Interview: Onoe Caponoe

Bearded interviews Onoe Caponoe

Posted on Jan 26th, 2015 in Features and Interviews, Onoe Caponoe, High Focus / By Sam Bennett
Onoe Caponoe Onoe Caponoe is an MC from London who has been putting the work in over the past few years. He's released some quality independent projects, all with his own signature sound. The psychedelic, abstract approach is definitely something that fans have accepted and appreciated. We catch up with him ahead of his imminent High Focus Records debut album 'Planet Cattele' to talk about how he first met Fliptrix, working with Chemo and much more.

Bearded: Onoe Caponoe, how are you doing sir?

Onoe: (laughs) I'm OK I guess.

Voices From Planet Cattele is released in a week or so; how long has that been in the works for?

Erm, I've been working on it since around December 2012 and January 2013 pretty much.

The album title is definitely something that sticks in your mind. What's the meaning?

Cattelle is Catdelic and Telemachus together, so I was saying that and playing with it a lot, then it kind of turned into a real thing the more we thought about it. Planet Cattele is a planet in another dimension, which is right here where we are. It's definitely kind of hard to understand and explain.

How did you first hook up with Fliptrix?

It was through graffiti when I was about 14 I think.

You appear on his Force Fed Imagery album, released back in 2007. It's crazy to see how far he's come since then. Have you always been keen to work with him again?

Yeah man it's insane. I don't know what to say about him to be honest. Music aside he's one of the most down to earth, genuine people I've ever met, and that's no bullshit. When it comes to the music, I remember hearing that he was rapping and shit, and it was news to me back then as I didn't know he was into that. Initially he was real good, but now he's a straight up OG when it comes to his rhymes and how he puts shit down. What he's done for rap music in England is actually insane, I would never have thought the things I've seen him do were possible. Of course I've wanted to work with him again, no doubt that will happen but I've just been in my own world thinking about what I'm doing and how to reach my potential in this life with the things I love doing and how to make what I do unique and its own thing.

What made you choose to connect with High Focus for the release of 'Voices From Planet Cattele'?

Well, a lot of thought went into it; how I feel changes like the wind. The reason I was finding it hard to work out what to do is because I have so many ideas and so many different things I want to do, then I want to make projects and mix everything up together and shit, I just wanna make crazy experimental music. So thinking about who would enjoy that, and also who would be able to push that in the right way – plus we're talking about a specific album. Anyway, after a lot of thought and weighing up a few options that we had on the table, I felt that High Focus was definitely the right choice. A lot of people have been shocked, I think because the stuff I do is all over the place, but I know Fliptrix, and he has always wanted to help me push my music and he understands what I'm doing and has built something himself, in terms of his label and the exposure. So it's not that I'm switching up my music, or even trying to cater more to a High Focus audience; that's really not the case. There are a lot of open minded people who follow High Focus and Fliptrix knows what he's doing so yeah, again kind of hard to explain but I'm sure you get the picture.

The only other rapper on the project is Jehst, is that right? How does it feel to have one of the pioneers of the UK scene as we know it on your album?

Yeah. Yeah it's dope, he's someone whose style I've dug from a young age, and to be friends with him like this now and have him up for working with me because he appreciates what I do is awesome. It's still a shock because I never expect anything from people nah mean?

The 'Narnia On Pluto' track from your Willows Midnight Gallery album also features Billy Brimstone, and I remember hearing that a couple of years ago and thinking it was banging. How did you first connect with Jehst?

Well I met Chemo through a mate of mine called Chubuddy G from People Do Nothing. Then I think Chemo just showed Jehst some of my stuff.

Chemo produced the whole of the upcoming album. He's an incredible producer; was there a specific reason you wanted to work with him on the project, or did it happen naturally?

Yeah I never thought about working with him to be honest, because it just seemed like such a big thing! Years ago it wouldn't even have ever entered my head. Then he hit me up asking if he could help out on the sound quality of the next project I was working on a few years back, because my shit is pretty lo-fi. So I said yeah and then we were just talking and one thing led to another and before we knew it we were in Miami on a beach drinking cracktails and making love to sea enemies.

You've got one of the most unique and distinctive styles in the UK scene. Did you sound like you do now when you first picked up the pen, or has it been more of a gradual progression?

(laughs) When I first picked up a pen I was rapping in an American accent about running up in Kebab shops with a gun and shooting everyone, so no (laughs)! Shit's changed with me; as I've grown up and got older and realised a lot about people, the world and myself, then one day I was literally just like wow fuck this, what the fuck am I doing? All this shit isn't me; I can't spend my life copying people and shit because I'm too scared to be myself. Fuck what people think, I have to just be me or I'm going to regret my life and fuck being one of those people. It's a curse in a way; sometimes I wish I could just be some rago dude who chats shit and only cares about clothes or whatever because I would have a lot less going on in my head all the time.

You're embarking on the upcoming tour with the Four Owls which is sure to be crazy. Tell us your craziest live story.

Oh man there are loads. One really strange one for me though; I did this show in London and I was opening it I think, so like everyone was standing mad far away from me. There were no vibes. Then I'm playing my music which is me, you know. Most people were there to hear some good hard golden-era type shit, and there I am doing that Delic shit to people who just seemed a bit confused or whatever. But the thing that tripped me out is there were two chicks standing right in front of me at the bottom of the stage and I swear they were shouting shit like “we wanna suck your dick” and “she wants to suck your dick” and “I wanna suck your dick”....Like inbetween the songs and stuff. One was dancing with her boyfriend at the time. It was so weird, and my girlfriend was standing on the side of the stage looking mad pissed, so I was just there inbetween it all. I had gone out hard the night before so we were feeling fucked and it was just so surreal for me. Baffled older dudes hiding far away in the shadows, then this shit going on at the front in plain sight and in front of my female sidekick.

Have you got anything else in the works after the album is released?

Erm, yeah I've got this fucked up psych beat tape I made – it's fucking insane! Like it'll blow peoples’ minds, how just tripped out it is. I think I'm going to put a few floaty lyrics in parts then work out how I'll put it out. Maybe do another small project with someone I have in mind then work on a huge insane project to really take things to the next level.

UK hip hop is incredibly healthy at the moment. Which artists are standing out for you?

Yeah it's crazy to be honest. It's popping all over the board hardcore. I really don't know a lot about the UK scene anymore to be honest, because I try and stay away from it in terms of what I follow and what I listen to, because I found that after a while with rap getting too popular and more acts appearing, the overall sound started to be quite similar across the UK, and sometimes that pisses me off, but I think that's just me personally because when I hear a new sound or what not, it does something to my brain, because I haven't heard it before or whatever. But when I have heard something like that before, I don't get excited if that makes sense. I only listened to rap music from about halfway through the age of 14 until I was about 19 or 20 so maybe I just really rinsed it. Now when I hear other shit it's amazing to me. Obviously High Focus have all the heavyweight rhymers running their own steezes within real boom bap golden shit, and then also out the box projects and styles. Then you've got Lee Scott and Milkavelli, all of them who I fucks with, then people around me I fucks with like L-Zee, Sendawg, Drae Da Skimask and 30W; I'm just gonna stop now, there is quite a few and the more I go on the more pissed people I have forgotten unintentionally will be. Cracker Jon and 2Late are dope; there's a lot of good music out there and still so much that nobody’s even heard yet.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Let the fans know where to get in contact with you!

You can get in contact with me on my dick. That's My Fat Dick @HeadShotsOnly. Suk Balls. Headback. (laughs) I'm joking! I dunno man, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram; all that shit. But to be honest I find all that shit a headfuck, so just cop the new album and download the other shit I've done and don't worry about contacting me, just go outside when the weather is nice, listen to my music if you want too and enjoy your life people!