Bemz Interview

Glasgow-based rapper Bemz has released his new EP Saint Of Lost Causes, featuring 7 incredibly raw and honest original tracks. The record successfully portrays Bemz’s ability to share his stories, experiences and views through eloquent lyrics and memorable music.

We recently caught up with Bemz to talk all things music. We asked him to tell us about Saint Of Lost Causes in the run up to its release, and what working with the incredible Kobi Onyame on the EP was like. He also told us about his love for Glasgow and how much he misses sharing his music through live shows.

Have a read of the full interview below.

Firstly, how are you doing during all the madness of 2020? 

Hi, 2020 has been a mental year for me. From trying to sane through out Corona to expecting my first child. It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride but I’m grateful for the gift of life. 

You’re due to release your new EP Saint of Lost Causes on Wednesday (28/10/2020). Could you tell us a bit about the record?

Yeah the ep is basically my life for the last 2 years, but over instrumentals. It’s a diary of emotions and I hope people can hear it: there are 7 tracks and each of them hold a special place in my heart. 

In the EP’s opening track, you talk about growing up as a ‘black kid in a white city.’ Where did you grow up and do you enjoy living in Glasgow?

I am Nigerian by birth and spent a lot of my adolescent life in London. I moved up to Stranraer (Scotland) when I was 14 and I’ve been here ever since. It’s been a emotional experience both good and bad but we made it. That line is also a reference to my previous mixtape called black kid white city as well. Being in Glasgow has been fantastic for me, I moved from Stranraer to Ayr then to Glasgow so now I’m here I appreciate every opportunity this city has to offer. 

Can you tell us about what your experience as a black musician in Glasgow been like? 

It’s very interesting because, Scotland as a whole is somewhere that rap music isn’t held in high regards. Or should I say Scottish rap music. So trying to break through and get noticed is tricky. But I’ve met some amazing musicians and cool people here so that I’m also grateful for. 

You had the chance to work with Kobi Onyame on the record. What was that like?

That was a mental experience for me as Kobi is someone I look up to in the music industry in Scotland. To be able to get a co-sign from him is something I will never forget, especially for the lead single of my full ep! 

The final track on the EP is called ‘Quarantine’. I assume that’s inspired by recent events. Can you tell us about that? 

Yeah, so that came about with me writing during lockdown and I just had a lot to say about the situation within the Scottish rap scene. I was using a app the guys at up2standard made and I had to freestyle about King. From then it led to me writing a track based around these so called king of rap here and I felt it was a good statement piece to end my ep on. 

In your opinion, does rap allow you to put across specific views, messages or stories more effectively than other genres? 

As someone who listens to a wide range of music, I don’t think so but it just happens to be the genre I find my comfort in. There’s rock – techno music that I find comfort in and also messages in so all form of music is good for that (when used in that context) but for me the poetry in rapping is a perfect form of therapy.

Do you miss playing live shows? What your plans for when we are finally back to normal?

Words can’t describe how much I miss performing! Being up on stage and seeing people vining to my music is fantastic! I hope it comes a time we can do that again and be able to share the excitement of music with other people. Once we get back to “normal” I plan to just keep making music and hopefully play as much shows as possible. Hopefully get my name out there more and get more listeners.

Facebook: @Jubemi1 

Twitter: @Jubemi1

Instagram: @Jubemi1 

Published by orla_brady

I write things about music for The Music Files Blog and isthismusic? Always open to review new bands/artists wherever you're from and whatever you do. I also write articles for The Glasgow Guardian and The Indiependent and dabble in creative fiction writing.

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