Cooly G
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Cooly G

London, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | INDIE

London, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2008
DJ Electronic House



The best kept secret in music



Cooly G, the producer, DJ, singer, and semi-professional footballer from south London—oh, and she's a proud mother of two—calls her brand of UK bass house music "deep, sexy, and dramatic." Merissa Campbell, as her family and friends know her, got her first taste of success when Hyperdub signed her "Narst/Love Dub" productions to their well-respected independent label back in 2009. Since then, the beat-maker has performed around the globe and recorded a debut album, Playin' Me, out this week in the UK—and with a swath of laudatory British press behind it, we have the feeling it's only a matter of time before Cooly G arrives Stateside in a big way.


STARTING OUT: Music has always been in me. Growing up with parents who loved everything from reggae, dub and rare groove soul, to acid house, hip-hop and jungle made me into the eclectic music lover and maker that I am today. Influence-wise, I'd have to say artists like Bob Marley, GangStarr, H-town, and Mica Paris were some of the main people.

FATHER KNOWS BEST: My dad had a little analogue set-up in our family house, and when he would have sessions, I'd always chill with him. I was a true daddy's girl! I was just amazed by the sound system days when they would travel around and play out. When I was seven years old, I used to sit on the wall overlooking the petrol station, and me and my mate, "Slimz," would ask people to let us wash their cars for money. When I saved up enough money, I bought some decks, mixers, and vinyls, and took some speakers from my dad. My first vinyl was by 5 star. [laughs]

WORK-LIFE BALANCE: I just make sure that my wonderful, amazing children are fully taken care of, and I deal with them first. As long as my kids are good, healthy and happy, I'm happy. I still somehow manage to squeeze in Cooly G time. [laughs]

RECOMMENDATIONS: I'm fully in love with DJ Gregory; I always have to mention him. I also like KariZma, Diplo, Havoc, Burial, and, of course, Kode9—whose new tune is dramatic, oh gosh! To be honest, I just like chilling out to a lot of music from back in the day.

DREAM COLLABORATIONS: It's really hard but if I had to name a few, I'd say Missy Elliott, because she has been such an inspiration. Snoop Dogg, because I love his voice and his style—plus he looks like my older brother. [laughs] Another person would be R. Kelly, because I think we could make sweet music together, and the video would be hot! I'd like to work with a lot more, to be honest, but those are the main ones.

ON MAKING THE ALBUM: I was on tour back and forth so I just recorded and produced what I could in my spare time. It then became a mini-journey of things I had been through from the year that my son was born—like little situations I experienced—it wasn't a planned idea, it just all fell into place and I enjoyed every bit of it. I taught my son how to engineer my vocals, so he helped me on a couple of tracks while I was pregnant with my queen. It's amazing to know what I've done; just expect something a bit more than my previous releases and enjoy the ride.

UPCOMING PLANS?: Well, I have loads of things currently being arranged: more releases from my own label, Dub Organizer, as well as trying to get into soundtrack production. You can also expect to see me doing a lot more live gigs, and just generally enjoying what I do best—which is just being me!


"Realising Fantasies: Cooly G Interviewed"

Of her second album, Wait 'Til Night, Cooly G says, "I feel like I'm starting to find myself again". Ahead of its release next week, the Hyperdub producer talks to Christian Eede about the record and abandoning musical tribalism

Throughout our time together, Merrisa Campbell, aka South London-based producer Cooly G, keeps photos of her two-year-old daughter close on her phone. Campbell explains that she's staying in Blackpool with her mother while she works on redecorating the home she shares with her two children. It's evident that the separation is difficult for her, but it's just one of many sacrifices that she references during our conservation in the balancing act of being a single parent and one of Hyperdub's focal characters.

Since signing with the label in 2009, Campbell has steadily progressed into the label's central fold following a wealth of club-oriented, UK funky and tribal house-influenced EPs and a debut album in 2012, entitled Playin' Me, on which she concentrated the personal rage and hurt from a failed relationship or, as she puts it herself, "being fucked around". Now, as Hyperdub celebrates its first decade as a fully-fledged label, she unleashes another full-length collection of material in Wait Til' Night which sees her moving into more refined, intimate territory than ever before.

Introduced as an album of "lo-fi bedroom music" and a shift away from the largely club-rooted productions of past, Wait Til' Night is, like Playin' Me, an acutely personal rumination on her state of mind during its production. Born out of improvised, quick-fire home studio sessions, she describes the creative process as "more energetic than fucking ever". The indignation of her debut effort is traded for sensual, bodily sex jams, crafted on skeletal drum patterns and noirish synths, all of it a manifestation of fantasies that she says are "becoming real for me now".

It seems then that Campbell is in a much better place now than in 2012. As soon as we meet, she gushes about the recently-shot video for the album's title track (which is due to premiere a few days after our chat) - the pride in her work is evident. Notably, the video for 'Wait Til' Night' sees her stepping out in front of the camera for the first time, perhaps hinting towards a further move away from the anonymous, shadowy press photo design of so many of today's underground electronic producers in favour of opening up the distinctive, curious personality that exists behind Wait Til' Night.

However, Campbell still seems to occupy a relative outsider status, using her own Dub Organizer label to showcase fledgling rather than established talent, and indicating an unwillingness to conform to particular scenes and be drawn into the battle lines that run parallel to such scenes. Speaking to her about the tension that she felt at the height of UK funky, as well as her straight-up approach to building DJ sets without a concern for who made what she plays, ultimately reveals little interest in the tribalism of different musical divisions because; as she bluntly puts it herself, "I've got way better things to do".

Both of the albums are a lot more vocal-driven than the majority of your EP material which is obviously rooted in the club. Do you prefer to keep vocal material to those longer projects in that maybe you don't feel that the club tracks can extend to an album concept?

Cooly G: I probably will be doing that next. I'm actually working on that now, music that's more club-orientated, but with a lot of vocals too. I feel like I've been lost for a few years, well not just a few, probably at least ten years where I've been so busy and now I feel like I'm starting to find myself again. It's like I'm finding Merrisa again, so when I wanted to do this album, [Hyperdub] must have given me the deal around July or June last year and I ignored that they even said that until it came to November and then I remembered that they'd given me a deadline of January, so I was like, I've only got two months to actually do this fucking LP, so I waited until the end of the school term around Christmas and over two weeks, I sent the kids to my mum's and I superly went in everyday for 14 days and finished the album.

Was that exhausting?

CG: No, it was more energetic than fucking ever. It was really weird because I didn't have to worry about feeding them, bathing them or whatever, in between me working on stuff and if I'm making tunes I usually have to stop, feed them, stop, bathe them, play, but this time around there were no kids and it was just me going crazy.

So do you find that when you're working on an album project you have to have that space from your children in order to get things done?

CG: I'd never been away from them like that before unless I was going abroad for a show, but I only did it because I wanted to finish the album on time and I didn't want to not do another album. I thought they could have so much fun up there rather than me just working on bare tunes and saying to them, "Oh, I'll play with you in an hour", so it was a decision that I had to make to sacrifice Christmas and New Year to let them be up there and have untold fun because I had to do the album, so I decided it would be best for them to be up there and I've never done that before. I've always made all the other tunes you've heard with them running up and down the stairs and in-between breastfeeding the baby. So, this time around, because I was looking to do something much more sexual, so I needed that space to do that.

Obviously there are some fairly suggestive song titles on the new album like 'Your Sex' and 'Freak You', so how do you approach writing about something that personal?

CG: I didn't even care because it was what was on my mind and I could explore my fantasies because I'm a single mum and I don't have a partner, so, yes, I do feel sexual at times. I'm not gonna phone someone to go and have sex or whatever, so I wait until night when the kids are in bed and I might, you know, dress up myself and do sexy shit and that's what I'm about. It feels like I can become myself again and that's good for me.

For people listening to those tracks, do you like them to relate it all to you or do you prefer there to be some distance there?

CG: They need to know what I'm about and the album is part of me. All of those lyrics are true to me and 90% of them might be fantasies but some of them are becoming real for me now, so it's like a whole journey for me. The album's been finished since the beginning of the year and I love it. I love the whole vibe and that I had really done what I wanted to do at the start. Those styles are a revamped version of what I would do when I was about 15 or 16 years old, but my production wasn't really tight then. I was just putting together some drums and little bits of melody, but now I'm obviously a lot better, so I've waited a good 15 years to do something that I always wanted to do.

So, when you're working on music here and there, do you ever start out with the intention that it's going to be a full-length project?

CG: Not really, but I knew that I had to do this album, so I had to do about 20 tunes for it. Five of those I didn't fully record properly because I wasn't completely happy with them, but 15 of them were fully finished. When I was working on 'Your Sex', I had loads of people here and the studio was all set up in my living room and there was nothing else in here, just equipment and a little sofa, so I had loads of people round having a smoke and a drink or whatever and I just started to feel sexy and then I started making a drum pattern. My friend started playing his guitar and we just blended together, so I finished the tune, and then I just sat down and started saying to myself, "Your sex is on my mind" and I was like, "Oh my god", it just started rolling. Then I recorded it and it was just done right there. I mixed it down that night, so then the next day I'd start working on the next tune, so I was just going with the flow without fully knowing what I was gonna write about. It was purely how I felt in the moment and that was the same with the first album where the lyrics were a lot angrier and about being fucked around.

You were in a completely different state of mind working on Wait Til' Night then?

CG: I was starting to think about me again. I hadn't thought about me in a long time because I've been busy being a mum and producing, so I'd forgotten about me. This might sound silly but I got my nails done and started to do things again for myself. Before, I was just making sure they were alright, the music was on time and I was getting to the shows.

Obviously, with Hyperdub being a smaller, more independent label, it's quite closely tied with its artists, so do you think that's freed you up in terms of not feeling too much pressure from your label managers, etc.?

CG: It has, but Steve [Goodman, Hyperdub founder, aka Kode9] will always cuss me out and say, "If that shit ain't finished by this time, that shit ain't coming out", so I'm like, "That shit is gonna be finished because that shit is definitely coming out", so there is a good pressure there because I know that they'll be fine with something a week or two weeks late.

How has Hyperdub's tenth anniversary been for you in terms of being able to travel to so many places with the extended crew?

CG: It's been really exciting because we have toured together in the last five years but this one is obviously different because we know that we're celebrating something so special and with Burial putting the picture of himself online as well that felt really special, so everything came together for us this year.

I read about your first full live show, which you did in Copenhagen and you said it really stressed you out.

CG: It pissed me right off because we were put on the wrong stage, there was a soundcheck while we were doing the show and I still kept going because I like to be professional, but in my head when I got home, I thought, "Maybe I shouldn't have done that". I don't want to let people down though, but it just didn't feel right. The sound wasn't right, the stage was too small for us, but we still kept going and the crowd seemed to think it was great but we knew that it wasn't supposed to be like that.

So, do you think of yourself as a bit of a perfectionist in that sense?

CG: I had rehearsed to perform a certain way and it wasn't that way and when I wanted to try and be sexy while performing the new stuff, it just wasn't working, but it was a nice place and the crowd treated us really well.

Is the full live band project abandoned now then?

CG: It's not abandoned, but I suppose it's just been put to the side for a bit, so that I don't have that pressure right now for my own health because I'm so tired. I can't be getting more stressed out than I already am. I get vertigo and I've had it for a while but I didn't know.

How did you first come to realise that?

CG: I had it really badly one time a couple of months ago, so I went to the hospital and I was just like, "I'm dizzy, everything's fucking spinning", so they checked me out and said it's vertigo. They told me that I really need to sleep and rest because my body's going crazy.

Has that changed the way you've worked then?

CG: Yeah, I need to be a lot more chilled and relaxed about things now, so, like, even if I'm in a cab heading to an airport and I think I'm gonna be late, I have to say to myself, "No, it's OK, just relax", instead of, "Fucking hell, drive faster, you cunt" and getting all dramatic and worked up, so I'm more relaxed about things now. When I do shows though, I'm fine. It's just when I'm in a crowd that I'm not so good.

Do you think having that avenue to produce music is part of relieving that tension for you?

CG: Definitely, like yesterday I sat down with my headphones and just listened to the album properly and the first tune I picked was 'I Like' and as soon as the bassline just hit me, I was crying. But it was out of happiness that I'd completed something that I wanted to do and that I like it so much. I'm really proud of it, more than anything I've done before.

You had to cancel the show at Hyperdub's Corsica Studios party a few weeks ago - was that supposed to be a full show as well then?

CG: Yeah. I blacked out the day before and I could never have gone. I was feeling weak and I felt really bad about it because my brother went and he said that people were really disappointed I wasn't there. But I just felt so ill that I never could've gone on stage and done the show.

Has that kind of anxiety been a big problem for you in the past?

CG: I've just been doing too much recently and not sleeping properly, but now I'm decorating my house and it's just making feel better as well because I've been throwing out things that I don't need. It's been really refreshing for me and I'll sit down and think, "What else am I gonna throw away?" and it will be about 4 am and then I'm like, "Shit, I've gotta take this little boy to school in the morning", so I wasn't getting much sleep, but now I'm on top of that and I've taken the whole month off. My baby is with my mum.

Would you say that environments are really important to you then, both creatively and for your own general wellbeing?

CG: When I first moved here, everything was all packed up and I was feeling really stressed and I wasn't realising that that was what was stressing me out. I analysed everything too much, but then when I started getting rid of stuff, it just felt like there was less weight on my shoulders because I had tension for months and I didn't really know what it was. When I started getting rid of stuff, it felt like that was all fading away and I need to be relaxed to be at my best.

I've noticed that you've remained fairly grounded to South London from childhood and you're still based here - do you think that's shaped you musically in any way?

CG: I grew up in Brixton as a bit of a tomboy and that's all part of me, being that sort of boyish type of girl, but now I feel like I'm changing. I can be boisterous, but I don't feel like I am as much as I used to be now.

Growing up, your dad was part of a reggae soundsystem in Brixton and I know you've said that you have a lot of his records from that time. How did growing up around that culture affect you musically?

CG: I got to hear different frequencies of sounds from an early age and that's what triggered my brain. I started remembering how the bass would be taken out and then dropped back in and those were the things that made me think, "What's that? Why does it sound like that?" There's pictures of me from when I was about two at the mixing desk and seven was when I really started learning to DJ. I used to sit on the petrol station wall, wash cars and save up the money from it for decks.

How were your formative experiences in terms of clubs and raves?

CG: I was underage going through the backdoors of fucking Brixton Academy, going to jungle raves. I remember going to a rave and we were all in the queue for ages and we dressed up like we were big women and we got in there and like five minutes later on the mic, I heard, "Erm… we are looking for a Merrisa Campbell, her mother is outside to collect her" and I was like, "Oh my fucking God". I had to run out, my brother was there, pulling me out and I didn't even get to party, so that was a funny one.

Was there anything you were listening to around making Wait Til' Night that fed into it in some way?

CG: Before I started on the album, I was listening to a lot of The Weeknd and I saw him live. There was a tweet too from Jeremih that someone phoned me about, saying he's looking for productions from people for his new album. Someone tweeted me saying you should do this, so I started making 'Want', but then when I finished it, I was just like, "Fuck that, I ain't giving him this, I'm fucking keeping this for myself", but it's what started me on working on this whole kind of sound and tempo, so I had that drum pattern before I started properly working on the album.

How did it feel to get in front of the camera for the first time for the 'Wait Til' Night' video?

CG: It was weird. I woke up the morning after filming and just thought I wanna be an actress now. I'd met the guy in it with me only a few times before and I didn't really know him properly. I was thinking, "Oh god, this is gonna go all wrong because I don't know him and we're not gonna have that connection", but for some reason we just had something.

I can imagine it feeling really awkward if you had to be close with somebody like that for a video, so how was that for you?

CG: I made him come round a few days before we filmed it. I'd seen him around before because he's like a friend of someone I know. I thought he'd be the perfect guy for the video, so I approached him about it and I was just like, "Come around man, let's talk, have a drink and just have a laugh, see what happens because I need to know I can talk to you before I even do this video because we're acting out a date." I was so happy that I asked him because he was so professional, like he'd done it before [but] he hasn't even done it before either, so we just did it naturally. We didn't have to do bare takes or anything, it was just done.

You've already mentioned fantasies while talking about this album and obviously acting out a date for the video is part of that, so do you like having these outlets to explore different sides of yourself?

CG: Some people have fantasies and they probably don't deal with them until about ten years later, but that might be the perfect time for them to do that. With the first album, I'm really angry on the tracks. I've been played and treated like shit, but now I'm not letting any of that get to me. I don't really tend to write things down on paper though when I'm working. I'll just sing, record and practice some harmonies. Sometimes, the beats and the drum patterns will come to me first. Like, with 'Your Sex', the beat on that just made me start thinking about somebody that wasn't even there and I just started writing that lyric.

Are there any further plans for Dub Organizer?

CG: There are actually. I'm trying to put together these EPs where I just bring together five different producers and just put out records with banging house tracks and push some smaller producers because they're all so sick.

Do you like having that ability to help out other, less known producers then?

CG: Yeah, I feel like it's something I need to do, to give back.

I read an interview in which you were talking about how you'd assisted some of the producers on the past EPs on the label and I guess Steve has been like that with a fair few producers on Hyperdub, so are you looking to mirror that relationship?

CG: It's something I've always wanted to do from when I was young. In my head, I used to have this pretend label called 'R U Listening' and I just imagined I had everyone in South London all working for me. I had this idea of enemies making tunes with enemies, just wanting to bring people together.

Do you feel that there's any competition for you in the sense that you maybe look at other producers or artists, hear their stuff and it makes you want to better yourself?

CG: I don't tend to listen to too many producers like that. I listen to a lot of slow jams and that whole vibe. When I'm getting sets ready for DJing, I'm looking to just play things because they sound heavy. A lot of the time I'm just playing something without checking or looking at who's made the beat, which is why I don't really put together playlists and that. I don't check the tunes or care too much who made it. If it's a banger, I'm playing it. I don't really get the idea some people might have of, "Oh, I'm not gonna play this because he's made it".

Maybe too many people get hung up on having that kind of attitude?

CG: Definitely, I'd say there's people who don't like me, who hate the fact that I'm a girl and I'm doing my thing.

That's something we could maybe touch on. I've noticed with Hyperdub that there are considerably more female signees than perhaps most other underground electronic music labels. Is that something that you've particularly noticed and do you even think it's important?

CG: I try to look at things like I'm a mum and I have to look after my children which means my mentality is different from other people. They might think, "Oh, she made a sick beat, so I've gotta make a sicker one than her." But, I never look at people like that because my time is for the kids, so I don't have time for that attitude. I've got way better things to do. I've gotta finish my house and do activities with my kids. I'm exhausted quite a lot and I still am now at times.

There were some comments you made for a Guardian piece on UK funky where you said that it didn't have the family that, say, grime had as a genre. What made you think that?

CG: There was no real sense of family at all because it felt like everybody was competing with everyone else. I used to do these mixtapes called Dubplate Politics before I got signed and it was about these DJs in the funky scene, and they didn't wanna give you their tunes and I just thought, "How am I gonna promote your tunes if you won't even give me anything?" People wouldn't book me because I'm a girl. "I've got dubs, you've got dubs, but you don't wanna play the dubs, you don't want that DJ to have it but that other one can play it." There was just a lot of confusion and it seemed like everyone just wanted to be on top.

Stemming from that, how does the way you've worked on the two albums differ from the tracks you make for the club?

CG: I did focus more on this album than anything else I've ever done. Even with my last album, I thought it was good but it could have been better, stronger, tougher, so it was quite underrated which made me focus a lot more on this album, so I could make sure it was stronger.

So, you're always striving to better what you've done before then?

CG: Not intentionally, but I guess so. When you're just making beats, you obviously want it to be banging, but it won't happen unless the vibe is there. You can't make a banger if you're forcing yourself to do it. I'm working on a rap EP at the moment, so I've been recording in my bedroom for that and just chilling. I wanna work on the live set as well and work out how I can bring the vocal stuff from the album into my normal DJ sets because I've decided that's how I want to do it now.

Wait 'Til Night is out on October 20 via Hyperdub - Quietus

"Beat Construction: The Real Life Shit Behind Cooly G’s R&B Bangers"

The London producer talks musical catharsis, getting into DJ-ing at age 7, and why her kids know best when it comes to beats.
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The producer is one of the most crucial yet anonymous figures in all of music. Every now and again we aim to illuminate these under-heralded artists with Beat Construction. This week we spoke to London producer Cooly G about the real life stories behind her cathartic second album, Wait 'Til Night, on Kode9's Hyperdub label, how she got her start in music as a DJ at the tender age of seven, and why her kids know best when it comes to beats.

What kind of music surrounded you when you were growing up? Reggae, old school, dub—I got a chance to listen to that stuff because of my dad. From listening to my mum's music, it was like acid house, hip-hop, and jungle. I got all the sounds in one, really, and that's what they drummed into our heads. We knew more music than other people on our estate because my mum and dad was proper into music.
At what point did your love of music turn into a desire to make it? The first time I felt like wanted to make something for real was when I was DJ-ing when I was around 7 or 8 years old. When I first mixed a tune properly together and I heard something else from that track I thought, oh my god, that could be another track. I didn't know you could actually produce tracks, I didn't even know how people made tracks really. I didn't know that I could have a computer in my house, and a keyboard, and the software, and just make beats. So when I got the chance to go into the studio, that's when I started to make tunes. I wasn't taught anything. I just learned everything myself.
Back up a minute—how old were you when you were DJ-ing? My dad had a sound system and he finally let me jump on it when I was about seven. That year I got to play a christening. I was selecting bad tunes like a little chick running some reggae dub plays and shit that my dad had. All these people were looking at me like, really, is this little girl doing that? Yes, she is.
What did you first get your hands on, software-wise? Cubase. On an Atari. Fucking hell, that was a long time ago. I don't remember what it was called but I actually remember the melody of my first ever tune I made. It keeps coming back to my head. Why do I remember that bloody track? It was sort of like a hip-hop kind of cinematic type of track. I've never tried to remake it. Maybe if I'm bored or something.
You've been signed to Hyperdub for five years now. From the outside it seems like there is a family vibe. Definitely a family vibe. I mean Scratcha [DVA], he gets me breakfast in the mornings. And if my backs hurting he'll rub my shoulders or something. You know what I mean? He's a good guy. Everyone's cool. I had a panic attack somewhere, and Marcus [Scott, Hyperdub's label manager] helped me through it.
"The 3 Of Us" [premiered above] from your new album Wait 'Til Night is really powerful. It was really hard to do that one. I didn't know how to lay it down so I left it till last. When I did it I felt like there was a big weight off my shoulder. These things can stress you out and you have to deal with it. [Making the track was a] way for me to deal with the fact that this fucking cunt is just really a proper wanker and he's fucked me up, do you know what I mean? But now he's trying to call me and I think it's because he saw the "Wait 'Til Night" video.

How much is your music autobiographical? Everything. It's all about my life. All my albums, all my tunes. For example, "Phat Si" is about a boy named Phat Si who got shot, and the track's angry because I was angry that he got shot. He's alive but the bullet's still in his head. After he had recovered I made it while he was in my house, especially for him. Every track has a story. Don't get it twisted. From day one, every single track has a story. It makes me feel better to make a track about it. Whether anyone in the world know about it or not, I don't really care. I make the music because that's what I do. I don't do it for fun. It's just something I have to do.
So making tracks therapeutic is for you? I think if I didn't make music I probably wouldn't be in a good place, just as a person. Because I'm a single parent as well, this is my way of exploring, and not feeling lonely, or just being able to be happy in my own way. I'm happy being a mum and nothing can't touch that but I'm a person as well, so I need to be happy for myself. That's one way that helps—if I make a sick tune. "I Like" [from the new album], I made that tune in literally five minutes. I ain't telling shit to you. It was so nuts. I was like, I need one more tune for the album and then I just fucking banged it out so quick. The melody, everything it was just done. I was just like, I feel so good. I'm not even thinking about what anyone else is thinking about the tune. I don't care what Ruth is going to think about the tune, I'm just making what's coming out of my heart and sending it as a package and hope that it's ok.
Do your kids get into your beats? Oh my god, yes they do. If they're not dancing then I'll start again on a new track. When they start jumping and doing back flips, then I'm like, yup, this is the one. - The Fader

"Cooly G Combines Fiery Passion and Fractal Drum Patterns on New Single “So Deep”"

The Hyperdub producer reveals the first single from her upcoming new album Wait ‘Til Night.


Before the release of Hyperdub producer Cooly G's debut album Playin Me in 2012, the word that swirled around her was all about her killer instinct with drums. Then, in one bold move, she revealed herself to be just as compelling behind the mic—her hyper-casual lyrical observations were the surprisingly perfect foil to her her sensual tone. Now the London producer's following up Playin Me with a new record called Wait 'Til Night, due out October 20th on Hyperdub. "So Deep" is the first single and it's as focused as a lit match—all fiery lyrics and a central melody that burns at a steady pace, flickering through Cooly's fractal-like drum patterns. - The Fader

"Cooly G Paints a Picture of a Perfect Date In “Wait Til’ Night” Video"

The London producer delivers a loved-up visual for the title track from her forthcoming Hyperdub album.

Dressed in matching monochrome, London producer Cooly G and her date stroll along London's Southbank and through Brixton's market streets in the video for "Wait Til' Night," the title track from her forthcoming new album. There are people milling about but the pair are lost in their own world, their—frankly, balling—outfit coordination echoing their intimacy. In a hushed voice, Cooly calls out sweet observations that pick their way through sultrily poised synths and a starry hum that's not unlike the feeling that fills up your head on a night out with someone special. Hyperdub, who are currently on tour in the US celebrating their 10th anniversary (dates at the bottom of FADER Mix from the label's Scratcha DVA), will release Cooly G's second album Wait Til' Night on October 21st. - The Fader

"London bass explorer Cooly G goes on a funfair first date Speaking to the Hyperdub luminary and showing her brand new video"

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hyperdub, we're posting a handful of video articles about this awesome record label today. Here's the premiere of Cooly Gs new video, "Wait Til' Night".

If it wasn’t obvious from the tracklist (“Your Sex,” “1st Time,” “Freak You,” “Fuck With You”), Cooly G’s got one thing on her mind when it comes to her new album for Hyperdub, Wait ‘Til Night. The title track is also the first on the record, and it’s a soft and sweet four minute meet-cute that’s kind of like the calm before a really sexy storm. Likewise, the video - premiering above - is a tentative first date brought to life, with London tourist attractions, shared candyfloss and his ‘n’ hers outfits all present and correct. We caught up with Cooly G to find out about the real-life date that culminated in her writing this song, and how Jeremih and The Weeknd inspired this “raunchy” new turn in her sound.

Tell me about this video, what was the idea behind it?

It’s based on a first date that I went on when I was 21. The song is about it as well, so I just basically re-enacted it - we did go to all those places, and we went into the arcades. We walked all the way back from there to Brixton. I stopped off in Kennington, and that’s where I started making up the song, as I was walking. That exact song. That’s how it all happened, while we were walking home. That song’s a very old song.

It’s so sweet how the video’s based on a real experience. Is the same true of the album?

It’s mainly based on fantasies. They’re fantasies but it’s like, trying to make them come real as well. Well, I’m making them come real.

You and the guy in the video, you’ve got matching outfits. Is that an important requirement for potential baes?

No, definitely not! I just wanted to keep it how I was: I was a tomboy, didn’t really want to wear dresses. The next video that I do, for “So Deep,” is gonna be a bit more - I don’t know if “raunchy” is the word, but a bit more sexy. All the images in all the videos I do now, it’s going to be like a growth. It’ll be a little bit more explicit. Just being me. This whole new album is me, really, and people just don’t know it.

So we’re getting the real story of Cooly G now?

I dunno, I’m just being comfortable with myself now. I’ve been a certain way for the last five years, having kids and stuff, I lost a bit of confidence. Now, I’m getting over all of that with myself and my personal life, and I’m quite sexual - that’s what I am. I’ve been hiding myself for a long long time, I’ve been single as well, but now I just want to be me and be happy. To be sexual and funny and dramatic. I’m just becoming myself again and finding myself.

I spoke to you back in January around the release of your EP and you talked about this record - you told me you’d made it in six weeks over Christmas. What was that experience like?

It was literally two weeks. The two week half term. I just worked every single day and finished the whole thing - and then when the kids [went back to] school, I would mix down tracks and clean them up or whatever. But I finished everything in the two week space when the kids went to my mum’s. I don’t know what happened. There was a tweet that Jeremih tweeted, that he was looking for beats for his new album. Obviously that’s like an R&B album. So I thought, “fuck it, I’m gonna make him a tune and try and send it to him.” When I made the tune “Want,” I was like, “nah, fuck that, I’m keeping this for myself. I’m gonna make my album now.” Then the half term came up, so I was like “mum, you’ve got to take [the kids], I need to do this.” I just literally got into my zone from then. Every time I was making a tune I was just zoning into a different world. It’s like I was here, but I wasn’t here. I was non-stop working on it. I was in a fantasy zone. I didn’t have the children around for two weeks so I got to do things that I couldn’t do, tiny things like just get up and go to the shop at 12 at night. Tiny little things that I can’t do as a single mum.

It’s interesting that this started out because of Jeremih - there’s a ton of male voices making R&B that’s explicitly, exclusively about sex. It’s cool that you made that beat for him and then you were like, “no, actually, I’ve got my own stuff I want to express on this.”

Yeah, because I went to see the The Weeknd live as well, and I was listening to him a lot, and I was like, “wow, they’re expressing themselves, man. I need to do that. I need to not be hiding away from things.” It was listening to The Weeknd, and that “Fuck U All The Time” tune that was big - I was like “oh my god, that tune is so sick, and that’s something I would say just hanging around with friends and making jokes.” It kind of woke me up a little bit. It was like, express yourself. Don’t hide. Don’t just be angry all the time making hard beats.

Follow Aimee Cliff on Twitter here @aimeecliff - Dazed


When I logged on to Skype to meet Cooly G (aka Merrisa Campbell) in cyberspace, she had her hands full. “im breast feeding,” she wrote in the chat box, and so I offered to give her a minute to tend to her new baby girl, Tate-Elizabeth. However, Cooly G is no stranger to multitasking, so a few seconds later she initiated a faceless Skype call to retain some privacy while she dealt with family and business at the same time.

The last few weeks have been hectic for Cooly G: She just moved into a new home in London and released her debut full-length, Playin’ Me, on Kode9‘s prominent Hyperdub label, and with a tour on the horizon there hasn’t been much time to spare for the producer/vocalist/DJ. She was scheduled to perform at the Bloc Festival the next day, but due to the disastrous events that took place that evening, the festival was cancelled, and she wasn’t able to showcase her new live setup. Audiences will have to wait a little longer before the beatmaker unveils her revamped show, which has been dramatized and adjusted to fit the more personal and un-DJ-like nature of her LP.

Although Cooly G’s earlier releases with Hyperdub found her exploring bass-heavy drum patterns, flashing synths and sensual samples of her own voice, Playin’ Me steers away from sounds one might hear in a DJ set and toward a singer-songwriter territory. We caught up with the artist to discuss how the sonic shift changed her live set as well as her creative process and public persona.

It sounds like you’ve got your hands full right now.
Yeah, It’s quite normal. It’s just how it is, innit.

Will you have time to tour a bit?
I’m going to have this whole month off and then just go for it.

You sing on the album a lot more, so is the show less like a DJ set?
It’s not like a DJ set at all. I use Ableton with launch pads and Kaos pads and a couple controllers, and I just rebuild the track live. When I’ve got to a nice part, I take the mic and go to the front of the stage and start singing. It is quite dramatic because people can’t believe that I’m actually singing, so it is quite wild for them.

Do you think it’s a bit of a shock for DJ fans to have someone come up and sing and interact with them more?
Not really, no. They’ve been very welcoming to what I’ve been doing. It’s like a whole new person. It’s basically the other other side of me that they haven’t seen. All they’ve seen is this girl who DJs and jumps up and down and makes these banger tunes, and now they actually see me as, as Merrisa, I really would say.

What’s the difference between Cooly G and Merrisa?
Cooly G’s dramatic. Merrisa’s really just this woman that’s a mum. That’s how I look at it, cuz I don’t like people to call me Cooly at my house or anything. But when it comes to the stage, I still feel like Cooly G—that other side. There’s a rough side to me, and there’s a smooth side to me—it’s like the boy and girl in me or something.

Do you think people think you’re a bad bitch because you make harder tunes?
[Laughs] Yeah, I know, it’s terrible, because sometimes I’ll get messages and emails like, “I’m scared of you, but I like you.” I’m like, “Oh my days, I’m actually quite nice and normal,” but they just think I’m crazy because of my tunes. I’m not going to say I’ve been the happiest all the time—I’ve got little things going on, know what I mean? So when I make those hard tunes, I might have been pissed off or angry, or I might’ve watched an old-school film with Tupac and gotten a bit hyped and think I’m a gangster. It’s really just vibes from how I live my life.

Do you think other Hyperdub artists, or even other experimental artists, get a similar reaction?
Ooh, I dunno. I don’t have an answer to that.

A bit of what I’m getting at does have to do with you being a woman. I’m wondering if people think you’re hard or a bad bitch because they’re not used to seeing a woman making beats.
Yeah, I think most people do think that. You do have problems being a female—I’ve met people at shows and stuff who think it’s all about them, but when they see this bad bitch, they’re like, “Oh my days, this one’s for real.”

A lot of the DJ shows I go to out here in New York are overwhelmingly male-dominated. Is it like that out in London?
Yeah. I like to see girls at shows; I’m like, “Oh my God, it’s girls—ah!” I can’t believe they’re there because you see so many men at shows, but yeah. It’s always like that. I just pictured a club in Brixton, and it’s like packed up with girls. Guys come for the girls, and then they realize, “Oh my days, these beats are sick,” and so it becomes a regular night, and then it goes on and on and on. So it kind of built up from girls going out to just have fun for the weekend, and then it ended up being like that.

Do you think this album is more overtly feminine than stuff you have done in the past?
Yeah, it is. It definitely is. It’s about a relationship, and it breaks down, and it all goes wrong. The first song actually starts from before my son was born, before I got pregnant. Basically it’s like a journey all the way through. It’s deeper than these little tunes that have a title on it or people listening and going, “Oh my days, that tune’s sick” or “Oh, I like that bit. Her drum patterns are really sick.” It’s actually deeper. It’s situations all the way from 2005 till now. Lyrically, the storyline of “He Said, I Said” is from back then. I still think about that shit because I’m here looking after my kids on my own, innit, and it’s deeper than what people think. It’s a bit wild, but I’m happy, my son’s happy, and my new baby’s happy.

Is it true that you’re writing a book?

Can you tell me a little about that?
It’s quite deep, it’ll make me cry if I start talking about it, but I can kind of say a little bit. It’s like…when I started wanting to do music and stuff like that, and the stuff I had to go through and the people that would lie, the people that would try to use me and stuff like that…it’s for young women as well, not just about music, but just trying to do something with their lives and knowing that they should listen to their parents, innit, because I didn’t listen to my parents at one point, and—Nas, go away! Goodbye, please, please go away.

Nas: I want to see.
It’s a picture of a dog! Say hello. It’s a woman. Say “Hi, Elissa.”
Nas: [In a funny robot voice] Hi, Elissa.
Cooly: All right, go sit down now. Let me finish this. Yeah, it’s just about situations or moments where I didn’t like my friends and I would write about them. Just stuff, like weird shit, man. It is quite deep. There’s things that’s happened to me in there that I don’t really want to discuss, but it will be in the book, innit. I might just leave it for my son to release. - CMJ with Cooly G

"Wait ‘Til Night: Cooly G’s all-time favourite sex jams"

Next month, Hyperdub producer and vocalist Cooly G returns with a new album, Wait ‘Til Night.

Described as Cooly’s lo-fi bedroom album, it expands on the understated lust of her debut Playin’ Me, taking equal influence from US r’n’b and reggae soundsystem culture. It’s subtle, it’s slight, but with track titles like ‘So Deep’, ‘Freak You’ and ‘Your Sex’ there’s only one thing on Wait ‘Til Night‘s mind – so we asked Cooly to tell us about her all-time favourite sex jams.

We’re also premiering the aforementioned ‘So Deep’. Check it out below, and turn the page for Cooly’s sex playlist. - FACT

"Cooly G: Wait ’Til Night review – stripped down seduction"

Merrisa Campbell has been assiduously doing things her own way for more than half a decade. Signed to the UK’s auteur-ish bass label Hyperdub after being spotted distributing her own home-made CDs, she made music as Cooly G across a handful of genres; from UK funky to jungle and styles in between. Her second album sees her largely settled: on a style, bass-driven hip hop; and a lyrical theme, lust. That doesn’t mean Campbell’s music has lost any of its stridency, as Wait ’Til Night follows one urgent act of seduction with another, all stripped down to the bare boning. A random selection of song titles - Your Sex, Wants, So Deep - should give you the idea. Meanwhile, in the background, bass rumbles, beats pulse and chord patterns stab relentlessly. Wait ’Til Night bears comparison with FKA twigs’s debut of this summer, but it’s blunter, more direct, clearer in its aims. - The Guardian

"Cooly G - Wait 'Til Night: album stream"

Hyperdub’s Cooly G uses her new album as an expression of sexuality: on tracks like Your Sex, Want, 1st Time, Freak You, her intimate approach to lust and love via deep and dark electronics has shaped one of the label’s most atmospheric releases.

It’s daydreams rather than experiences that form the concepts for the new album from south London-based producer Merrisa Campbell, her spacious synths and nocturnal, near-whispered vocals telling stories of imagined conquests. If her last album Playin’ Me described the gradual breakdown of a relationship, her latest looks towards the future and zones in on her late-night fantasies. “It was what was on my mind, and I could explore my fantasies because I’m a single mum and I don’t have a partner, so, yes, I do feel sexual at times,” she recently told the Quietus. “I’m not gonna phone someone to go and have sex or whatever, so I wait until night when the kids are in bed and I might, you know, dress up myself and do sexy shit and that’s what I’m about. It feels like I can become myself again and that’s good for me.”

Listen to Wait ’Til Night from the self-described “semi-pro female footballer and UK house producer” using the player below, and let us know what you make of it. - The Guardian

"Pitchfork reviews Cooly G"

3 Articles - Pitchfork

"Cooly G - Wait 'Til Night"

The night time is the right time, as they say. Cooly G obviously agrees, with ‘Wait ‘Til Night’ gorging on every facet of the period between sunset and sunrise.
The results are mixed, but rewarding. At times, the production is languid, with the slow-motion house vibes of ‘Like A Woman Should’ giving way to dub’s haze. ‘Dancing’ has a dizzy, stately feel, while ‘So Deep’ more than matches its title with a lead-filled hip-hop beat dragging Cooly G down into the depths.
While the sheer breadth of ‘Wait ‘Til Night’ can’t fail to impress, the album lacks certain cohesiveness. That said, there’s an honest creativity here that ripples through proceedings.
Words: Robin Murray - Clash Music

"THUMP EXCLUSIVE STREAM Cooly G's On a Mad One with This Heavy Hitter From New EP 'Armzhouse'"

Hyperdub's Cooly G's been one of our favourite UK producers over the last few years. Merrissa Campbell's lithel, luxurious, slinky, sensual take on bass music has constantly evolved, reworking and remoulding itself from release to release. Hell, even on the same release. Take breakout 12", "Narst/Love Dub" as a prime example of her refusal to stick to any one sound, any one take. "Narst" is all grimey synth-strings and mutant UK Funky percussion, a relentless march, a fearsome battle cry of a tune. It's aggressive, bold, stiff. Flip the record over and "Love Dub"s melancholy washes and 2step pitter patter slow things down, taking us into deeper waters. With a Cooly G release you're really getting three or four producers for the price of one, and in austerity Britain who could resist that?

Those of you who sunk themsevles into last year's perversely intimate Wait 'Til Night LP might be a little shocked the first time they give new EP Armzhouse a spin: Cooly G's gone house! Well, she's always been housey, always touched on the funkier, deeper side of things, but this feels like she's gone all out. The whole EP drops in September but check out the incredible "Trippin B" exclusively here on THUMP. We also grabbed a few minutes with Cooly G herself. You can read that below the tune.

THUMP: Armzhouse is, for want of a better phrase, "proper house" — are you much of a house head ?
Cooly G: Armzhouse means for me that I'm on a mad one when it comes to beats now. I am a deeper house head and also I like tribal and minimal tech - just any house that has a heavyweight feeling.

This new EP, to me at least, has a slightly harder, rougher feel to it than, say, Wait 'Til Night. Was that a conscious decision?
I'm on an Armzhouse ting that's why it sounds harder and rougher than my last LP, that's just how i'm going in right now.

Given your releases do you view yourself as a versatile producer or do you see a thread through your music ?
Yes I see myself as versatile. I'm generally more dancefloor based for EP's and then I have experimented with proper songs on both my albums. Playin Me was more electronic but Wait 'Til Night had a more dubby band feel to it. All my EP's are on a different kind of house style, you'll see more of that soon too.

What can we expect from the massive Hyperdub night at the Nest?
A propper night of sick music, 'nuff bass and loads of laughs and new productions from me too.

What's your favourite non-Cooly G Hyperdub release EVER?

My top three are:

Kode 9 - Black Sun
Burial - Fostercare
DVA - Allyallrecords

Armzhouse is released on Hyperdub on 18th September.

Follow Cooly G on Facebook // SoundCloud // Twitter - Vice

"Cooly G Teases 'Armzhouse' EP With New Track "Booboo""

Cooly G needs no introduction. She earned her stripes a long time ago and shows no sign of losing them any time soon. Her latest EP for Hyperdub, Armzhouse, is due out September 18 and features this little gem, "Booboo". It's never been easy to pin Cooly down to just one sound or genre so there's little point talking about expectations—​they're most likely wrong. This time, we're treated to some gritty, late-night house sounds with a rolling percussion line underpinning a pair of hypnotic vocal samples that seem to oscillate around you as you listen. It makes for an entrancing experience and speaks volumes about the quality of the Armzhouse EP as a whole. - Complex

"Cooly G"

Cooly G (Merrisa Campbell) is a vocalist, producer, and DJ -- a fixture of England's esteemed Hyperdub label since 2009. That's the year she issued the 12" "Narst," featuring a battering A-side backed by "Love (Dub)," a soft collision between lovers rock reggae and contemporary R&B. By the end of 2009, she shared a split 12" with Mala as part of Hyperdub's series of five-year anniversary releases. The following year involved another Hyperdub 12" and a second split, this time shared with Scratcha DVA on DVA Music. Her "revoice" of King Midas Sound's "Meltdown" -- retitled "Spin Me Around" -- was one of the standouts on King Midas Sound's 2011 Without You compilation. The steamy vocal she recorded for it pointed the way toward her first two albums, Playin' Me (2012) and Wait 'Til Night (2014), both of which were released on Hyperdub. Armz House, an EP of stripped-down club tracks, followed in 2015. She has also remixed tracks by Zero 7 ("Medicine Man"), V.V. Brown ("Game Over"), Ke$ha ("Tik Tok"), Speech Debelle ("I'm with It"), and the Knife ("A Tooth for an Eye"). ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi - MTV

"Cooly G announces new album ‘Wait ‘Til Night’"

Cooly G is releasing a new album called 'Wait 'Til Night' in October.

The Hyperdub artist and Dub Organizer honcho, known to her piano house producer mum as Merisa Campbell, released her last album, 'Playin Me', back in 2012. A vocal record traversing deep house, UK funky, R&B, and Coldplay covers, 'Playin Me' was one of the best records to have come out this decade. Naturally, we're stoked to hear the new one.

Once again coming out on Hyperdub, 'Wait 'Til Night' is described by Hyperdub as an album of "sensitive, lo-fi bedroom music" with lyrics that "sketch out dreamy scenarios of seduction, lust and sex." It's apparently more R&B-minded than ever - but it's still a British, Cooly G take on R&B. Hyperdub label boss Kode9 recently described the record to us: "The album alternates between Cooly parring guys, and seduction. That’s R&B, isn’t it?" The last track on the album also sees Cooly rapping.

Check out Cooly G's Dummy Mix from earlier this year, and browse the sexually-charged track names below.

Cooly G 'Wait 'Til Night' tracklist:

01. Wait 'Til Night
02. Like A Woman Should
03. Your Sex
04. I Like
05. Dancing
06. Quick Question
07. So Deep
08. Want
09. 1st Time
10. Freak You
11. Fuck With You
12. 3 Of Us

Hyperdub release 'Wait 'Til Night' on October 10th 2014. - Dummy

"Cooly G finds therapy in lustful confessions"


With pillowtalk vocals and titles like Your Sex, I Like, Want and So Deep, a carnal intensity pulses through Wait Til Night, the latest album from UK dance veteran Cooly G.

“My mind was in a fantasy land,” she tells us on the phone from her home in South West London. “I had two weeks to myself for the first time, the kids were at my mum’s so I was able to have a different way of thinking, instead of changing nappies and doing all that mum stuff.”

It’s been a long journey for Merissa Campbell, and growing up with dub, soul, hip-hop and acid-house blaring from her family’s soundsystem has had a lasting impression on the Hyperdub producer; “listening to reggae and remembering how beautiful it sounded to me, listening to it now it still feels the same, I still feel young”. After heading straight to the studio on her last day of school at 16, she cut her teeth across South London by DJing deep house at clubs in Brixton. “The crowd were Brixton people, like girls and boys you’ve grown up with,” she remembers. “And they’re just looking at you on the decks like ‘rah, is that her?’”

Cooly G’s diverse sound attracted wider attention back in 2009 with the Narst / Love Dub EP on Hyperdub, the label she’s now closely associated with. Going on to release her intimate debut album Playin Me on the label in 2012 and now the yearning, RnB-flavoured Wait Til Night, Cooly G’s increasingly unpredictable nature as a producer has won her fans across the board.

Wait Til Night sees Campbell fully finding her voice, drawing from traditional song structure more than ever before. “I’ve always asked people to come and sing on my beat. And they’re not hungry enough, that’s what made me record my own.” A subtle blend of house, RnB and reggae soundsystem culture mingles with punchy guitars to produce silky, sticky alt-pop. “The track Your Sex, when I was playing around with the guitar, my mate started doing another line on the synth, and it just felt sexy,” she tells us.

With stark delivery, intimate fantasies lie alongside delicate insights. “It’s just shit that goes on in my mind at night, that’s why I called the album Wait Til Night,” she says. “I can’t really be horny in the day.” The title track is based on a true story of her first date – “just being in a whole different world, like of someone making you feel nice” – and the album’s tone remains deeply personal throughout. “The last track, Three Of Us, is about my daughter. Well it’s based on her dad … being a wanker,” she snipes. “He just basically chatted shit and said he would be there or whatever, and now I’m looking after my baby, and my son, on my own.”

Fiery as ever, it’s this introspective ache that melds the album into the singular project it is. “When I finished I thought about all the people that listen to my broken beat sound or whatever you want to call it, and it’s not got anything like that on there. But I don’t care. I’m totally 100% happy with it, because I got to express myself.”

It’s difficult not to draw on Campbell’s domestic life in interviews, as being a mother is obviously a huge part of who she is as an individual, and as becomes evident throughout our conversation, it’s also integral to who she is as an artist. But how does she actually feel about being asked about her work/life balance all the time? “It gets a bit dramatic sometimes for me – ‘how do you make beats and have kids and go on tour and whatever?’ I don’t know. I just do it. I don’t have an answer for that kind of stuff.” When asked what her kids think of the album, she’s much more forthcoming. “They love it!” she chuckles. “It’s funny because, say, that tune Freak You, I play the instrumental all the time and the baby’s actually humming the melody and she’s singing, and we’re just laughing at her.”

In between domestic life, producing and writing a book about her experiences in music (“all sorts of shit; good shit, bad shit, crazy shit, just everything”), Campbell can be found DJing regularly alongside the likes of Kode9, Laurel Halo and Scratcha DVA for the run of Hyperdub showcases, which have been touring the globe this year to mark the label’s 10th birthday. “It seems like a real celebration when we do these shows,” she explains. “For me I’m humble and I’m oblivious to things, so something like this makes me see that they’ve achieved so much.”

© Theo Cottle
Over the years Cooly G has expressed her truly personable character, and this album gives us a glimpse of another side to her bright personality. Though on first listen her motivation may seem strictly below the waist, there’s another impassioned force behind Wait Til Night’s lusty swagger. “It’s given me hope, and it’s made me feel nice again. I had a stage where I thought I was ugly – fat and ugly – for a long time and it wasn’t good.

“I was listening the other day to I Like and as soon as the bassline dropped, it just hit my heart and I was just crying, because I was so happy that I managed to do this album and this sound. About 15 years ago I was into that sound, I used to do RnB and hip-hop tracks back in the days. So it was more like me finding myself again, doing it with better knowledge, better skills … I’m hoping people make some babies to it!”

Wait Til Night is out now on Hyperdub - Crack

"Cooly G ArmzHouse Merrisa Cooly's latest for the Hyperdub label keeps the focus on rhythmic momentum."

The title of Merrisa "Cooly G" Campbell’s newest EP, ArmzHouse, is an appropriate one. The release is full of weapons for the club, one that likes its house music the same way it likes pretzels—twisted. This is the first release from the Hyperdub heroine since her last year’s solid Wait ‘Til Night LP, representing a further example of how Campbell is shedding the vocal hooks and keeping the focus on rhythmic balance—and it's one of her most straightforward and more engaging releases yet. Referencing the past, present and purple-laden future, Armzhouse has a ton of momentum behind every intricately-placed kick and snare.

The opener, “Trippin B,” is somewhat of a throwback in tone, but not in formula; it takes elements of classic late-'80s house, incorporates bassline elements from cuts we know and love—and then splices them, breaking apart the connection between the past and present by adding a synth line that’s curiously enticing. The next cut, “Booboo”, adds some signature Cooly vocal bits and pitch-downed sampling, keeping things fervent and formidable in its structure; the result feels like a filtered reverse-funky house track. Which may sound unusual—but one listen and you'll understand. “Waybay” (featuring Marc Perrineau) follows up by playing it safe and simple, not meandering far from the mischievous house path that it’s on. “Flange City” follows a similar path but falls somewhat flat in its execution; it's a track with interesting elements, yet possessing a narrative that’s not entirely cohesive..

The finale comes via a mercurial magnet of a tune, “Horrors in the Dance”, which tosses elements of grime and funky together on a canvas and makes something spectacularly weird and wonky (in a good way). The tune has a nice callback to previous Cooly G cuts, with her signature kisses stamp kicking off the cut before moving in a direction that we’re familiar with, and finally going every which way to pack a wallop. That’s what ArmzHouse represents, in a way: Campbell is traversing different courses, finagling what works under the Cooly G guise. It’s not perfect, the release has moments that are gratifying and spellbinding. Wherever Cooly G chooses to go next certainly, she'll will have our attention—callbacks, kisses and all. - XLR8R

"Fireside Chat WITH Cooly G"

Brixton’s dub organizer and Hyperdub associate Cooly G talks about how her musical journey has helped shape London’s fertile bass scene.

Brixton’s Cooly G has made it to the top of British bass music in no time. Whether you want to call it dubstep, UK funky, tribal, house or broken beat, Cooly does her own thing and is a bit too special to be the flagship producer of a particular genre. When it works, it just works. Using her dad’s studio (he’s into reggae, while her mother loves acid house) to make her first steps, she learned how to DJ at the age of seven and had a job as a teacher for music production right after leaving school. Kode9 approached her with a record deal on Hyperdub after he stumbled across her MySpace, leading to a brace of singles, notably the seductively vibey Lovedub, and Cooly’s 2012 debut LP Playin’ Me. Since then, she’s honed her forward-looking sound, and her follow up Wait Til Night, sees her fully settled into her role as Brixton’s seductive underground instigator and dub director. - RED BULL


Well-crafted soul has a special buoyancy, a quality that floats easy at the pace of its own emotion. It’s music that sounds effortless because it’s highly p ...
AJ Samuels recommends Cooly G's 'Playin Me' Well-crafted soul has a special buoyancy, a quality that floats easy at the pace of its own emotion. It’s music that sounds effortless because it’s highly personalized: feelings are the medium and the secularized message, the fervor of gospel minus the religion. And just as soul was born by freeing itself from the confines of the church, its longevity lies in being freed from the constraints of instrumentation or subject matter—blue-eyed, brown eyed, shape shifted, psychedelicized, neo, downbeat, updated, and most things in-between. Most.

With her debut LP Playin Me, 30-year-old Brixton-born Cooly G goes beyond the well-crafted 12-inches and remixes she’s been putting out on Hyperdub over the past three years to lead us down a road of neo-soulstep and drum ’n basics, peppered with “aha” moments of genre reprocessing. It’s not a trail she blazed herself, but more the smooth repaving of a path currently less travelled, despite the renewed interest in lovers rock and the roots of rave.

That said, what elevates Playin Me above creative rehashing (re: Where were you in ’92 or its retrospective synthgoth equivalent, Light Asylum—both enjoyable enough) is its explorativeness. The album’s value isn’t just in reminding you to dust off your Soul II Soul, Sade or Goldie LPs, or in attempting to redefine/add a few names to a canon. It’s also in the nuanced production and in the emotional glue that creates a cohesive microcosm of sexual healing, tension, stuttering drums, relationship issues, sub-bass, and self-doubt. The opener, ‘He Said I Said’, sets the mood, with G’s plaintive vocals slaloming through a pinball dub of hi-hats and Dre-like synth bursts: “Sitting here across the room you/You make me think about . . . you.” Whoever “played” Cooly G haunts this album from the get-go, disappearing and reappearing in wails of a love lost or unrequited, and, occasionally, in the heavy breathing of a love made, as on the excellent bootknock ballad ‘Sunshine’.

What becomes clear about halfway through is that sad or sultry, Cooly G’s emotions are a much more quiet storm than the cathartic release of heavy bangers. Bigger, badder rhythms constantly appear to lurk just around the bend, hinted-at by the odd descending 808 snare fill (‘Come Into My Room’) or endlessly building pitter-patterns (‘Playin Me’). But with a few exceptions, like the ultra-funky Karizma collab ‘It’s Serious’ or album closer ‘Up In My Head’, the beat never drops too hard, and that’s one of the album’s greatest virtues. There are easier ways to get heads bobbing and asses shaking, and Cooly G resists them all, opting for a subtler tweaking of heroes and genres—most notably Timeless-era Goldie. Updated and dubstepified, Playin Me continues where Timeless left off, as if drum and bass never devolved into boring and predictable music for boys and continued to take vocal cues from house and British sophisti-pop. Bold. Even bolder is the brilliant reworking of Coldplay’s (!) ‘Trouble’. It takes true vision to see potential in something so schlocky. So God bless the asshole that left Cooly G high and dry, because if she hadn’t gotten played, she could have never played herself so soulfully. Lovers rock for a lover scorned. - Electronic Beats

"Cooly G - 'Hold Me EP'
 Floats between garage and grime at one end, and deep house and dub at the other Read more at"

Brixton producer Merissa Campbell has built a steady profile over the last five years. She’s released a string of 12-inches and an album, 2012’s ‘Playin’ Me’, for Hyperdub, and built a solid presence on the UK club scene, where she floats between garage and grime at one end, and deep house and dub at the other. 'Hold Me' is the latest step in her dancefloor march, but it doesn't quite work. The title track feels tentative and without climax, with a refrain that feels more like a nervous wish than a bold proclamation, and 'Oi Dirty' and 'Molly' are repetitive and without the emotional depth normally omnipresent in Hyperdub releases. It's functional, but dispensable.

Alex Hoban
Read more at - NME


Feeling a bit camera shy


Cooly G aka Merissa Campbell, is a South Londoner who produces, sings and DJ’s and who has released on Hyperdub Records for the last 4-5 years.....

Cooly’s music exists in it’s own hinterland, her two highly lauded album releases, ‘Playin Me’, recorded without any frills in her home studio, simultaneously recall a legacy of black British music, filtering the female pressure and reggae lilt of Lovers Rock’s kitchen sink dramas, the sweet seduction of 80’s Quiet Storm, through to bitter-sweet synths, polyrhythmic dub decay of early jungle and tough tribal drums, while 2014’s ‘ Wait Till Night’ slowed the pace down, with a sexy mix of R & B and trap beats, drawn through smokey South London dub, it’s a unique piece of lo-fi bedroom music.

The music she’s released for the dance floor as singles is full of stripped down, tribal post-garage beats, often graced by dubtracted vocals, seductions and vexations, uttered over empty spaces and lush washes and bass booms. Her productions have garnered support from DJ’s such as Annie Mac and [Benji B](null) as well as big names on the DJ Circuit.

Along the way she’s remixed a wide number of names from VV Brown, Neneh CherryThe Knife, Kei$ha, Speech Debelle and Zero 7. She also Headlined at The Yard twice this year and was Hyperdubs special surprise at Somerset House as well as FWD's special guest at the end of May.

Before We say too much lets take a short trip back in time.......In previous Shows Cooly has toured the world, notably touring the US with The XX‎ as well as playing at Rosklide festival, Lovebox, Unsound festival, Warehouse project, Berghain, Sonar, Fabric and Bestival among others.

Recently Cooly has set about creating work to contribute to 4 new works to be released via ‎Hyperdub (Home to Burial) and Rinse FM (Home to Katy B).. Cooly also has contributed her knowledge and experience to a panel discussion on the dance music industry at The Brighton Music Conference. Also Cooly delivered her first mix for the seminal music magazine The Fader (Which was then picked up by Fact) ahead of an invite to create work for RBMA in Berlin which was then showcased live over Periscope by Native Instruments and in the same week She also guested on 1Xtra and put together a thumping Midday Mix for Nick Brights Weekend Show. This year has also included mixes for The FaderKiss Fresh (Kiss FM) and Data Transmission and Electronic Beats.

It is looking like it is going to be a busy 12 months as She returns back to the limelight.

Band Members