Scor-zay-zee is one of the best respected lyricists in the UK, first being noticed as part of Nottingham crew Out Da Ville, then later gaining wider attention in 2008 as co-star of the Shane Meadows film Le Donk and Scor-zay-zee with Paddy Considine, in which he played an exaggerated version of himself.

Scorz, aka Dean Palinczuk, drifted in and out of the hip hop scene as he battled with depression and schizophrenia, chronicling his struggle in the 2010 single, ‘Luv Me’. Now in a much more settled frame of mind, Scorz has emerged with his debut album of no less than 28 tracks, entitled Aeon: Peace to the Puzzle. It’s triumphant, powerful and a banger to boot.

How did the album come about?

I’ve always been a free spirit as an artist, so I’ve always been a bit elusive and did music whenever I wanted and how I wanted. I always used to do projects and give them as a free download. I’ve always been like that – do music, save it on my hard drive, put it out online – and have never been really tied down into doing something as professional as this Kickstarter campaign.

The three guys – Ste Allen, Jack Curtis and Greg – they came to me with the idea that as fans they wanted a real studio album, professionally put out. It was their idea. They brought the idea to me. Ste rang me and mentioned the idea of Kickstarter, and I’d not really been too up on it. I was a bit sceptical at first. The first thing I thought was, will it work? When we did the Kickstarter documentary to promo the campaign, everyone started talking about it and it got a bit of buzz online. When the campaign went live, it kind of went through the roof. The target was £8,000 and after four weeks we’d hit double the target. I then thought to myself, I can’t do a single album. If I’ve hit double the target I’ve got to do a double album at least because people have waited for so long.

‘Street Angel’ reminds me of fantasising about being a superhero and saving everyone when I was little.

I do like the stories of superheroes. I always see connections between superheroes – say in the Marvel films – and everyday life. ‘Street Angel’ was actually the first song I wrote for the album. In my rhyme book, as you open it, it’s the first one. I wanted to do something imaginative and I like going off into a different world. I’m talking to someone at the moment about doing a comic book style video for it to fit in with the superhero thing. There’s something spiritual about it as well that I like, where the angel decides what to do depending on his knowledge of the future.

You worked on a couple of tracks with producer Mecca:83…

Some of the stuff that I heard [from him], it really touched my soul because his music is just… in a spiritual realm, somewhere else. That’s music to make you cry. I don’t know why. Not tears of sadness. It just kind of melts my soul when I hear his beats. I corresponded with him by email and he went off the radar for a couple of months, so when it came to the Kickstarter campaign I emailed him and asked him to do a couple of beats for the album, if he didn’t mind. He emailed me straight back saying yeah, and sent me a stack of beats. I chose the ‘Good Grammar’ one, and the tune called ‘Saturday’, which has got a really nice sample in it.

I didn’t want to do an album with skits. All my favourite albums have got skits, but after two or three listens I do skip them. So I thought, why don’t I do a song that is not four minutes long with three verses, but a song that is two and a half minutes long with a really nice concept? So I had that idea for ‘Good Grammar’.

For ‘Saturday’, I write off a sample, a vibe. When I was listening to the beat for 25 minutes, trying to figure out what to do with it, for some reason I thought about waking up as a kid on a Saturday. When you was a kid, Saturday had a routine. Nowadays, not so much. The Raccoons in the morning, football results, the programmes that I used to watch. My granddad, for some reason, had to go to the chip shop on a Saturday. Them sort of things, all came into one. That was all from the sample he used and the way he made it. It just triggered off that memory. And I’ve done that with every song I’ve ever written. It’s the vibe and that loop that’s brought it out.

Kid Acne has blessed the album with an iconic visual identity.

The characters [for Aeon: Peace to the Puzzle] are based on Where The Wild Things Are, where the suit is my rap persona. Then the other characters are all the producers on the album, like Juga-naut and P Brothers.

Kid Acne’s exhibitions have all got themes and messages. His artwork has an innocence to it. If you watch Where The Wild Things Are, there’s a whole innocence to it, with the fact that the characters are not accustomed to the ways of the nasty world and believe whatever they are told. The whole innocence of that I think is beautiful, rather than an old-school picture of me looking mean or trying to portray a certain kind of hard image, or looking miserable. Listening to the album, you hear how underneath, everyone has an innocent nature to them and I think the characters portray that.

The character that represents me has got a torch. The black is the dark. When I tried to get the idea to Kid Acne, I said, ‘Think of The Goonies, an adventure.’

What are the most important tracks for you on the album?

One of the guys who backed the biggest reward of £1,500, to be credited as executive producer, runs a permaculture association and teaches people how to sustain themselves and grow their own food. The track that means the most – there’s two – ‘Penny For My Thoughts’ and ‘Live Free’. There’s a lyric in ‘Penny For My Thoughts’ where I say, “You saw the light on the farm and you grew your own food while the police were being rude to ya”, which was about the struggle of people who wanna get out the system and sustain themselves, the whole free energy thing. As I was writing that line, I had my Kickstarter account open on the laptop and was writing that physically with my pen, the Kickstarter money went up on my screen. I thought it was a mistake. As I was writing the lyric! It sounds made up. Looking into his permaculture practice that he runs, and finding out more about the food, then I wrote ‘Live Free’. So them two there are linked. Strange. A bit too strange, in a way.

Aeon: Peace to the Puzzle is out now on Gangsta Music – scorzilla.com
Catch Scorz live at Tramlines and Nottingham’s Detonate Festival this summer.
Read an extended version of this interview at
groovement.co.uk

Photo by Daniel Whiston

Jamie Groovement