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There are a lot of talented rappers making a name for themselves in the UK music scene right now. One that certainly stands out is the North London rapper JBee. Leading the way for the Lofi Rap / Alternative Drill movement in the UK, there are no limits to what JBee can achieve in the game.
Having already made the official charts with his hit “4am” single, the talented young rapper hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down any time soon. He has instead continued to build on his viral hit with an incredible “Next Up” freestyle, and his latest solo single “Talking Stage”. Proving that he has the ability to be around for a very long time to come.
JBee took some time to sit down with us to talk about his career highlights so far, what his fans can expect from him in the future and much more.
First of all I want say congrats on your first ever show supporting A1 & J1 at the O2 Islington, how was it?
“It was actually a surreal moment for me. It was my first time performing so it was crazy. I performed three songs one was my “Next Up” they didn’t really know the words to that one too much, but as soon as they heard “4am” they just went crazy man, the DJ had to wheel it up and that, but yeah it was a surreal moment for me still.”
Following on from that you then had the chance to do your first ever overseas show in Barcelona too, what was that entire experience like for you?
“Yeah, that was mad too. I hadn’t been abroad in a long time, so being aboard for the first time in a couple years and performing with a crowd that doesn’t really know my music but them still getting lit to my songs was a good moment for me. My mum who’s my manager was there to see it, so that was great as well. For me to perform in a different country and to be received the way I was is amazing.”
I see that you also jumped on Kidwild’s “Popular Loner” remix, how did that collaboration come along, and how does the song speak to you?
“I really like Kidwild as a person. We met at an Arrdee event I think, and we just clicked straight away. When his people and him said that he wanted to do the remix and if I could jump on it, I was like yeah straight away. I feel like the whole popular loner thing is my kind of thing because I’m someone who isn’t always on social media and stuff, so it made sense for me to be on the remix and share my side of being a popular loner. But yeah, it was lit getting the chance to get on the remix he’s a cool guy still.”
Your latest solo release “Talking Stage” has already touched over 700k views without a music video, which is big. What was your creative process like making that song and what are your thoughts on talking stages?
“Talking Stage” is based on a real situation I went through. I wrote the song in the studio, and because I hadn’t dropped a single in a long time, I really wanted to get a new one out. I would say that it was a little bit rushed, but I feel like the fans needed some new music from me. That’s why we haven’t done a music video for it yet. I just felt like the fans needed music, and it was in high demand, so I felt like I needed to get it out there.”
“It’s a song that really resonates with me and my story. I think it even connects with my fans as well because they can relate to the experience too. It’s nice seeing my fans DM me telling me how they’ve gone through similar situations and can relate. It’s great having that kind of connection with them.”
So how do you feel about talking stages in general?
“I mean you have to go through a talking stage to get to a proper relationship, but I feel like sometimes it just drags on, and then things happen, and then you get guys like me making songs about it.”
What artists did you listen to a lot growing up, and is there anyone that inspired you to make music?
“Growing up, I listened to a bit of everything really. I feel like I listened to a lot of UK music, so I’d say artists like Krept & Konan, Stormzy, and Dave. Recently someone who’s really inspired me is Central Cee. Seeing his come up and where he is now is really inspiring. MoStack and J Hus are guys I’ve listened to a lot growing up too. Then for US rap, I listen to a lot of Drake & Meek Mill mostly.”
Everyone knows JBee the artist, but you’re also at college on a gap year right now and have a job, so how do you find time to balance all of that with your music?
“At first, when I was at college, I felt like because things weren’t as aggressive as it is now, I could manage it. But now I’m always in meetings, having to do things like go abroad to do shows and stuff like that. So that made me have to put college on pause and actually take my time to focus on music because that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. So it made sense for me to take that gap, but when the time is right, I’ll probably go back and finish off my course.”
“Taking the gap year has been really helpful so far. It’s given me the chance to do more shows, make more music, and meet new people. So yeah, I feel like it was the right decision to make to be honest.”
“4AM” was a huge song for you and peaked at 99 on the charts. At such a young age how does it feel that you accomplished this?
“Making the charts was a shock for me. We were aiming to get on the charts for a few months, and I think it was like in January we finally managed to so it. Doing that at my age is crazy, because there’s a lot of artists no shade or anything that have been working for many years and haven’t managed to get that accomplishment. So for me to be doing music for 3 to 4 years and manage to get on to the charts with like my first single that eventually popped off is a good look, and it’s a really great achievement.”
“Even my “Next Up” charted at #97 I think. So for my first ever “Next Up” to make the charts too is major for me as well.”
That leads me perfectly into my next question. We’ve seen a lot of viral sensations in the music scene. Recently you had an amazing “Next Up” freestyle that showed how much more you have in the locker. Can you tell me why JBee is going to be around for a very long time to come?
“I feel like my “Next Up” and “Talking Stage” proves that I’m not just going to be another viral sensation. Also my lyrical ability, I’m not just talking about anything, I’m talking about real-life situations in my music that people can relate to. I feel like that kind of music lasts for a long time. It’s not music for the moment because people go through the types of things I rap about all the time. So it makes sense that I’m not going to be just one-hit wonder and that I’m here to stay.”
I’ve heard that you’re very close with your family and that your mum is even your manager like you mentioned earlier. What role has she played in helping get to where you are in the music scene today?
“She’s been there from the start to be honest with you. I remember she wasn’t too fond of me doing music at first, but when I made my first single and showed her, she was like rahhh you’re actually talented! She’s friends with Guilty Beatz, he’s family, she brought him on board. She’s the reason I’m here today I’d like to say. When I couldn’t pay for studio sessions and music videos, she’d pay for them.”
“So yeah, it’s great having her in my corner, because having someone on your team that genuinely has your best interest at heart is the best thing you could ever ask for. I’m really happy that she’s on the team.”
Alright lastly, you’ve started off 2022 on fire. What’s the plan for the rest of the year? Can we perhaps expect a body of work from you this year?
“That’s the plan. Right now we’re working on getting an EP out maybe near the end of this year, but yeah from now, I’ve got one more feature coming out, and then from there singles until the EP lands.”
I’m sure your fans will be excited to hear that. Before we sign off is there anything else you want to let the people know?
“Yeah, I’d just like to say that everyone should stay tuned. It’s only the start for me I’ve got much more to come, so watch this space.”
Take in JBee’s latest single “Changed” with Crystal Millz below!
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