Scroobius Pip is a British performance poet and hip hop MC, most renowned in recent times for his collaborative work with DJ Dan le Sac. A remix of their hugely successful 2007 track Thou Shalt Always Kill is released soon.
He lives in Stanford-le-Hope in Essex. His name is adapted from the title of an Edward Lear poem.
On the subject of happiness, he says:
Sharing is a great source of happiness for me. Sharing new music or sharing new comedy I’ve found. As soon as I’ve watched a stand up DVD that’s great I start to think about who I can re-watch it with. Generally sharing things that have caused me happiness with others allows me to vicariously get a second hit of happiness.
It’s the same when we are performing live. It’s a sharing thing. When you have written something that you are proud of, the sharing of it with others is great. And to then get a great reaction back from the crowd makes it all the more special.
We have some pretty dark lyrics and, whilst they are sometimes about unhappy subjects, the fact that people get to connect over these things allows them to find some kind of happiness within relative darkness.
I had a message from someone recently that had attended one of our shows.
She had related to one of our songs about self harm and was stunned to see people cheerily enjoying the track live, even singing along, instead of taking in the serious nature of it. I responded to her saying that I think a lot of the people happily enjoying it may well have been taking in the serious nature of the track, but also finding happiness in being out amongst other people all being moved together, instead of being at home and feeling they are the only one going through such things. So it’s possible to find happiness by sharing in subjects and emotions that aren’t necessarily happy subjects.
Some of my happiest moments have been catching bands that I love live, absorbing all the emotion and power of a track in a personal environment.
Is he happier writing or performing?
One without the other just wouldn’t be the same. I love the buzz of writing something and being really pleased with it. I still always feel that there’s a lot of luck in my writing! It seems like I stumble upon stuff at times that I feel is above my actual ability. That sounds odd, but once it is written it’s so exciting to play it to people and to see the reaction it gets. It’s great when people are coming to the shows and requesting a song or when they know all the words. Even though we play live a ridiculous amount, there is still that buzz from different crowds.
I ask him about the track Astronaut, which features the line:
“We are encouraged to pick a job in which we seek success
Instead of thinking about what we really need for happiness”.
I feel that at school we are often given goals that have very little to do with actually being happy. I know some people that are very successful in business but are not so happy in their lives. There are others that are still working in retail but are totally happy and cheery.
There are people who think that if they achieve the goals and targets set for them in school, then they will automatically be happy. But that’s not always the case. There’s not a step by step guide of how to be happy.
When does he think he’s been at his happiest?
I’m really struggling to answer this one, but I will explain why. I think, as a teen, when you meet a girl or fall in love then you have some of the happiest moments in your life. But it’s largely because you believe that it is the be all and end all. Any girl you meet, you can fall head-over-heels in love with and you have no perspective, so it becomes the whole definition of your life.
There would be periods then that would probably be my happiest moments at the time, but looking back now, they all don’t seem like that big a deal.
I feel the period of my life I am in at the moment is my happiest because I am getting to do my dream job and it seems to be going well. But then maybe that’s one of the keys to happiness. If you have happiness then it should feel like the happiest time of your life, there and then. Memories can be great – and I am a believer that all memories should be happy ones otherwise they aren’t worth keeping hold of – but making the most of your happiness right now is more important.
I interviewed Scroobius Pip in January 2009. For more about his music and tour dates, see his MySpace page.