The Moment I Knew: Soom T

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It can be a track, gig, a piece of art, or absolutely anything. We're taking a look at the moments when artists realised they were going to dedicate their lives to music. 

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We catch up with Glaswegian MC, singer-songwriter, activist and record label director Soom T ahead of her summer performance at Electric Castle Festival in Romania. Spanning across reggae, rap, hip-hop, punk and everything in between, here are the defining moments that sparked her love for music. This is Soom T's moment.

Keep up with Soom T's movements on her WebsiteFacebook | Soundcloud

For Soom T it all kicked off when she was about 12 or 13. "I was listening to Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet on my way to school for the 100th time and I thought 'This is the only thing that seems worth doing in life'. Public Enemy make me feel so good and empowered when I hear them defiantly telling me everything that causes angst and pain in life and how to overcome it. And they're telling me that over a fat beat in a sweet rhythm, blessing my dismal walk to school with joy. I was en route to the worst school in Glasgow.

It was so bad that it got closed down for being the lowest grading school in Glasgow. I despised that school with a passion and I wrote songs called My Teachers are Window Lickers and Damn This School. I might remake them on a digital riddim! I think I'd listen to artists and say to myself 'If they can do that, why can't I? I think I could do it...'".

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Her big brother gave her the infamous Public Enemy LP from his vast cassette collection to stop her from buying "what he considered crap like MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. He knew I liked hip-hop so he gave me 'real hip-hop'". However, her brother's influence had a much larger impact than that.

"I saw him playing in a rock club called 13th Note when I was 11 and my sister Vijya and I both shaved our heads for it. He was in a death metal punk thrash band and he was the rapper. It was called Question Authority and it was actually the first gig I ever saw. The staff in the venue ended up kicking us out for being too young but we watched through the window. I felt very proud to have such a cool big brother and when I started rapping there was a small piece of me that wanted him to be proud of me. I still like to make him proud".

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It wasn't too long after that that Soom T started writing her own lyrics and practising her raps over any beat she could find. "I taped hundreds of beats off the radio (there was no Internet in my day) and used them to practice. I went to bars and asked DJs if I could rap and slowly started getting local producers and bands to hook up with". After she became the lead singer in Monkeytribe, a 6 piece hip-hop crew, and worked on her craft for years, she landed a record deal with The Orb. "That was my foot in the door and it put me on a path that taught me all about the industry and how it works".

With a series of fundamentally life-changing events, Soom T has always been completely devoted to music. "I finally experienced what I had dreamed about all those years as a youth and doing it made me realise that I would never go back. Although I worked in jobs I always treated my music as if it was my real job and other jobs were just helping to fund my true goal. Seems it all worked out in the end. Now I am a full-time artist and I praise the Lord for his mercy for that".

Soom T will be performing with A-Trak, Moderat and many more at Electric Castle Festival in Romania from 12-16 July and you can get your tickets here.

Author: Claudia Manca

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