You may recognise Matt Force from his recent performance at Clockenflap 2017. For those that don't, the young Force is one that's on the rise in Hong Kong's hip-hop scene and beyond. Force's style is heavily inspired by 90s hip-hop. His personal interest in jazz music also plays an influence which is evident in his most recent work "死亡香". We got to chat with Force about his motivation in hip-hop accompanied by Wildstyle Record's producer, GrymeMan around their studio in FoTan, Hong Kong.

When did you start listening to hip-hop?
Back in primary school.

What was the very first track you remembered listening to?
Eminem’s “Without Me”.

Favourite beat maker?
Pete Rock

Favourite Rap Song?
Gimme Yours by AZ, the sample reminds me of autumn… and I love autumn. (laughs)

What was it about hip-hop that stood out to you?
The idea of sampling, it relies heavily on a person’s music taste.

Who inspires you the most? 
Mobb Deep. Their style is really aggressive, and their voices aren’t even the scary type but you can feel their energy through their music.

The moment when you found inspiration in Jazz?
When I first heard “Blue in Green” by Miles Davis...I was like, that’s a lot of feels.

How did you start writing verses?
Back when I was 2nd or 3rd year in secondary school, I often looked into other artist’s rap lyrics, and I would rap along with it. Eventually, I started writing my own verses. At the end of the day, I wanted to express myself.

What do you enjoy doing aside music?
Sports. I’m the type that needs to feel exhausted at the end of the day, got too much energy in me (laughs). Basketball or working out helps.

Most memorable moment in your music career?
Probably the day when GrymeMan taught me how to make beats. I went home that night and started trying it out on my own and fell in love with it. If not because of him and Canvas, I probably would’ve never produced my own tracks.

What do you think of the hip-hop industry in Hong Kong?
It’s growing a lot, more people are willing to express themselves through this genre of music.

With the uprising in Mandarin and Korean rap, in your opinion, what is needed for Cantonese rap to reach a wider audience and acceptance within or beyond Hong Kong?
I think Hong Kong hip-hop is starting to gain more listeners, but the local mentality is still trying to degrade the music because they can only focus on the profanity in the music. Everybody wants good music, something they can vibe to, and Hong Kong needs to get better at its music production so locals can see beyond the tattoo and the cuss words in hip-hop. At the end of day, whether you're skilful or not, it's all about the vibe.

What's your dream?
Nothing too crazy, I just want to be able to support my family and myself through music.

Any advice for the dream-chasers in Hong Kong?
Stay consistent.

Top tracks RN?

Someone you want to work with in the future?

Favourite colour?

Favourite movie?
I hope it doesn’t sound cliché, but I really like In the Mood for Love (2000) by Wong Kar-Wai. 

What's the concept behind your upcoming album?
The relationship between men and power is very intriguing to me and it affects heavily on how I frame my world. Through this upcoming album I hope to share my worldview with my audience.

When is your next performance?
Early February, hosted by Sofar Sounds.

Photography & Words / Hanley Chu
Styled In / CLOTTEE by CLOT