Friday 15 September 2017


"DBZ was the most popular anime in UK (and possibly world wide) when I was growing up," writes Walter Ego via an email to us. We all know that acronym: Dragonball Z, successor to the also much loved manga/anime Dragonball. To say that it is the main influence on the Sheffield musicmaker's latest EP would be an understatement—it is more accurately an homage to the series, a love-letter in three tracks to the fight scenes and funny bits of this rather important part of animation history, raw skittering beats like the machine-gun midair punches exchanged between friend and foe, cartoon samples, mystic instruments that summon an immediate tangible fantasy world.

And it's not just Walter Ego and his Seven Star Ball EP which have been clearly affected by Goku and the gang. "If you listen to grime you will know that it is very often referenced by emcees and finds its way into other genres too from time to time," he explains. Why? Well, the good guys always win. And very often the good guys aren't as strong as the bad guys and it takes a great deal of literal superhuman effort to defeat them. Something resonates in that: the power, through sheer force of will and against all the odds, to win, to save the day, to be the best, mirrors what it's like on actual Earth—in a world saturated with individuality, and especially in the grime world, asserting yourself as the best through skill and hard work is indeed the way to the top.


w h o   a r e   y o u ?   w h e r e   a r e   y o u   f r o m ?   w h a t   d o   y o u   d o ?
I'm Walter.


I make electronic music-influenced underground club music, rap and almost anything I'm interested in.

h o w   d i d   y o u   s t a r t   c r e a t i n g   m u s i c ?

I've been playing instruments since I was old enough to walk but I first started making beats seriously when I was around 19-20. I used to go the DnB and Dubstep parties in Manchester and Sheffield listening to a range of different DJs and producers and think, "I'd like to have a go at this". Someone gave me a copy of FL Studio and I began making simple stuff, that eventually led to really complicated stuff!  

h o w   w o u l d   y o u   d e s c r i b e   y o u r   s o u n d ?

Extremely varied. My most recent EP is grime which is genre I've come back to often, but I've made everything from trap to afrobeat.

i s   t h e r e   a   p e r f e c t   t i m e   a n d   p l a c e   f o r   l i s t e n i n g   t o   y o u r   m u s i c ?

This EP needs to be heard as a part of a grime set, in my opinion. The tracks are high energy and are deliberately leaving space for an MC to drop bars. But honestly that's partly down to the listener. You wanna listen to it on the bus on the way to work? That's fine with me.

My most recent EP is paying homage to my love of DBZ and the unignorable influence anime has had on grime as a genre
w h a t   i n s p i r e s   y o u   m o s t   w h e n   m a k i n g   a   t r a c k ?
When I make grime it's partly the energy of the MCs that inspires me. Grime has always been about a relationship between vocal and rhythm. Partly it's just life and the world around me. I also look back a lot to music I've listened to over the years. I like anything that will give my music an different or unusual sound; people familiar with Indonesian music might recognise Gamelan bells in a track on this EP. But alongside that I might include FX noises and other bits that might be at home in a garage tune or even dub reggae.

That said, with this EP I only intended to make three grime instrumentals that would fit neatly into a set with other 140ish BPM music. I'm working on some other projects at the moment that encompass other genres/tempos/styles that are inspired by a wider palette of music.

w h a t   i s   y o u r   m o s t   m e m o r a b l e   m u s i c a l   e x p e r i e n c e ?

I've had a few. I can't say that it's my most memorable but maybe one of the more interesting moments of last year was DJing (by chance) for Skepta. My manager and close friend Lean Low from Bad Taste (the label on which my Seven Star Ball EP came out on) threw a party at a small place in Dalston. We had asked another close collaborator, Birmingham MC Slick Don to come down and perform a small intimate set.

But before Slick Don could perform out of nowhere for reasons unbeknownst to us Skepta and a number of other MCs including Nottingham's Mez arrived and asked if they could spit. Lean Low and I were genuinely a bit baffled as we hadn't invited them but were obviously happy to oblige. The resulting 30-40 minutes was a whirlwind of wheel-ups and top notch grime barring which I can happily say I really enjoyed.

As this was all going on, people outside started to clock that it was Skepta spitting and a sizeable crowd began trying to make there way in to the already quite full and extremely small venue. It was a pretty surreal, Slick Don still got to perform his set and even jumped in alongside Skeppy and others; although somewhat in shock having had no idea what had just happened either.

w h a t   a r e   y o u r   f a v o u r i t e   t h r e e   s o n g s   a t   t h e   m o m e n t ?

Favourite is really hard to say but I can recommend a few that I'm listening to:

Rex Lawson & His Majors Band Of Nigeria – Oko

FKJ – Vibin' Out with (((O)))

Jay Z – The Story of O.J.

w h o   d o   y o u   m o s t   a d m i r e   i n   t h e   m u s i c   w o r l d ?

DJ Khaled.

i n   y o u r   o p i n i o n ,   w h a t   i s   t h e   f u t u r e   o f   m u s i c ?


w h a t ' s   t h e   f u t u r e   o f   y o u r   m u s i c   –   w h a t   d o   y o u   h o p e   t o   d o   n e x t ?

As I mentioned, I'm working on some projects with greater musical scope and a mixture of genres and styles. Watch this space.

w h a t   i s   m o s t   i m p o r t a n t   t o   y o u ?

True happiness and good friends. 


  • πŸ”” Walter Ego's Seven Star Ball EP is out now on Bad Taste Records. Stream or download from your fav service here, if you like.

Walter Ego Internet Presence ☟

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