Cashh, the 27-year-old rapper from south London, seems to have lived much longer than the number of years his age would suggest. Although he grew up in the UK, he was actually born in the Park Lane area of Kingston, Jamaica, and his musical journey no doubt began right there, home to Reggae and Dancehall music.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News via Zoom, Cashh said he grew up around parties. Some of his earliest musical memories are sleeping in bed at night and listening to music playing from a distance, but being too young to attend. However, it was not long before he went out to these dances himself: according to his own estimate, the first time he attended a party was between the ages of 3 and 4.
That’s why, in part, he seems to have lived so long: he’s had confidence and has been navigating the world since he was young, surrounding himself with people older than him. These experiences are documented even by one of those elders who used to take him to the dances at the presentation of his 2020 song, “Trench Baby”.
As with many people, Cashh said his favorite big brother inspired him to pursue music: he told BuzzFeed News that he was “that guy who was always with him in the studio or at home.” . Finally, his brother offered him the opportunity to put a verse on a song.
His brother is not his only musical inspiration. What inspired him was his ability to entertain and educate at the same time. With this, he strives to release gems, even if only a few. “Being able to put together stories, especially real-life experiences, is one of my favorite things when it comes to making music,” he said.
But his life has not been so fun or amusing, and he had to face one of the most difficult experiences anyone could have encountered at the worst time it could have happened. Having lived most of his young life in the UK and building a buzz around his music under the name Cashtastic, the Home Office he deported him to Jamaica in 2014.
Speaking of deportation, Cashh acknowledged that it gave him life experience. “He humiliated me,” he told BuzzFeed News. “It made me a lot more vigilant and militant. It made me a lot more vulnerable.”
“It was a crazy experience, but I know that in order to move forward in my life, I needed to.”
He returned to the UK five years later and changed his stage name from Cashtastic to simply Cashh.
“The change from Cashtastic to Cashh was really a change back,” he explained. “I started the game as Cashh. My real name is Cashief, so when you get the ‘ief’ out of here comes Cashh.”
However, there was another element to the change: that of growth and the feeling that it was no longer aligned with the Cashtastic name.
Cashh said he felt much more in tune with himself after the experience of returning to Jamaica and having time to get along better, and with that, when he returned to the UK, he wanted to stay as true to himself as possible. same.
Cashh’s latest project: the properly titled mixtape The return of the immigrant, which comes out in August, has been under construction for five years. Due to his self-confessed perfectionist nature, Cashh has been recording and retouching the music for this project since he was in Jamaica.
When research was done on the version of the project made in Jamaica – and how it changed – our discussion turned to afro-swing and how it shares its core with Dancehall, and from that to the introduction of Drill as the dominant sound in the UK.
This new sound made Cashh feel he had to find a balance between the more melodic music he had made in Jamaica and that rawer, thicker sound he knew his music felt next to.
Now, with new music on the horizon, let’s talk about their recording process. It’s pretty unorthodox: Cashh prefers to be in the studio with the producer as the rhythm is taking place, but even when that’s not possible, he likes being in the studio the first time he hears a rhythm. Nor does he write, at least not in the typical sense of sitting down and putting the pen on paper. Instead, he does it all in his head based on his intestinal reaction to what he feels.
“They could be melodies coming, they could be flow patterns, they could be a couple of things coming to me,” Cashh explained. “But I have to cut that down the first time I hear the music.”
He then fills in the gaps with the lyrics and likes to do all this in the dark. It’s to focus. When he records, he doesn’t want to be distracted by anything.
Aside from the music, Cashh has a lot to come. There’s an ongoing documentary, it launches a clothing line called The Proud Immigrant, and more. But despite being busy and busy, he still focuses on music, and he wants people to focus on that as well.
“Anyone who has been one of my big fans and is aware of what I went through … You don’t really have a second chance,” Cashh said. “But I think I have a second chance.”
With that comes the grace and desire to deliver to all those people who still support him, and in that sense, music speaks for itself.