Coming up behind established talent like Rejjie Snow, 21 year old Drummer/Producer/rapper Alex Gough is helping blaze a trail for Irish hip-hop internationally. Following radio support and prominent placings in high profile playlists, he’s racked up millions of streams for his 2019 debut EP, ‘80%’, and earned a high profile sync on the BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s ‘Normal People’.
Sonically, there’s dizzying variety within Gough’s productions. Graduating from the sample-heavy sound of 2018’s acclaimed ‘Infomercial Tape’, ‘80%’ features both brilliantly old school beats on ‘Breakfast’ and jazz-influenced understatement in the shape of ‘Dear SJ’. On recent B-side ‘Be Kind’ he delves even further into the woozier side of the latter, as inspired by contemporary names like Yussef Dayes, Kamal Williams, and Alfa Mist, as he is undisputed giants of the form, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Chet Baker. Vocally, there’s an engaging authenticity to his easy flow, adding additional weight to his quick-witted bars.
According to Gough, future material is set to be even more diverse. Brand new mixtape Forever Classic is billed as 90s-inspired but with a range that reportedly extends from bossa nova to the breakbeat and Beastie Boys-influence of lead single ‘Heart Attack’. It’s this combination of creative restlessness and undeniable talent that makes Gough an exciting proposition, even if he’s far too modest himself to admit it.