Get To Know: Barney Artist
Down to earth for how amazingly talented he is - get to know the East London rapper in our latest introducing interview...
What we first realised about Barney Artist is that we want to be friends with him. From his humour to his humbleness - he just seems like a great guy. What we realised immediately after is how well this humble persona translates into his effortless flows, charming storytelling and all together refreshingly sweet approach to UK rap.
Having started in humble beginnings rapping to his chidhood friend Alfa Mist's productions years ago, he's now found his style and has effortless confidence in it. He rides smooth and colourful jazz beats, with some extra help from the likes of Jordan Rakei - and uses them to tell captivating stories.
His new album Home Is Where The Art Is will be out on Friday the 21st, and he will be on a headline tour across October - and you can see him for yourself playing London Oslo on 22nd. In the meantime you can check Barney Artist's just released 'Breakdown Cover' music video right here and then Get To Know him in our latest introducing interview below!
1) For those who don’t know about you and your music, tell us a little bit about who you are and where you’re from…
Well hello my name is Barney (yep probably the coolest rap name you've heard) I'm a rapper from Forest Gate in East London.. I kind of just try and be honest in my music which can be a bit of a rarity in the current hip-hop climate.. I like salt and vinegar crisps, ice cold bottles of Coronas and watching episodes of My Wife and Kids on YouTube
2) Describe your sound in three words…
Vibey, Jazzy and Honest… actually I'm gonna change vibey to nang.. It's nang.. yeah.. Nang, Jazzy and Honest
3) Who inspired you to start a career in music?
My best friend Alfa Mist (A very talented producer/rapper)… I've known him since I was three and he was that annoying friend that was talented at everything.. anyway he started playing piano at college and started making hip-hop beats.. I started rapping to them.. I was horrendous but caught the rapping bug and just kept at it.. I'm not bad at this music thing now so good times
4) Who are your biggest musical influences?
Ermm firstly I'd say Kano, I grew up in the same area as him and always marvelled at his star power.. he's like an older brother that doesn't quite know that he's my older brother.. an incredible writer and rapper
Secondly I'd say Ghostpoet, His ability to paint pictures sonically is something that really inspired me.. also his vulnerability is something that I try to apply to my music.. He’s been an amazing mentor
Thirdly I'd say Kendrick Lamar.. to be honest I was obsessed with Kenny.. I used to watch every interview, listen to every song and I think really connected to his ability to bring you into his world effortlessly.. he's going to be remembered as one of the greats for years to come.
5) Tell us about the writing and recording process for your new album Home Is Where The Art Is…
My album took about 2 years to complete.. I wrote it after going through a breakup with the love of my life (sheds a tear.. gangsta tear but a tear none the less) but yeah I decided to create an album about my relationship with women and I recorded it with Rick David at Pink Bird Recording Co. he's been a big part of my career and he executively produced the album with me
6) What can we expect from your live shows?
A lot of energy, vibes and vulnerability I can't lie I'm really proud of my live show.. me and my DJ "Chux" aka The Sickest DJ alive put a lot of time and effort in to the layout of our live show.. I think it's really important to!
7) What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
I think my family being proud of me to be honest.. I'm really close with them and we've come from a tough place so I love when they say they are proud of me.. it makes it worthwhile for me.. I love them to pieces
8) Have you met anyone and been totally starstruck?
Yep.. I was working in a shoe shop and Martin Freeman walked in.. I'm pretty sure my legs turned into jelly.. lovely bloke to be fair.. shout out to man like Martin
9) What’s on your iPod/playlists that people wouldn’t expect?
ABBA.. don't ask.. I'm not up for explaining anything, ok? GOOD!
10) When can we see you live?
I've got my first headline tour in October so please come down and have a pint with me!!
Want to see Barney Artist perform live? You can grab tickets for his upcoming tour right HERE!
Words by Alex Beach