New Friday, new music. The Irish rapper Shafto has just released his video clip for Pay Day, the first single for his upcoming album, ‘Routine’. The video is a tongue-in-cheek look at everyone’s favourite day of the week and features Shafto blowing his hard-earned cash on a comical spending spree.
But, Who Is Shafto?
This Clare-based MC has been involved in hip hop for over 16 years. Starting out as a beat maker and DJ he joined forces with his rapper friend Andy Abstract to form the group JamNation. This was in the early noughties in county Clare when no one was really listening to hip-hop, which is what makes it more powerful. Soon, he found himself picking up the pen and writing lyrics as the group progressed to live shows. JamNation were renowned for the old school boom bap type of hip hop that Shafto has kept with him until today.
With Andy moving to London, Shafto formed another duo in the form of Shafto and Golden, with a friend he met while working in Tesco. The two artists have performed at various venues round the country to high acclaim: Limerick, Galway, Clare and Tipperary, mostly. Their ‘Beer, Petrol and Smoke Alarm’ EP was released in 2015 and their releases had national radio succes.
While living in Canada in 2011, Shafto had the great idea of making an album. It would be a concept album in which each song would describe each day of the week. For this reason, Pay Day is Tuesday. If you would like to know about the ‘Monday song’, you will have to wait for at least two months, when the album is going to be released. Keep an eye on him!
“Routine” was born and the ideas for 11 songs were laid down. “Apart from the seven songs, I have one or two miscellaneous songs and a few extra weekend songs because that’s when all the fun happens”, the rapper tells me. After years of doubt and questioning, Shafto has finally finished the album where he has teamed up with some of the best producers, rappers and singers Ireland have to offer.
Listening to Pay Day
There is no good rapper without a good instrumental base. This old school track is full of funk and break. Thus, you can see his DJ knowledge, which makes him a more talented artist (starting from the bottom, the origin, the foundation is always the way to learn). The beat was created by English producer Tony Bones, the Producer of Jungle Brown. The track is mixed and mastered by Ray Mooney of Session Parlour Studios in Clare.
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Pay Day is a tongue-in-cheek look at everyone’s favourite day of the week. The song features Shafto’s clever lines and engaging storytelling over an old-school hip hop beat. Shafto says: “In a world so obsessed with material things and wealth, Pay Day is the one day of the week that regular people can feel like kings. It’s the day that we can think big and feel invincible, and most people take it a bit too far.”
The video features Shafto on a spending spree, blowing his hard earned cash on everything from new clothes, to a very bored looking model, and even a private jet. And that’s how exactly he represents the typical hip hop themes: money, a good looking woman next to him, luxury (the plane), wearing clothes as a king. In a different and humorous way, he’s not arrogant and or fake, he’s just having fun on an ordinary pay-day.
The rapper states: “The song is about feeling for one day the power that wealthy people feel every day, and how most people get carried away. But it’s all depicted in an exaggerated, entertaining way, like the line ‘I don’t have a watch so I buy three.’” All the luxury staff in the music video are covered ironically by: a puppy mug, the same wad of 50 euro bills all the time, the piano for kids, betting on toy horses, chocolate coins, having a poo in an Ikea toilet, the king costume, the beer and burrito as the best meal ever and the last part when it all seems like a dream.
Although Pay Day is releasing today, he performed it first on April 20th 2019. As he said, it “went well”. No doubt at all, man!
The group House of Pain, with Irish roots, has given a lot to hip-hop culture. Talking about Shafto, it’s only a matter of time before this ‘best kept secret’ light up stages across the globe. Looking forward to seeing it!
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