The Switch Talks to Harley Sulé About His Return to Music, Love of Arsenal & Quarantine Playlist

Harley Sule
Harley Sule / Quarantine Playlist

You probably know Harley Sulé as one-half of your mum's favourite hip-hop duo, Rizzle Kicks.

Harley, together with bandmate and best mate Jordan Stephens, teamed up back in 2008 to take the UK music scene by storm. The two tore up venues and festivals across the UK and US, reaching dizzying heights before going on hiatus eight years later.

Since then Harley has successfully tried his hand at writing, acting and producing. As well as that, the talented 28-year-old has created a musical pseudonym under the name Jimi Charles Moody and even had his first child; the man has been busy.

Now, for the first time since Rizzle Kicks, Harley is back to releasing music under his own name. We sat down with the Arsenal-obsessed musician to find out more about his single 'Something Good' (below), why he loves Ian Wright and how much football means to him. Hint: it's a lot.

First off, who do you support? Why?

I support the mighty Gooners, obviously. Why do I support them? Plain and simple, I grew up in north London. At my school Tottenham wasn’t really a thing. You know some schools were massively Tottenham, some were massively Arsenal, mine was just a massively Arsenal school. I didn’t really have any other choice.

Ian Wright is a hero of Harley's.
Ian Wright is a hero of Harley's. / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

That's not a bad time to start supporting Arsenal is it?

Once I realised what was going on it was a good time. I must’ve started noticing what football was properly in like 1995/96; when I was about 5. Ian Wright was a hero at the time and I just loved him.

Is Ian Wright still a hero?

He is still a hero - he’s a hero to a lot of people.

It seems like football is incredibly important to you, is that the case?

Football is dangerously important to me. It’s not just a game. I’ve made a lot of my closest friends from being pretty good at football. I still play every Saturday and twice during the week as well.

There’s something about those bonds that you create when you’re on a pitch together that you can’t really create without a team sport. Without football, I would have had to find a different way of making friends.

Harley is a season ticket holder at Arsenal.
Harley is a season ticket holder at Arsenal. / Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

You've got a packed schedule, do you manage to go to games still?

Yeah, other than playing it, I have a season ticket at Arsenal - which is my special time during the week. It gives you something to constantly look forward to. Because I enjoy football so much it never gets boring.

I’ll watch any game, so there’s always something that I’m excited for or intrigued to watch. Weirdly, this period of time (lockdown) has been quite stress-free (laughing). I keep thinking: ‘why am I so calm?’ Oh it’s because I’m not constantly stressed out by Arsenal. So yeah, it means a lot to me.

Here's my playlist.

Childish Gambino / Feels Like Summer

I chose this because you need feel good songs during this time. I need to look into the lyrics because I’m sure there’s a much deeper meaning to it, but if you just switch off and listen to the melodies and the chorus, it’s a really feel good tune and we all need that energy right now. Childish Gambino / Donald Glover is another one of my heroes. Anything he does, I think, is beautiful.

Harley Sulé / Something Good

So this is my new single. It sounds like it’s a feel good tune, but actually it’s about being in the music industry for a long time and having quite an erratic schedule and reaching some serious heights.

Now that I’m in a different stage of my life I’m more content and I’ve simmered down a lot, so will I find enjoyment and excitement in other things that aren’t as immediately as fulfilling as, say, performing on stage in front of 80,000 people or getting a number 1 record. All those things were so exhilarating. Can I receive the same fulfilment from other parts of my life now that I’ve chilled out a lot more?

Billie Eilish, Khalid / lovely

This song was the first time I really took Billie Eilish seriously. That made me a fan. I thought she was talented before that, but I get put off by hyped things and she was so hyped that I just kind of switched off.

When I heard this though, it was just undeniable and she has absolutely nailed it. I thought the concept was brilliant, the melodies were amazing and how her and Khaled played against each other was really nice. I like to listen to it for inspiration now.

Jurassic 5 / What’s Golden

That song started my love for the style of music that I do; certainly the music Jordan and I (Rizzle Kicks) used to do. We were golden age hip-hop lovers and Jurassic 5 were kind of the main inspiration for a lot of the stuff that we did.

The free-flowing fun sensibility they have and the authenticity that’s in their instrumentation is something that rings really true to me. If a song inspires you that much to set off an entire career, it’s got to be on my playlist.

Harley Sulé was kind enough to create a full playlist which you can check out on our Spotify channel right here.

Whose playlist would you like to hear next? Let us know via our Instagram - DM's are always open.