The homies over at Grünt have been making some waves in the Hip-Hop scene of their native Hexagon. They have consistently been putting out solid freestyle sessions for some time, and now ready themselves to take things to the next level. We sat down with Jean a.k.a Bonal, founder of Grünt, for a little chat. Here’s how it went down.
First off. What is the meaning behind Grünt?
With the name, there wasn’t a real will for it to mean anything special at first, but as it happens we came to realise it had a few different meanings. “To turn green” in German, it’s also a vocal technique used in Metal and a type of soldier in Warcraft.
With regards to the meaning of Grünt in the larger sense, it’s more of a state of mind. Doing something with the homies, for the Lüv. In other words, we do it by pure passion for the music, and because we had the feeling that what we enjoyed wasn’t being represented in the media outlets around us. A longer format, to stop thinking people are not capable of focusing on something for half an hour; and to have total freedom of expression. We really try and put in the effort for our interviews and respect those who watch and support us, as it is all down to them in the end.
Alright so first off there is Quentin, our sound engineer, who is super thorough and passionate about capturing the best sound.
Simon and Theo, who take care of the filming, editing, and everything to do with video.
Costo, our in house digger, who takes care of selecting the gems you hear on our instrumentals.
And myself, Jean aka Bonal, founder, and let’s say Journalist / Art Director of the project. I take care of the guests, the interviews, the freestyles, the Grüntapes, I make mixes under the moniker Grüv and chat shit on the Facebook and Twitter pages.
We also collaborate with Goum Prod, who help up with graphics. They did the visual for the upcoming Grünt #16 which is super dope.
How did it all start for you? And how did you get the first session to happen.
At first it was by chance, as its something I’d been wanting to do for some time. I first made contact with Hologram Lo’ (interview here) who has always been nothing but supportive of our cause and has helped us a lot. He invited Fixpen Sill who then invited Nekfeu. I then asked Quentin for help with the technical aspect of it all and for the first session, the homie Adrien Gingold came along to film for Radio Nova… Without him we would have never had images for the freestyle!
You seem to have a close relationship with Radio Nova. How is that?
And what do they bring to the table? With Nova it ultimately comes down to a real respect for their work on our behalf, as we are essentially reproducing a format that they were doing 20 years back… The Deenastyle, Cut Killer, etc… It all started with the homie Adrien, who works as Editor in Chief for the Nova website, he is the one who offered to collaborate. Radio Nova enables us to reach out to crazy artists like Slimkid3 from The Pharcyde!
I hope to develop this curiosity and willingness to always dig deep into the subject matter We really try and do things the right way and offer something of real quality. We try and think of documentary projects, which involve the whole Grünt team. Because working all together is the real leitmotiv of the collective.
For the Grünt #15 you managed to get notorious New York mc Papoose! How did that come along?
From contact to contact, and thanks to Papoose’s Tour Manager in France, Exxonn Vald S, who it turns out knew about the Grünt project, and really helped us make it happen. What was crazy about this session was that Alpha Wann, Deen Burbigo, or even Infinit, were huge Papoose fans growing up when they first started rapping. The fact of creating such encounters was super dope and gives a real narrative to the freestyle.
On that note. I’ve heard you’ve got something special planned for this next one. Tell me more.
For this session we exceptionally linked up with Myth Syzer (interview here) who prepared the beat-tape. We all pilled into a car and drove off to the crew’s flat and filmed it there. It really was a great experience and we hope to do more of these kinds of projects in the future.
Damn! That should be fire! So, where do you see Grünt 5 years from now?
It’s a question we get asked a lot, but yet again, we try and take it as it come and not rush anything. We really want to respect our editorial tone and our engagements. So all this is very blurry right now. What drives us is the passion, and day by day, as long as its still there, we’ll keep doing Grünt.
Whats your dream Grünt line-up?
It’s all for the Lüv, for you the fam! And thank you homie!