Big Narstie's deep voice is raspy and hoarse from an inevitably wild show the night before when he hops on the phone. But that doesn't stop him from making fun of mine - my staunch and casual Canadian accent, that he seems to find quite amusing. I playfully fend off his yarns and pokes with a genuine laugh, as I was well aware of what I was getting into when dialing in for the interview. It's simply an initiation to get to the good stuff.

Big Narstie is a noted character and well-established as one of the most charismatic figures in music. Beyond a lengthy career that's spanned over thirteen years and aided the development of an entire music scene, the renowned grime M.C has advanced his lively social media presence and contagious public image into a prominent movement that's welcomed profitable ventures like his Base Invaders video game and established acting gigs.

But it's his more subtle traits that remain his most understated wins. Like the sweat and grit it took to cement his solid place in the UK music industry and clear passion and persistence needed to help ascend an intricate local-based genre into a globally renowned culture. He doesn't joke about that kind of legacy.

Congrats on the year you've had. From your video game to your most recent releases to the shows that you're losing your voice at to your forthcoming album in the works. How does it all feel?

Yeah man, it's a blessing. You know what they say about the devil makes work with idol hands. So I'm loving the fact that I've been busy promoting the video and movement around the clock. I'm blessed and humbled. It's crazy how much love and support I'm getting from my country and across everywhere else. And it's a blessing that mans are getting these opportunities.

You've been doing your thing musically for a while, since 2003 and have been getting love from your grime community and you're country for quite some time. Now that things have evolved to a complete global thing, does it feel different?

Parts of it does. The rest of it kind of feels like, fuck, this is happening. I've been doing it for a long time but for the past four to five years, things have really started to blossom and kick off, so it's like, all the hard work has come to a glory point. But it's been so much of a struggle that sometimes I need to acknowledge the good parts, because I still feel stuck in a struggle mentality.

Despite that struggle, you're somebody that, when it comes to the grime scene, you're referred to as a legend. You have been doing this and breaking down barriers in the process. Now that it's come into this new renaissance, what does the word legend mean to you in regards to the grime community?

A pioneer. A martyr. It's mad, because you see how music runs yeah. You've got a good PR team, with a good spin doctor and a good Olivia Pope, a person can become a legend on a blog overnight. So, it's really a bit tainted. So I like to refer to it as a martyr.

You put in the work. You had to get bloody and dirty to take it here. Now you can sit with the results of that, like your video game, Base Invaders. What was the first moment that you decided that you wanted to be a character in a video game?

From when I was like thirteen. I wanted to be in Streets of Rage. Anyone who knows about Sega mega drive. Streets of Rage, I wanted to be just rolling down the road just smashing stuff and eating the turkey off the floor. I was a computer freak. Mario, Turtles, and International Superstar Soccer.

And you were able to accomplish that dream this year digitally with your Base Invaders game and also on the ground with your BDL movement. The Base Defence League is your mentality, your community, it's your network of support. How have you seen the power of a movement take shape and impact your scene through BDL?

I've made people start to talk again. Life has become very social but antisocial. Everyone can have a great life and a great sex life over the internet but in real life, they're sitting in their pajamas eating baked beans out of a tin watching soap operas. I've maybe been able to help integrate people back into the real world. You can sit in the park and smoke a doobie and conversate and be nice. You know what I mean? Not everything has to be done over a computer. We're living in the physical world and I've noticed that a lot of people in the real world are lonely. It's all good to adopt a family over the internet, but it's important to physically have a person to talk to or kick it with. It's mad. I see a lot of guys texting girls in the nightclub and shit, like "What are you doing after?" Like why don't you fucking go up and ask her? I think that's what the BDL revolution has done. It's all about people power. I want people to be united. We've got to link up, man. We've got to break the ice. We can't be in a room and no one wants to talk to anyone.

The irony there, is that's why I got into covering music. It's something that united me and showed me that my experiences were real. Through the music, things like rap and grime showed me that I wasn't alone in my experiences. So it's a reinvention of that very basic feeling for your fan-base.

No doubt. No doubt man. The truth be told, I wasn't designed to be famous. I'm just lucky to be in the limelight. I've always been popular and one of the cool kids but now, with everything happening, I prefer the simple things in life. Walking to my corner shop with a spliff. These are the things. I don't want to be that person sitting in the back of a VIP area with loads of champagne bottles by myself. I'd rather party with my fans. That comes with a gift and a curse. The gift is that it's very easy to connect with me and at times, it might take away some of the star essence, because I'm not going to have 50 bouncers rush me through the club. People can see me. I think, especially with how the scene is going, fame will take them to a lot of places that their character isn't ready for them to go to. That's the only way I can survive this lifestyle. I wouldn't be able to survive if I was acting like something I'm not. I've got no problem telling my fans, "I've got a fucking hangover. Don't talk to me. I'm fucked up." I can only say that, because I'm always natural.

And when it comes to your fans, what do you anticipate giving them on your forthcoming album, which is out in the new year? What is your motive now heading into this?

Just good music. Music with substance. I always said to myself, I want longevity. I don't want a hot summer song for six months and then fade into the mist. I want to be doing music when I'm 70. The only way you can achieve that is with music with substance. With the album, it's a display of what I know as life. And it's very bipolar. It's very exciting and it's very deep. That's a mixture of life. Life contains laughter and pain.

The bipolar word makes sense, just going off of the sporadic batch of features that will be on the project, from the likes of Ed Sheeran to Robbie Williams to Section Boyz. That's quite the eclectic mix. How did you go about choosing those guys to collaborate with?

Robbie Williams reached out to me to do a song with Shirley Bassey. It just happened. Big up Robbie Williams for reaching out. Ed Sheeran, that's my brother from another mother. That's just standard. Gang gang gang. The rest, do you know what it is, everything just has to happen natural. You can't be fake or forced. I refuse to just go in the studio and work with an artist just because they have a big name. Having two big names on a song doesn't make a good song. Having two good artists on a song makes a good song. So, it's really a no-nonsense way but it works. Being genuine is the best. If you're doing things you don't want to do or just doing it for a cheque, it shows. It shows. How do you expect that to translate to everybody else?

When it came down to sitting down and putting those pieces together, was the fact that it's a bigger platform this time around a factor in your decisions? It's not just the UK paying attention now, it's the world. Were you conscious of that?

It's about BDL. For me to try to impress America with gun crime, you guys got gun shops next to your local convenience shops. I can't tell you anything different about that. But what I can tell you that's different and interesting is the true hard ghetto life in England. For a person from Toronto, that's interesting. If you've only ever been to central London, that's not real London. That's the London that the tourism ambassador has made for you guys. I can be 100% fluorescent and shine bright with my reality. And that's what got me here. The only reason people are interested in me is because of what I've displayed of my hometown. And because I'm doing what no one else in this world can do on 140 bpm. It's English and it's grime. I've been training in this artform from the age of fourteen. I'm tuned. It's no different than me doing a song with Nirvana. I'd have to respect their rock and roll history. I think it would be a big disrespect to not appreciate and not have in mind all my hardcore supporters who've been with me since 2003-2004. I think I'm more obliged to stay true to them than anyone else.

What has this year and the work you're putting into your new album shown you about your legacy and what you're here for and what you have left to accomplish?

There is nothing that god can't do. I give thanks. And with great power comes great responsibility.