The much-anticipated and long-awaited first EP for DEACON is out now and Wandsworth Guardian spoke to the Wandsworth resident about his road into music, the EP and music in general. Cotton Wolf is a concept EP based on recording of interviews from the 1930s and 40s of ex-enslaved African-America Laura Smalley.

Ryan Henry, stage name DEACON, very much keeps the family element in his music, all the way to the album artwork which is an old picture of his dad.

The four-song EP is a teaser into the raw talent DEACON has been honing the last few years. Hailing from south London, the rapper started life as a poet working closely with Hip Hop Shakespeare.

SEE MORE: First look at Wandsworth rapper DEACON

This gave him the path into music and from there he has never look back. Since then he has worked non-stop on making a body of work that reflects his talent.

The prompt release of the EP, at the end of Black History Month, shows what the EP is really about. While a lot of young rappers talk about their lives, DEACON’s concept albums look at the large issues of slavery and black culture.

While the songs are meaningful, you can also jam to them. It’s clear that his team have worked hard to release a body of work that delivers a message to a beat.

Influenced by rap, grime and hip-hop, the EP has elements of them all. Negritude has an element of funk to it, with Vula’s beautiful voice complimenting DEACON brilliantly. No Evil, which was one of the first singles he released, has a deeper layered feeling to it, which will really make you think.

When asking about how he started out in music and being a London DEACON said: “I always had to find a way to express myself and poetry was the main way I did this. I then started to rap on top of music and it went from there.

I watched a lot of Def Poetry Jam, they were really inspiring and had a beautiful way of saying things. In terms of my musical inspiration, Encore by Eminem was the first album I bought and from there I started listening to more music, especially the UK Grime scene. More recently I have been inspired by J Cole and Kendrick Lamar. Akala is another big inspiration.

“London is beautiful, I realised that after I started travelling. It is just a hub of so many cultures from all the place and world. It’s about interacting with people from different cultures and there aren’t any cultures I cannot see. London has it all.”

This EP is just a taster into DEACON’s world and is a must listen too. Cotton Wolf is available now.