DJ Ironik has returned with his latest album ‘Truth Be Told’, the rapper who is noted for his top10 singles which include Stay with Me and Tiny Dancer. Ironik has dropped his sophomore album nine years after his debut album stormed into the charts back in 2009, “I’ve just been working after the album last came out, went touring, put out falling in love in 2012, Slow down with Skepta and then I took a few years out, and the last couple of years I’ve been working wanting to put out an album but it is all about timing, I don’t just want to put out an album for the fun of it, it needs to make sense and for people to want it. Last year I put out a record called Mercy and have been working with a lot of younger and up and coming artists, they gave me a new kind of energy and got me feeling in the zone and this is how this album happened. At the start of this year I hadn’t even had it in my mind that I was going to be putting out an album, it was just after May/June that I put out Mercy with King and that got received really well, with over 200,000 views, so from there it clicked and it was the vibe I was feeling and I guess having that young energy around me made me want to get back in the studio properly, and make this new vibe, and the sound surely and slowly started coming and then with certain songs I’d be making and then I’d be like Big Tobz or someone would sound sick on this so we’d reach out, so the process really started 5 or 6 months ago” DJ Ironik said.
Having followed Ironik’s career over the last decade, there is definitely a growth you can hear from him musically from the lyrical content, to the production, “You can listen to this album and my old album and it’s totally different, you can hear the growth, lyrically and I think that goes down to the last three or four years with me sitting back and studying the game and watching what everyone’s doing and I think it has got more lyrical now, and I think people are paying more attention now to lyrics, flows and content, so that naturally made me want to step it up a bit and being away from the scene it got me to really study from the outside and find my lane and see where I can perfect my style and come with a new vibe and flow, and for me it was about re-inventing and keeping up with what’s going on now”. One thing that really did impress me, was how much Ironik studied the industry and what was happening musically and observing which sounds artists were using now and what the public gravitated towards. I think for me because I’m a DJ and I’m a producer, I haven’t really had the struggle trying to keep with the new sound and where music is heading now because I’ve got my ear to the streets, I always know what’s going on and I know who the latest artists are, I’ve studied urban music from garage to grime, from grime to pop then funky house where now it’s more afro sounds so all the influences I’ve studied it so for me it was about figuring out the direction that I need to go to, but just making it all make sense and relevant now, but I never want to make music and put it out if I sounded like some old school rapper that came out years ago that doesn’t know where to fit in and I guess that’s what the last few years have been for me and thankfully people have been receptive to me and they didn’t even know that I put out bangers back in the day are coming on board now and even new artists are really accepting to me”.
After collaborating in the past with artist’s like Chip, Skepta, Jessica Lowndes and Elton John, the list of people being recruited onto ‘Truth Be Told’ were very strong, artists such as Paigey Cakey, Fekky, Big Tobz featured on the album however there was one name that caught many viewers attention and that was the legend Snoop Dogg who Ironik described as ‘The Icon’. The collaboration came about, when Ironik’s management were out in LA working with artists such as Ray-J and Chris Brown. “My management team were getting quite close with Snoops team and they was like I know you have an artist in the UK, would he like to use those vocals, so my manager sent them over, and I got in Studio Pirates and then made it happen and sent it back over to Snoop and they loved it, we just shot the video so that should be coming soon” Ironik Said.
Throughout ‘Truth Be Told’, you can hear where Ironik has gone throughout his career and seeing him develop as an artist and going through much ups and downs in his life, “and I’m in a better place now and you can hear it in the album, there is a lot of up-tempo records, a few bangers, you can hear that I’m in a better place, than my usual music which is a bit more slower and more storytelling which was influenced by heartbreak, and girls. But now I’m older and wiser so I just want to have a bit more fun but still to let the truth out which is why the album is called truth be told. The most personal would be the Like Dat with Big Tobz, I touch a bit about the stabbing incident and about my time in hospital, and I think people can listen to that and can get an idea about what happened and where I went for a few years and why I was in the hospital and thinking about why is that happening, so that was probably my most heartfelt record and me getting a bit deep”.
With Ironik back to putting out music, slowing down is something he will not be doing, “There will definitely be more videos, I want to shoot videos for every song on the album, and I’ve over the last week and have been seeing what songs people are feeling and we’ve shot 3 videos already. There will definitely be a tour at the end of this year if not the start if next but I want to make it unique, and I DJ as well so if I can incorporate that and bring through a couple of artists that im working with already or a couple of artists from each city from the tour and that would be sick”. “I also want to put out another EP next year and keep the vibe going”.
Overall ‘Truth Be Told’ is a great project and it is good to see DJ Ironik back to putting out music, if you were a fan of Ironik from 2008 you will still be pleased with the quality of output from the rapper and if you are a new fan to his, you will then be taken aback with the lyricism and production on the album. My Tracks for you to keep an ear out for is Wanna Know, Like Dat and Mercy.
Check out ‘Truth Be Told’ below.