Speaking with the creator of ‘Young Wab’22/10/21
Patrick Maguire has just released the half-hour second episode of his animated show ‘Young Wab’. The show follows the young rapper Young Wab as he navigates a ruthless and self-indulgent local hip-hop scene that results in some hilarious dialogue that’s equally absurd and not too far fetched.
1)When did you first get the idea to make Young Wab and what was the first thing you did about it?
I made Young Wab as a small, side character in my “That’s Fly (So It Is)” animated short; a clip of him rapping pops up on “Belfast MTV” while the characters are watching TV. I come up with most of my ideas wandering around lost in my head, the line “rubbered to the cupboard stroke your sausage from your supper” formed in my mind one day and I went straight home and recorded it. Frequently in my animated worlds, I like to take the smaller, more obscure details/characters I’ve made and expand on them, almost to the point of absurdity, so making a whole animated series about “Young Wab” seemed like a brilliant idea - it also gave me a weapon I could use to satirize myself and the music scene.
2) As a musician yourself, are the beats used in the show made especially for the show or are they unused graveyard beats?
They’re all made specifically for each animation. Sometimes, despite the comedic element to the scripts, making the animations can become quite monotonous and laborious. I never get bored making music though, so I use music production to break up the process when it starts to feel a bit mundane whilst still contributing to the overall project.
3)The style of animation really adds to the humour of it, what are some of your animated comedy inspirations?
I first taught myself basic flash animation when I was 13 after watching David Firth’s cartoons on the internet. Later down the line I remember watching a show called “Monkey Dust” on TV, the writing in it was often horrifically morbid, subversive and surreal, but the animation style was quite basic, which inspired me to no end. Also, a major influence on me is Czech surrealist animator Jan Svankmajer, I discovered a collection of his short films in a charity shop in south east London one day and they absolutely blew my mind and prompted me to get into making stop-motion work.
4) How long did it take to make episode 2 and what do you use to animate?
It took around 3 months from when I started writing the script to completing the animation, although I had been developing the plot in my head since late last year. I’m completely self-taught which allows me to have my own unique animation style, but means I’ll probably never get a job in an animation studio (maybe as a cleaner). I work between Flash, Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro, and I produce my music on Ableton with an Akai MPK Mini and a contact mic which I use to sample weird noises around the house.
5) How much of the dialogue is inspired by real conversations? Does recording the dialogue come first and is any of it improvised?
All the dialogue stems from my own lived experiences, I wouldn’t really take an actual conversation directly word for word, but I’ll take an experience I’ve had and expand on it. I usually start with a rough draft of a script, which is just a bunch of ideas without any real structure, it’d read like the ramblings of a mad man. Then I comb through the script and structure it, developing the writing further and getting rid of the deadweight. Then when I record the dialogue, I just loosely follow the script adding bits here and there, there's certain nuances that only become apparent when you're actually reading the lines out as opposed to writing them - improvisation is really important with comedy because if I just follow a script word for word it can end up feeling a bit flat.
6) Can we expect to see any full Young Wab tunes in the real world? Spotify etc?
I spoke with people before about putting some Young Wab clips into their release, so we’ll see what the future holds for Wab! In the meantime, I’ve made a full album each for the four smaller side characters in episode 2 (Slapz, Fathead, 5Whack and Z’s) which I’m gradually uploading to the internet. They can be found on Bandcamp, Soundcloud and Spotify under my pseudonym Rare Witch. There’s also a 26 minute long ‘Cherie Blair Universe Ambience” mix on my YouTube channel too.
7)To parody the local hip-hop scene so well, you must have a certain degree of love for it - have you any real-life local hip-hop heads we should know about?
Seaz420 has been a big inspiration to me for years, it’s fascinating watching him chopping up breaks and sampling random vinyl records in front of you, each time I go to his house he has a whole new bunch of random obscure vinyl records he’s working with, it’s crazy. The GACK collective are prolifically putting out all kinds of dope stuff to get stuck into, ill Records too. I’ve been working on a project with JohnnyDef over the past few months too which should hopefully be out soon.
8) What would be the best local hip-hop rap battle in today’s scene and who do you think would win?
I would like to see Young Spencer rap battling himself in a mirror – I think it would be a hard fought draw.