Humble The Great
"I don't sit down and think I'm just going to start a song"
Rolling off the back of his sensual single ‘2am’, British artist Humble The Great unleashes his latest instalment ‘Never Enough’.
Surfacing with shimmering percussion and soul-dripping textures, the young artist’s laid-back vocals effortlessly navigate across a stream of celestial strings and RnB under-currents. With razor sharp lyricism and addictive melodic cherries, this lo-fi lullaby sees him outlining the notion of recognising his previous mistakes in a relationship. We at Neo Music sat down with Humble The Great to find out a bit more about him.
NEO: Where did your artist name come from?
HUMBLE THE GREAT:I was going by my name Will James Watson for a while i just kind of felt with the live sounds i was focusing on i wanted to take the leap and be able to separate myself as i was getting into production a bit more. I was brainstorming names with my friend Tim AKA Block, who is a great producer. He had a long list of names and I wanted to go with the theme of ‘the’ like ‘Alexander the Great’ and he just kind of pulled ‘Humble The Great’ out of the bag and it resonated with me. I really liked it. It was the positioning of the name like how are you going to call yourself humble and great at the same time. Thats was were the name came from and i decided to switch everything up from there
NEO: How long have you been making music?
HUMBLE THE GREAT:I have been playing music since i was 12/13 i was very into acting and performing but in regards to making music I really only started producing in December 2018.
NEO: Who inspires you musically?
HUMBLE THE GREAT:My go to answer is always Anderson Paak. Anderson Paak is like my hero, my idol, he is a drummer. I once saw him on a really tiny stage at Reading festival when I was 15 and I was like ‘Who is this guy?’ and to watch him grow has been crazy. He is on another level!
I have also recently really been inspired by these two guys, who I think are signed to Parlophone, called ‘Sad Night Dynamite’ ; they have a really ‘Gorillaz’ booky sound to them. And I'm massively inspired by them and the way that they give the vocal performances and the textures. Then my other inspirations are just the classic kind of Neo Soul artists, like Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Lauryn Hill and then the more contemporary kind of Daniel Caesar.
NEO: Do you have any up and coming projects?
HUMBLE THE GREAT:I've kind of been in release mode since September last year. My next plan is to put out one more single and a big video to kind of accompany that and then, move on to more of an extended project. Maybe an EP or something coherent with a real storyline to it. That's going to be released around June, July hopefully. I think I'd say expect a single in the next month or two.
NEO: What's the inspiration behind 'Never Enough' ?
HUMBLE THE GREAT:So ‘Never Enough’ is kind of about the fact I can be stubborn sometimes, with relationships and I think ‘Never Enough’ is kind of putting your hands up and saying, “look, I've messed up here. I've made mistakes in the past and I could have been better. And this is just kinda me like swallowing all my pride and saying, let's move forward. I'm ready to grow. I'm ready to move on with these past mistakes. And I'm kind of being pushed away from that, you know?”
NEO: What is your favourite series of all time?
HUMBLE THE GREAT:Game of Thrones or The Office US. I love that show so much. It takes like a season to get to know the characters, you know, but once you're in, you're like the easiest genius. I love that.
NEO: What are your biggest pet peeves?
HUMBLE THE GREAT:Flaky people. I guess for people who say they say they're gonna do something. And I think that it's an industry full of promises being made all the time and people who say they're going to pull for you and don't when they have no obligation to say they're going to in the first place. That's probably my biggest pet peeve. A lot of people who walk slow as well.
NEO: What is your creative process like?
HUMBLE THE GREAT: Most of the time that I have started a song, I don't sit down and think I'm just going to start a song. It would only come from a sudden burst of inspiration if I like listened to, Daniel Caesar, I'm making music in that BPM. I start with drums and just kind of start adding layers on top, but it's always from like a sudden burst of inspiration from another artist, or like even like an Instagram video of someone saying something or someone playing a bass or something like that, just like the mood that I'm in really resonates with whatever they're doing.
NEO: What's your favourite part of being a musician?
HUMBLE THE GREAT:My favorite part is being able to collaborate with like-minded people. In the past I found a plethora of amazing talents and people that I have been able to kind of bounce back and forth with.
I had gigs booked before COVID and then lock down happened and things kind of fell through and it was just really nice to be able to sit back because when I look back now, I actually don't think that my set list was nearly as good as it can be now.
NEO: What are your passions outside of music?
HUMBLE THE GREAT:I'd say acting. I grew up wanting to be an actor. I went to drama school after and did a BA in acting and dropped out after three months. I'm definitely really into the idea of kind of writing a musical, because I feel like every musical that's being made now appeals to one demographic. I'm really into playwrights in film, writing, musical rights and stuff.
NEO: Let us know where to find you on socials
HUMBLE THE GREAT:@humblethegreat