TRAVS PRESENTS IS THE HEARTBEAT OF A GRIME RESURGENCE [@TRAVSPRESENTS]

TRAVS PRESENTS IS THE HEARTBEAT OF A GRIME RESURGENCE [@TRAVSPRESENTS]

Raw energy and explosive cyphers, Travs Presents is at the heart of London’s grime scene…

“What can you do in a year? For every Skepta, there is a Meridian Crew; for every Ghetts, there is The Movement. Whether it’s clear or not the greats stand atop the shoulders of their wider community and if you want to go far, go together.

Travs Presents channels all the raw energy of old-school grime, from spitting on radio sets to hosting explosive cyphers across London. Since its official formation in 2022, Travs Presents has shown us what you can do in a year when you have your people. We sat down with three of their founding members: Travs, Chamber 45, and SI*BL, to lay out their journey for you.

To truly tell their story, you have to look at it from above because Travs Presents came together in the way that all the best things do, with unassuming building blocks pushing their way towards a tipping point. Ask about how each of them became interested in grime, and you’ll get a flurry of anecdotes, names, places, and moments in grime history that are gone but far from forgotten.

Chamber 45: “I used to watch Channel U religiously as a yout. Then I got older, and I started listening to Rinse. It started fueling me from wanting to be a consumer to a producer.” Chamber nods to Novelist as one of the first artists whose production grabbed his attention and made him want to pursue music himself. 

SI*BL: “I’ll always remember I failed year twelve because I was in the library trying to revise for my exam, and Skepta tweeted he was gonna be in Shoreditch. I thought, you know what, priorities! I literally just went.” Even though his uncle had a stash of old-school grime DVDs, Travs got locked into the genre through the Chip vs. Bugzy beef and the accompanying craze that swept his school. Travs: “There was a girl in my school, and she had a little notebook, and she was taking the amount of people saying Chip won or Bugzy won; it was jokes.” Without a doubt, it felt like the whole UK was locked in; people were staying up all night to make sure they had the dub when it dropped.

Travs, SI*BL, and Chambers grew up in different places, a mix of southeast London and London adjacent boroughs. A big driving force behind their concept is recreating the atmosphere and experience of the early grime sets they used to watch on YouTube for a new generation; continuing grime culture by focusing on quality over popularity (although admittedly they have both).

The Travs Presents team is fundamental to the success of the platform, comprised of six main members: Travs, Chamber 45, SI*BL, Kwaane, David, and Dan who each take on roles across performing, filming, social media, and a slew of other jobs. Alongside a wider collection of MC’s and friends. SI*BL: “We’re all out for each other. It’s a circular thing. We do shows, and we’re creating opportunities for each other. So that’s why it works out.”

They came together organically over time; some bumped into each other recording at the skatepark on Southbank, some met at concerts, and others saw what Travs Presents were doing and wanted to be a part of it. The ability to share and adapt their workload between them has made it possible to reach heights together, ones that might have taken decades of hustling on their own. One of the striking things about the trio is how dedicated they are to creating opportunities for themselves and the friends around them. Travs: “This just makes it a bit easier for them, like Jazz Cafe earlier this year. For the mandem that is a big deal, and it might have been harder for them to do on their own rather than with us.”

Travs Presents distinguishes itself with the atmosphere of their shows and three aspects that set them apart. Firstly, they’re stage-free. Travs: “That stage just creates a barrier. Having no stage lets you know that we’re all one in this room, we’re all a community and we’re on the same page.” The energy of the crowd feeds them; let’s be real, nobody hypes you up like your people. The second is how you get invited; they go old school. You gotta be locked in to your phone because their tickets are available through a text service; you can’t just browse Resident Advisor for this one.

The third facet is the personalities of the performers; they trade stories of their favourite moments, like when one of their MCs Duppy grabbed the mic off someone underperforming their set and shouted “It’s my house!” mid-performance before launching into his own top-shelf bars. Chamber 45: “When we first stepped into the room, we were happy to be there. When it’s time for us to step on stage, we’re proving why we’re there.” From risking it all by climbing chairs to tape a 360 camera to the ceiling, to opening for renowned artists like JME and Manga Saint Hilare, Travs Presents shows just how hungry the London scene is for events where the layers of stushness are peeled off, leaving in its wake a team of impeccable MC’s spraying bars next to their people.

Some of their most memorable sets included the first time they opened a set up to an audience at Kindred radio. This was the set that brought them from small players to real steppers, the celebration of their first anniversary at Lower Clapton Road for its raw energy, and their Rinse FM takeover in October because to them it signified how far they have come. Travs: “It’s like going into your local pub. Every time we have a Travs Presents show it’s the same faces that come. Then the next show we do, it’s them plus more because they brought their friends.”

Travs Presents has even bigger goals on the horizon. SI*BL: “In one sentence? Global domination.” The three of them talk about how the youth clubs they thrived off in their childhood don’t exist the same way anymore. Travs: “At some point in the future, we want to get our own building. Like a studio, a chill space for people to come and meet new people.” SI*BL: “We’re a bit selfish; we want everyone to be better. We want everyone to have a space where they can go spray. Back then in every postcode, you’d have 1000 MCs.” Chamber 45: “I see a future where everybody becomes stronger on their own too so that when we come together, it’s even more powerful, it has even more impact because of our connections and skills.”

Don’t miss out on their upcoming December 29th show! Drop your digits over on their site https://travspresents.tv/

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Naima Sutton