How Master Peace is Reinvigorating Music

13 April 2020
Music, Hip-Hop, Rapper, Master Peace, Style, Fashion, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Maison Margiela, Celine, Vivienne Westwood, Givenchy
Images: Silvia Dee
The London grime artist has a sound you’ve been waiting for

To see Master Peace live is to know him. Something of an old soul in a relentlessly digital era, gigs are the place for showcasing new work – not the internet. He’ll pick a small venue and he’ll get up-close-and-personal. Chances are, you’ll see the south-east Londoner mosh, crowd surf, rap in your face and suck you into the verse. It’s something approaching a punk attitude, so it’s even more surprising when you learn his influences.

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Jacket, jeans, sneakers, prices on request, Balenciaga

“I always listened to Busted and McFly growing up,” he says, in potentially the least expected answer in history. “The Veronicas, too. You know those cheesy songs that you played in your bedroom and thought, ‘I want to talk about someone I have a crush on’ or ‘I want to feel heartbreak?’ All those bands represented that, so they influenced me when I was growing up to make music.”

Blazer, necklace, ring, prices on request, Alexander McQueen

Jacket, jeans, prices on request, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

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Describing himself as ‘left of rap’, Master Peace’s sound is fairly unique, too. A little bit of indie with a pop sensibility, and surf rock-harmonies inspired by The Beach Boys. Throw in a rapid-fire process that sees him record his bars in just one take and you start to understand why word-of-mouth is fuelling the 20-year-old’s recent emergence as much as anything else.

Blazer, $655, sunglasses, $545, shirt, $260, trousers, $1170, boots, $1730, Gucci

Jacket, jeans, prices on request, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

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After dropping “Night Time”, his first official track late in 2019, an EP is expected any time now. Down the line, he says, a collaboration with The 1975’s Matt Healy would be the dream. But whatever happens next, expect something unapologetically original. It’s an ethos that extends to the styling in his first ever GQ shoot, too.

Blazer, $1430, trousers, $680, Vivienne Westwood. Top, $485, Ashish. Boots, $965, Celine by Hedi Slimane

“Growing up, I used to wear skinny jeans and skinny pants and everyone would be like, ‘Why isn’t he wearing the new tracksuit?’ But I could never really be myself because I was always scared of what people thought. Now, we’re in a society where everyone can do that. You have artists like Young Thug who wears dresses, or Trippie Redd who wears, well, whatever he wants. Now I can experiment, too. I can wear skinny jeans, leather pants… anything. Now is the time to just be me.”

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Earrings, necklace, prices on request, Givenchy. Blazer, $2860, brooch, $530, vest, $355, boots, $1930, Celine by Hedi Slimane. Jeans, $450, Maison Margiela at Matches Fashion

Interview / Styling : Keanoush Zargham

Photography: Silvia Dee at Sticky Stuff

Talent: Master Peace at IMG Talents

Casting Director: Rachel Sarah

Grooming: Dan Delgado using Chanel Beauty