, Hollywood actor Stephen Graham and Kill Your Friends author John Niven, as well as interviews and performances from indie legends The Kooks, Sheffield’s rising stars Bang Bang Romeo and Newcastle rockers The Pale White.
Hosted by Radio X presenter Gordon Smart, the show delivers an interview with Changed the Way You Kissed me singer Example, who claims that being targeted with coins and bread rolls is the key to his on-stage successes, and is how every artist should start out in the industry.
Talking about supporting the indie favourites The Rifles early on in his career, he said: “My manager said, ‘we’ve got this young kid Example – he doesn’t really have any good songs, we need to get him some gigs’. The Rifles manager said, ‘have you seen the Rifles gigs? Have you seen their fans?’. He really didn’t think it was a good idea. I had a big mop head and looked like an early [Mick] Jagger.
“They [the audience] couldn’t get me off stage. They were throwing bread rolls, someone even pulled a fire alarm to get me off stage.”
Undeterred, the rapper persevered, saying: “The promotor came up to me and said, ‘you’ve got four minutes left, do you want us to clear the stage?’, and I said, ‘no, I’m going back on to do one more song. Then, one of the fellas who had been aiming a coin at my teeth – it’s a pretty big target – said, ‘fair play mate’. They hated me.”
Example believes these experiences helped him, saying that stars these days are “catapulted to global stardom, whose first gigs have sold out Brixton. By the time I’d sold out Brixton, I’d already done about 500 gigs. I’d played to 11 people like 5 years before that. These people aren’t getting to do that.
You’re watching their gigs and kind of feel sorry for them, because first of all they couldn’t deal with a fire alarm going off like me, but they don’t know what to say between songs, they’ve got no chat, they’ve got no banter or stage presence and its not their fault, it takes years.”
Following his departure from major record label Sony, Example has gone independent, saying: “I’m not blaming my wife here, but I think I got married and had kids, and sort of took my eye off the ball. I think the best music comes from a sort of desperate place. So I put out this ‘mixed tape’, ‘playlist’ – no one knows what to call it anymore – Bangers and Ballads. It does what it says on the tin.”
Bangers and Ballads has famously kicked off the rapper’s own marketing campaign, random acts of kindness. The campaign includes buying fans a car, offering them backstage festival tickets, and throwing newly weds reception parties.
“This one kid commented and asked if this album will be on CD – his car doesn’t have an aux cable. So most people would get him a stereo with an aux cable. I brought him a car. It was a Ford Focus, second hand obviously. Then I did a boat party on the Thames for the single, Show Me How To Love, so I put a call out and said, ‘if you’re a newly wed couple, get in touch, I wanna take you out on a second wedding party reception’.
“So I had about 300 couples reply. We ended up with 9 couples who were actual fans for a party, invited all my mates like Professor Green, and we filmed it and that became a music video. So it was simultaneously a PR stunt, fan engagement, and a music video. It was a huge stress doing it but so much fun.”
Although he was proud of his own video creation, it’s his wife, model and former Miss Australia Erin Gleave, who garners the most attention: “I’m at an event the other week, my missus looks banging, she looks next level, and I’m like, ‘leave it out, this ain’t real!’ And then I’m filming her and I end the video, go check it out on my Instagram, and it has 200,000 views so my next video is just going to be my misses dancing I reckon.”
Back on the subject of music and collaborations, Example shares how his favourite studio experience this year was with Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV alumni and Lighting Matches star Tom Grennan, saying: “He’s one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever met. He’s almost like a cartoon but in the sweetest way. We’ve got a song and it was probably one of my favourite studio sessions of the year. We’ve created something really special.”
The Fulham born star continued: “I honestly think Tom, and I’ve only probably spent four days with him, I think he’s going to be potentially in four, five years, at the Adele level. He’s got that star quality, the voice, the chat, the humour. I’m really excited for him. And it’s not often you see kids that young and carefree, and what I love about him: there’s no master plan. He’s making it up as he goes along.”
Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV featured performances from Naïve and Moves In Her Own Way indie legends The Kooks, alongside Sheffield three-piece and fresh from being announced as support for Pink on her tour next year, Bang Bang Romero, and Newcastle rockers The Pale White at iconic live music venue Nambucca, in North London. To view the performances, including a memorable sing-along set from The Kooks, click here