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The Update is our monthly feature where we check in with our favourite artists to talk side-projects, new endeavours and works-in-progress.

As Novelist gears up to release his debut album, we catch up with the Lewisham MC to talk the explosion of grime and retaining creative control.

Your debut album’s finally here – it’s been a long time coming.

Yeah, man. I’ve been working on a lot of songs – I’ve got songs that are coming out now that I started producing in 2013, 2014. I’m very happy to show the world what I’m about. I’m a very pedantic guy, myself – I have to have the magic touch on everything, and make sure that my music’s exactly how I want it to sound. There’s some songs that didn’t take more than half an hour to make, and some that took me three and a half years. That’s how it goes sometimes.

It’s a much more diverse record than a lot of people will probably be expecting. Was that the aim?

My whole life I’ve been producing all types of music. I’ve got some old 80s pop beats on my computer that I made ages ago. All types of genres. So I wanted to be expressive in that way. I produce as well; I can engineer; I can sing, if I choose to. This is more about showing people Nov’s much more of a package than what you may know him to be. I feel like I can be so much stuff now, and it puts me above the average level of just being able to pick up a mic and spit.

You’ve taken it as indie as you can go: you’ve got your own label. Is that something that you want to stick to – being in control?

Yeah, for me there’s no reason why I can’t keep it that way. In this music game, the whole time that I’ve been here, I haven’t moved position. I’ve stayed in the same place. But what’s happened is the congregation around me has just got bigger, and bigger, and bigger. I don’t feel like I’ve jumped from scene to scene, I haven’t done anything untoward. I’m just stationary, and I feel like my label is a part of the foundation that keeps me stationary. If anyone wants to come and visit, they can come and visit! But I’m always going to make noise from my corner.

The way grime exploded a couple of years back, was it weird for you, suddenly all these people trying to get involved?

Not for me. I know why it exploded, but most people won’t know why it exploded. It’s just another thing for me to observe, and take understanding from, and apply to whatever I’m doing. The first time you see the blueprint of what makes what pop off… that’s a lot of power to have! And I’ve got that. I know that I haven’t been making noise myself, but it’s all part of timing for when I’m ready to make noise. And now my album’s dropping? It’s peaked.

All the pieces are in place.

Every piece is on the board, but not every piece moves at the same time. And the king piece moves the least!

Novelist Guy is released 13 April via Mmm Yeh Records