Originally published for The 405.
Edinburgh-based hip hop duo 131 Northside launch their ‘Lost Memories’ series today with a visual for the track ‘Issues’.
The lo-fi, single shot video is in keeping with the group’s distinct aesthetic that they have built over the course of their career so far, with the track being taken from the duo’s debut EP Digital Memories, which was premiered on Complex earlier this year and featured production from Watgood and Midas.
Throughout the series, the genre-bending group, made up of WTKAKACB and King Wavey, will release old and new pieces of material, including visuals and new music, every Monday at 1:31pm for the foreseeable future.
We spoke to 131 Northside about what we can expect from the rest of the ‘Lost Memories’ series, their visual identity and their penchant for San Pellegrino.
How did you come up with the idea for the ‘Lost Memories’ series?
The idea for the ‘Lost Memories’ series came from the sheer volume of work and ideas we had been creating and discussing over the past year. With ‘Lost Memories’, we decided to take a different approach to its release for people to really engage and feel a part of what we are doing. We are on a journey with this shit and want to share it with our audience by bringing them with us piece by piece every week.
The first in the series is a visual for the track ‘Issues’ which was included on your debut EP Digital Memories – why did you decide to start the series with this?
‘Issues’ is a special track for us as it was one of the first videos we shot and self-produced as 131 Northside. The creation of this song was a key part in the birth and development of our musical and visual identity so it was only right that this was the first memory released in the series.
What else can we expect from the rest of the series?
We don’t want to give too much away but the series will be more than just music. We have been working closely with different creatives from around the globe really trying to push boundaries and create a new and exciting movement. What we can say is that the series will see the first appearance of our third member Jiggy, who up until now has been a silent and unseen but integral part of the group since the beginning. We will be releasing the majority of our work online but not everything. There will be physical installations and live aspects as well.
You have a pretty strong visual identity and aesthetic – why are visuals so important to you?
Visuals are just as important as sonics for us to really get the message across of what we stand for. When we started this, it wasn’t so much to be a music group as to create a platform that we felt lacked from our city. We wanted to create and showcase our collective talent in any and every way we could. All aspects of art and design are something we all hold close to our hearts and believe in. Edinburgh is a city that can be very suffocating and conservative at times. We had to do something.
Finally, what is the San Pellegrino thing all about?
Simply put, it is an oxymoron: something that is the best juxtaposition and example of who we are, by taking a different approach to the concept of success. We have adopted the luxury aesthetic of the bottles to be a part of our brand, as well as the purity of it being just water. Growing up and watching films, it is commonly used as a status symbol – for example in The Sopranos,Scarface etc. We aren’t drinking five litre bottles of Cîroc or Moët every single day, but we do drink San Pellegrino every day. You could say it’s an ode to the term “keeping it real.” SP for life.