The Official Charts (UK) are in an interesting place. Recently, the success of artists such as Ramz and Not3s, are giving the platform some much needed local flavor. Afro-swing is sweeping the nation, and now this is being reflected (somewhat) in the weekly list of “whats hot”. Following Ramz’s mammoth of a rise with Barking, it appears that Hackney’s B Young may be about to replicate that success. Jumanji, his latest single is flying up the charts (currently at #14) and is expected to crack the top 10. As B Young embraces his rapid breakthrough, LØST CULTURE caught up with him to talk his newfound rise, criticism of Afro-swing and more.
Give us a brief introduction B Young
So, I’m a rapper from Hackney, East London. I’ve been doing this for about 11 years, this isn’t a new thing. My first song was released on Youtube at 15, and I’m just excited to do this man.
Congrats on the top 15, how does it feel to receive so much success so early on into the release?
Really good man. It was so unexpected. We did this all in my house, in my room where I have a studio, so it’s crazy to see how far the singles come. Even with the video, it was all done organically with me and my bro, it’s a lot to take in honestly.
Did you feel anything different with this single than other releases that let you know “this is the one”?
You know, even though this was unexpected, when we did put the visuals together and even laying down the track, it all happened so naturally and smoothly. That’s the only thing I can think of, besides that it was so normal because we record all the time.
How did the song come about, what / who influenced it?
Honestly, I just make music in my room all the time. I received the instrumentals from Antiwave, and this was the vibe that night. Literally, so random, off the top how I was feeling. I record whenever I feel a vibe, mood or just inspiration.
So with the surprise success of Jumanji has this changed plans a little bit?
Of course, we didn’t know this was gonna be the one that stuck so hard. Now that we’ve made a little noise the release plan has become a bit more in-sync and targeted. It’s a good thing, but because we record all the time we have a stash of singles which are at this level ready to drop. I just feel like I want to connect more and keep this up.
Switching gears a little, obviously, Jumanji is Afro-swing influenced and there’s a huge movement in the UK with that right now. Who are some of your favorites?
Obviously, there’s so much going on right now Not3s, Ramz, Hus all doing it big for the culture. Where I’m from in Hackney, there’s always been that influence growing up, it’s nice to see that grow.
Some people would say that this Afro-swing movement is redundant in terms of the beats/music in general, what would your response to this criticism be?
To me personally, it’s a good vibe and time, you can’t get enough good vibes. It’s something to look forward to and you can’t kill that, we’re all gonna be inspired and make of it what we will. I think ultimately it’s just a good moment right now.
Has signing to Columbia affected plans for projects or anything?
No, signing to Columbia definitely saw other labels even gain interest. But in terms of project plans, I just wanna secure my place and build my fan base. I want people to go back, listen to the music before because it’s all out there, and also I wanna drop more singles to show what I’m about. 2018 is about keeping it simple, I am considering an album but I want that buzz before I drop any projects.
You obviously mentioned that you’ve been involved in music for 11 years, but when did you start to take it seriously?
*pauses* I’m gonna say the end of 2016. I had a little collection of songs and I felt it was the progress that I’d made while recording that pushed me to do this for real. I even made a plan to release a song every four weeks into 2017 and since Febuary of that year, I didn’t really stop.
Have other artists in the game shown you love so far?
Chip has shown a lot of love with this single and the one before (Been Wavey) on Snap. Others I’ve seen shout me out are Geko, Dave, Giggs on Insta. There’s a lot of support out there which I appreciate.
Are there any live shows on the way?
Yeah, I have a good amount of live sessions planned they are usually promoted on Insta. I have a few regular live shows, May Weekender and other things in the works, once they are confirmed I can announce.
Any weird/shocking incidents since Jumanji blew up?
Yeah, in Leicester actually. It was my first ever PA and I didn’t know what to expect. Everyone was going crazy and it made me realise that somethings going right. You don’t notice how big your song is until you visually see the impact.
What would you say to people that critique or question your abilities as an artist?
I would say that I have enough work out there for those that do question anything to go back and look over. I’m on the Spotify‘s, Youtube etc and it’s literally all there to put those questions to bed
Lastly, some aspirations for the next few months?
I want to top Jumanji in terms of success, I want growth – hopefully international, and to be on more stages connecting with my fans man.
Catch B Young‘s current hit Jumanji below:
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