In our final interview of 2023, we're joined by dBs Plymouth student Connor Paul to chat about big collaborations, growing a brand and staying ambitious.
Hey Connor! Before we chat about thew new release with Devlin, tell us a little bit about yourself…
My name is Connor Paul and I am a DJ known as Construkt, but primarily, ‘Reed’ from a Rap Duo known as White Hill Crew. White Hill Crew consists of two members:
- Reed - Rapper and Producer
- YTB - Rapper (Yankee That British, Youth That Blessed, many meanings)
We have been around for a long time, but released our first album in 2019/2020 period, we made a lot of tracks during the lockdown period which inspired us to put them together for our first project. We have been flying since that.
We have a website with a full biography on, but caution, it does contain some strong language.
What has your experience been like studying at dBs Plymouth?
Amazing, I love dBs. I came here for college when I was 16/17 years old… I think it's a fantastic place to study and is really welcoming.
I always look forward to getting through my working week and coming to uni, because I get to see everyone who I get along with and also do things that I am interested in. Can never go wrong with just making banger after banger can you? haha!
How did you and Sam Gans (YTB) first come together and form WHC?
Oh this is such a long story. To narrow it down, we met through school and started making music together such as hardstyle, etc. and dabbled in other genres.
We then decided one day we were going to rap together. YTB had made a few rap songs in the past and tried to get me on the mic. I didn't want to at first, but eventually he convinced me. We have never looked back since. We originally started as a trio and made one or two tracks together, but the third guy dropped out and didn't believe in the brand. Their loss, I guess [laughs].
Our full bio once again is on the website for way more information.
How would you describe WHC's sound?
In every way, shape and form, it is bonkers. We are so versatile that no two songs sound the same, we dabble in all kinds of rap styles and genres, as well as some pop punk (random I know), so we do all sorts. We spent many years trying to find our sound, and we're starting to get some good traction from the stuff we have been recently releasing. We have had a few big-name features now and are in the process of gaining more, which is fantastic.
Our sound is gritty, realistic, funny, creative, and sometimes an acquired taste. It's really hard to describe, you just need to go check it out!
It’s been a busy year for you guys, featuring multiple releases with some pretty big collabs including Mic Righteous and, most recently, Devlin. Tell us about how you linked up with Devlin on ‘Loud’.
We reached out to Devlin on social media on a pure fluke. We would never expect him to reply but he did, same day. It was actually 99 who initially sent the message, and then following this, he was in contact with White Hill Crew via email, to that point we spoke with him personally, advised what the song would be about, and how much he was expecting etc.
Devlin went off to record and then came back to us when the job was done.
What was it like working alongside someone as renowned as Devlin?
Awesome! Devlin was very to the point in regards of getting things done, but that was fine. We liked the professionalism and it was a great learning experience of what a collaboration like this is really like; from the process to knowing where we stood.
We spoke to him personally and he requested that White Hill Crew recorded first so he could hear it. This almost felt like a trial, as we sent the song and didn't know whether he was going to be up for the project or not.
Naturally, a long time passed by and we started to assume the worst, and that maybe it was a pipe dream and we were aiming too high.
But he came through, and now we have an incredible track with one of the biggest grime legends in the country, and it's about to reach five-figures on Spotify streams and listeners. It's been saved to so many playlists that I can't count and has even had mentions on Facebook and Instagram. To some this may seem small, but for us this is a big achievement and we are very proud of the progress we have made in such a short time.
You frequently collaborate with Toby Caulfield (AKA 99), who also features on ‘Loud’. Can you talk about the collaborative process between yourselves, 99 and Devlin and how that shaped the track?
We all tend to talk a lot through Facebook Messenger and we are constantly grinding and trying different methods to fulfil our potential. Always coming up with mad schemes in order to try and push our brand further and build more contacts. We speak with Toby regularly, who currently lives in the Isle of Man but is originally from Yorkshire. Toby is a close friend of ours and a feature who we tend to work with quite often. Toby has a very different style of music to us, but I often feel that when we collaborate, we can create some real belters.
We’re now closing out 2023. Can you share any hints as to what’s coming from WHC in the new year?
Lots is coming. Reed from WHC is creating a solo album, we have more big name features coming, and we also plan to release another huge WHC album project in the near future. We've got a lot of work cut out for us, but we're really excited to start sharing stuff in the near future.
YTB is also working on some singles and other bits and pieces, and we may drop a few cheeky releases at the start of the new year, too. There's a lot going on behind closed doors.
As someone who has steadily been growing WHC over the years, what advice do you have for people who are just starting out and hoping to one day collaborate with artists they admire?
Just keep pushing yourself constantly; never be too lazy or let things like social media and Xbox distract you. Make sure you are constantly hitting up new people to work with in some way. And don't write off any form of social media, if there is anywhere you can be promoting your content then do it.
It's also very important to realise that nothing is unrealistic and miracles can happen. Never write anything off if you think it's too far-fetched, because you never know; it could actually be within reach. Be sure to constantly work with new people, ensure you are presentable and create a reputable brand which people can love and admire.
Never be afraid to be versatile and try new things.
Never be down if you hear bad reviews or comments, use these to grow stronger and better.
Be the best version of yourself.
WHC Reed - 'Reed Between The Lines' is due for release in Spring 2024.
Looking to formalise your production skills and put your music out there? Check out our BA (Hons) Electronic Production degree.