The Scotsman Sessions #141: Conscious Route & True Note

Welcome to The Scotsman Sessions. With performing arts activity curtailed for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, from Sketchy Beats Café in Leith, rapper Conscious Route and DJ and producer True Note perform their new track Cat’s out the Bag

Nova Scotia’s Scottish Album of the Year Award win for her pithy hip-hop offering Re-Up has shone a spotlight on the often overlooked but ever evolving Scottish hip-hop scene which she recently hailed as “all these rappers talking about actual emotions – it’s wonderful.”

London-born, Hertfordshire-bred and now Edinburgh-based rapper Rolain Bradbeer, aka Conscious Route, is one such emotionally intelligent artist. As well as working part-time as a counselling psychotherapist, he practises what he preaches and is open about his mental health in his music – as heard on his absorbing new album, Lost Routes, created and released in partnership with DJ/producer True Note.

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“Not being able to have an LP launch gig or even able to meet and have a pint to celebrate it has been a big downer,” says Bradbeer. “My own mental health has been a bit of a rollercoaster. When the gyms closed, it was a struggle, as that supported my mental health a lot. I had to get a bike to help lose my lockdown belly. Thank goodness for music, cooking, Netflix and Fifa!”

Conscious Route and True Note
Conscious Route and True Note

For their Scotsman Session, the duo have filmed a live rendition of thoughtful album track Cat's out the Bag in beloved local arts hangout Sketchy Beats Café, located in the old State Cinema building in Leith. And there’s no standing still for the dynamic Bradbeer, who is currently writing new music for release next year, including a planned EP. In addition to his work with True Note, he has also initiated collaborations with singers, rappers and producers, with a view to producing a remix EP of Lost Routes later next year.

“I want to take my time and make the kind of music I am proud of, build a credible following maybe in between the underground and the mainstream,” he says.

Lost Routes is out now on True Hold Records and available from https://trueholdrecords.bandcamp.com/album/lost-routes

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