Kilwinning musician Mark McGhee insists his hip hop act Jackal Trades is still a work in progress despite being a finalist at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards, writes Kevin Dyson.

The wordsmith has fronted genre hopping group, The Girobabies, for the last decade. He started Jackal Trades a few years ago in order to fully embrace the hip-hop infusions that were already part of the Giros' musical gumbo.

He told the Times: “I do not take the artform lightly. I want to do it justice but it’s a work in progress and Girobabies is already at a different level creating a sound we worked hard at honing. People now expect a certain calibre of music from Girobabies. 

"With Jackal Trades, nobody even really knows who we are yet. So I am free to take a lot more risks and make a whole new sound without any baggage or pre-conceptions.”

And he is keen to push what he says as an ever burgeoning Scottish hip hop scene. 

He said: “The talent and network is in place for the whole [Scottish] scene to take off but we need fans and press to get behind us and give artists a chance . There is a lot of rubbish rap music in Scotland but there is also a handful of real Hip Hop emcees that are as good as anyone anywhere."

Jackal Trades faces off against Solareye, The Honey Farm and Kobi Onyama in the Scottish Alternative Music Awards 2018 Hip Hop category on October 25.

To vote for Jackal Trades click here.

Don't miss our extended interview with Mark in next week's Irvine Times.