If you caught Novelist & The Square at any club or festival this summer, the chances are you heard Elf Kid’s signature track Golden Boy. That song – along with Pengaleng – provides the perfect introduction to Elf’s youthful, energised flow and his flair for catchy, pull-up inducing hooks. “Bruv, every rave I go to it goes off,” he confirms.
‘Golden Boy‘ is an apt title for the fast-rising MC – at just 19, he’s become the focus-point of Lewisham’s finest grime crew since their leader Novelist recently announced his departure on Twitter. “Obviously Nov left and went to do his own thing now but I fully support the decision,” Elf says. “He didn’t leave on a bad note. I’m fully repping The Square… 100% still pushing The Square and I’m fully supporting Novelist as well.”
Elf’s style – while totally fresh sounding – takes a lot from the genre’s forefathers. As well as citing JME as a role model from a business and musical perspective, he had a chance encounter with another grime giant when he was cooking up his biggest banger. “I met Wiley on the day I recorded Golden Boy. He was in the studio with me when I put down the first lyrics… It was like a blessing! He was literally like ‘Go with your vibe. Enjoy it. Just keep going’. When he says something, you always remember it.”
The only problem Elf faces is the pressure now that Novelist has moved on. “People look at me like I’m next in line, but I feel like that’s how you spoil someone’s career. I don’t want any of the pressures. I still want to be Elf Kid.” Like Nov, he’s got a truly distinctive flow and he’s showcased a willingness to body beats that exist outside of grime blueprints. Most recently, he racked up 20,000 SoundCloud plays with a freestyle over Jamie xx’s Gosh. “As long as it sounds sick to my ears and I can bar on it.”
So despite the challenges Nov’s departure might bring, it looks like things could really get exciting for the newest Golden Boy of the Blue Borough. Even his family are starting to catch on. “I come from an African household, it’s nuts to them that their child is doing this sort of music,” he says. “They were like ‘Why are you doing this? Stick to your A levels’. Then when they saw Pengaleng on TV my aunty was like ‘Rah!?’. They saw this is obviously something. They need to understand that this is what I want to do.”
D Double E / Shorty