Thought-provoking lyrics over head-bobbing hip-hop beats are at the helm of London-based newcomer Vineyard Cries work. The 25-year old rapper and and producer’s debut single “Wolf” displays his storytelling skills and sonically-appealing flow while begging listeners to question their own existence – are you running to riches, but living a lie? His grasp of conscious rap is salient in the single and we can’t wait to see what else is to come. Meet Vineyard Cries.
MajorHiFi Music Monday: Vineyard Cries
At the age of 14, the young lyricist knew music was his calling, since quite frankly he wasn’t interested in anything else. “All of my mates were either invested in football or the road life. Spitting bars in the playground invigorated my hunger for more,” shared Vineyard Cries, known off-stage as Jamie Lynch.
While the rapper is still young and budding in his career, his constant thirst to learn more about the world and cultures around him came to shape his optimistic outlook, elevated thought process, and conscious message. As a young artist growing up in a single-parent household, Vineyard Cries spent much of his spare time with a Cameroonian family that lived upstairs, learning more about their culture and the “meaning of a wholesome loving family.”
“I was graced with a perfect balance of culture – be it music, food or fashion. Two worlds were separated by a mahogany-banister staircase. It was downstairs with my mother, where I discovered Oasis and the Beatles. It was upstairs with my God sisters where I discovered Dr. Dre and Eminem,” he added.
After a near death experience, he then moved to Brazil, looking to experience life at its fullest and it’s in Rio de Janeiro where he planned the next steps in his musical journey.
Vineyard Cries talked his musical influences and debut single “Wolf” with MajorHiFi.
MajorHiFi: What headphones do you use when recording? Traveling?
Vineyard Cries: For recording purposes, I’ve stuck with the AKG K52 Closed Studio Headphones – they are light, comfortable and cost effective. Headphones and headphone jacks are so temperamental, I personally wouldn’t want something that costs an arm and a leg to keep replacing. Now, commuting and pleasure. I am a proud owner of the all black Skullcandy Wireless Bass Boost. I was given some advice from a friend who is a self confessed tech geek, he said to really take your time when choosing headphones for personal use… so I did. I spent 3 weeks going into music and tech shops, trying out a variety of headphones and then googling the reviews. I was sold on the shape (over ears which can be used as excellent ear muffs in the winter months) and the noise cancelling feature which allows you to get into your zone at any decibel without p*ssing off the person sitting next to you on the metro line.
MH: When and how did you come to choose your moniker?
Vineyard Cries: It was about 3-4 years ago, I wanted to portray a name that resonated with me on a personal and cultural level. “A grape must cry before we drink wine” hence, Vineyard Cries… the struggle and the success.
MH: When did you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?
Vineyard Cries: When I realized I had no interest in doing anything else, so probably 14. All of my mates were either invested in football or the road life. Spitting bars in the playground invigorated my hunger for more.
MH: I understand you spent a lot of time with your Cameroonian neighbors – how did they influence your life/ music career?
Vineyard Cries: I was graced with a perfect balance of culture – be it music, food or fashion. Two worlds were separated by a mahogany-banister staircase. It was downstairs with my mother, where I discovered Oasis and the Beatles. It was upstairs with my god sisters where I discovered Dr. Dre and Eminem.
MH: You also lived in Brazil, what prompted the move? How did living in Brazil influence your life/ music career?
Vineyard Cries: I wanted to experience a polar opposite in lifestyle. Until I moved to Brazil I didn’t have the pleasure of speaking another language. I lived in Latin America’s largest Favela, Favela De Rocinha. All my friends and family thought I was crazy for the move.. some joked I wouldn’t come back. From a musical perspective, I developed a love for “Favela Funk”… it shares a lot of similarities with UK Grime music (the tempo, the flow etc). It was in Rio de Janeiro where I planned my musical path, I took advantage of the head space I had there.
MH: How would you describe your music and sound? What are prominent themes in your lyrics?
Vineyard Cries: Since young, I have always wanted to communicate a message. I suppose that may be why I ended up becoming a musician. I love books, I love the art of story telling and try my best to convey a story or a moral in each song I write. In my debut single “Wolf” I talk about a man who materialistically has it all but lacks substance in his soul, so he takes to the streets as a pauper in an attempt to study society and learn from the passerby. “The pauper on the corner is richer than you” is the beginning lyric.
MH: You also produce, when and how did you start producing?
Vineyard Cries: This happened as part of the process of writing. I have always directed the song when in the studio with a producer, but never really got the hang of all these plug-ins and programs until about 2 years ago. I’m grateful to be in a position where I now co-produce most things I am involved with, I love being able to put my sonic stamp on a song.
MH: Are there any artists in particular that influence or inspire you now?
Vineyard Cries: No, not at the moment. I generally feel as though there is a lot of bollocks coming through the record labels these days. Maybe my head is still stuck in the 90’s. We as humans want to consume and access music faster and faster. I read somewhere that, when listening to music or watching a video, our attention span deteriorates after 8 seconds if we aren’t gripped. I suppose that might explain the need for a song with 9 chorus’s on loop and 1 short verse… beats me!
MH: What is currently in the works for you? New single, album, tour, etc.?
Vineyard Cries: “Wolf,” my debut single is out now on all digital platforms. I’m excited to shoot a video for this as I feel a lot can be visually represented. I’ve got an EP in the works also.
MH: What is your career trajectory and what else is in the works for you?
Vineyard Cries: I’d like to say my career trajectory is going to be similar to that of a balloon with endless helium… up and away. Here’s to optimism! Apart from Vineyard Cries, I’m interested in writing/producing for others.