Household name, hit-maker and international star – the British rapper is hitting the all right notes and his sophomore album is set to continue his upward trajectory.
Growing up in Ladbroke Grove, West London, an aspiring emcee took his first steps into flipping his life around for the better. The twist, you may ask. Little did he know he would become as big as he and climb the Official Charts as effortlessly as he does with each release. If you’ve followed Tracey’s career from as early as his ‘Packages’ freestyle, you will know that his growth as both a musician and a person speak for itself.
Proving to be one of the most versatile artists within British Rap, the 27-year-old has delivered hit after hit ranging back to his Garage-infused bop “Ladbroke Grove,” “West Ten” alongside Mabel, to “Rain” with assistance from fellow hit-maker Aitch. Reputable for his dexterous flows, self-assured presence, unquestionable swagger and all-round quality sound, AJ Tracey has become a potent figure within the music realm.
With his sophomore album Flu Game released last week, we got the chance to catch up with him on another quiet Thursday afternoon in March. “I woke up, I was bored, I got dressed for no reason, and then I ordered a salad because I’m trying to change my health.” Just your average day for AJ Tracey in lockdown with what sounded like a rather fancy quinoa tabbouleh salad.
This past year has presented many challenges for everyone including artists. How have you found the past 12 months?
Boy, I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t create but a spanner has been thrown in the works. When I go to the studio, there is a limit as to how many people I can bring and that stifles creativity already. In terms of me going to the studio, it’s a bit mad! I want to call my friends, ask if they want to come and have a drink but we can’t even do that. It’s just me and the producer, who’s my bredrin, but the vibe isn’t really there. I’ve been thinking about the messages I’m putting out a little bit more. The world is in a messed-up place and I don’t want to contribute to it being messed up!
AJ Tracey wears Bottega Veneta on the cover. To see the full cover story, pre order the issue now.