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CHROME FM - The Start of an Era...

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

It's no secret that here at UK Underground Rap we invest hours upon hours scouring the internet and streaming platforms for the very best in rising, relatively 'undiscovered' UK Rap talent every day.

Devsz, who's formally known by his music alias 'nineteen97', is one of those artists that really does stand alone and in his own lane. A multi-talented creative with a variety of fine tuned skills reaching far further than just a sharp tongue; Devsz has serious experience spanning over a decade revolving around creative direction, artwork and production.

Hailing from Birmingham and truly putting on for his city, nineteen97 actually represents an 'entity' or band. Not caging himself into anything specific, branding as an entity has allowed him to draft in some of the coldest artists from Brum to intertwine their sounds under his 'nineteen97' umbrella. It's fair to say the results have been beyond epic.

Back in March this year, Devsz dropped his first ever project; an EP executively self produced and managed titled 'CHROME'. With features from Manga Saint Hilare, Blue Room Mafia, Window Kid, Jesse James Solomon, Mayhem and Hunter Bavaro, CHROME seriously blew us away with it's condensed depth and attention detail. Other contributing producers include underground heavy weights such as Devsz's confidant OFFKEY and Brum native Lauren Ralph. At just 12 minutes 16 seconds long, nineteen97 doesn't leave any room for dead weight, every nook and cranny of this project is bursting with modern, experimental risks that land flawlessly on the ear.

Once we had finished digesting the tape and had fully taken it in, we headed straight up to the BE83 studio to find out more about the tape and dive deeper into said complex, ingenious character. This became our first edition of our YouTube series 'THE RUNDOWN'.

From the moment you meet him you know he has a bigger plan, a mission if you like. The focus and drive oozes from his aura, something that I'm sure inspires others around him. It's this mindset that really excels Devsz into his own category, of no category!

Just a few months later in early October, nineteen97 had organised and sold out a collaborative show called 'CHROME FM'. Bringing together the his closest associates from the Chrome collective such as Kea and OFFKEY, Devsz also drafted in the gifted DJs; Felix Dubs, Bluekey Rinsle and Keyrah to spin the night into a beautiful chaos.

We wouldn't of missed his first live performance for the world, travelling up to the Brum venue 'DEADWAX' on a rainy Tuesday night, it was great to catch up with some familiar faces and see the serious support network that ninteen97 has garnered over a relatively fresh (music) career.

The night built up it's energy perfectly, with each selector bringing their own touch of style to the room. The tight knit crowd became a relaxed social affair, fuelled by anticipation for the main act of the night; nineteen97.

With the main man OFFKEY posted up behind the decks, Devsz opened heavy with his cult classic and EP intro 'Euro Exchange'. With Kea to his right chanting the first few bars as he emerged from backstage, the vibes instantly hit the roof into what may just be one of the sickest reloads we've ever experienced! Check out our highlight video below...

It's fair to say no stone was left unturned, we were treated to a full play of each song from the Chrome EP which even included Blue Room Mafia and Underground legend 'H1' stepping on stage to perform his chorus of the riddim 'Again'.

To add to the hysteria, Devsz squeezed in an exclusive performance of an unreleased banger titled 'Keri Hilson' that has since been premiered online by TRENCH and a facetime with Mayhem so he could experience 'I Got' being shouted back to him by the crowd!

nineteen97 is here to stay, and we know his impact creatively and musically is only a benefit to the culture we all know and love. I'm sure you have by now but if not get spinning Chrome, add it to your playlists and fingers crossed we will be in for some new music real soon...

Be sure to check out our highlight video on our YouTube and get supporting nineteen97 where you can!





Words by: Jack Slade / @jsld_____

Photos by: @digitalstretch

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