Heads will know BVA from his role in 3 Amigos, Four Owls and Brothers Of The Stone. If you’re not familiar with him, get to know. Hopefully, our interview will bring some insight into this talented artist.
In the run up to the release of his debut solo album “Be Very Aware”, we caught up with BVA to ask him a bit about the album, his views on the world around him and what the future holds.
Our Review of Be Very Aware will be published tomorrow, and the album drops on 14th February on High Focus Records.
Hi BVA! First off, thanks for doing this interview. No doubt you’re doing a fair few and you’ve got a lot on your plate with your debut solo album just round the corner.
Speaking of the album; how long has this been in the making from concept to finish?
About 2/3 years I’d say, but there was definitely a 6 month period in there where I wrote the majority of the solo songs though, that’s when it really started taking shape.HHIE
When it came to matching beats with verses, how did you do it? Writing to a specific beat, or writing first and finding a beat to suit your words?BVA
I nearly always hear the beat then write something that fits to that style ‘n mood sort of thing. Some people say they hear music in colours which represents that mood or vibe, like a song’s yellow or red or whatever, so I try and write something that matches to the beat in that way and the beat obviously dictates the flow to an extent.HHIE
You more or less kick off the album with a strong stance towards being yourself – clearly something that’s important to you. Is this because you think a lot of people lack this quality and need a kick up the arse, or is it meant in an inspirational way?BVA
It’s meant in an inspirational way, and to help me at that time when I wrote it and you if it helps you sort of thing, that’s why in the first song I say “record my thoughts for my benefit and maybe yours” I was kicking myself up the ass when I wrote it! (Laughs)HHIE
How easy is it for you to apply some of the things you rap about to your life outside your music? (For example: honesty, being yourself, and not selling out)BVA
I mean I’m always just rapping about my life ‘n shit anyway so it’s all the same but I’m only human and definitely not perfect and fuck shit up just like everyone eh. Like I remember writing a bar back in the day that was like “fuck flipping burgers for a living just to cash a cheque in” and then proceeded to flip burgers for a job for years! that always made me laugh, and I’ve definitely contradicted myself a few times over the ten years I’ve been doing this or whatever but I mean what I say and I say what I mean!HHIE
“Frontin’” sees you have a dig (and rightly so) at posers and fakers. Was this intended to be aimed at a specifc group, or a poke at anyone fitting this category in the world in general?BVA
It’s aimed at anyone fitting the category, not just some rap shit or some people in particular. I think i was in the park one day, must a been some girls about or something causing all the dudes to act like idiots and start frontin’ and acting up etc. (Laughs) That was the inspiration to start writing it anyway.HHIE
One of our favourites on “Be Very Aware” is “This Love Is Love. Astute verses, and a catchy hook. Can you sum up your attitutude towards some of the polished, squeaky-clean commercial music that’s floating around?BVA
My attitude is that its wack! Go home with that fisher price shit! And it’s sad coz I’ve seen so many artists that I’ve known personally or know of get jaded by it and drawn towards to light in one way or another. If its what you wanna do then do it that’s cool, that’s making music, just sometimes it’s a bad influence on people if you ask me. Unfortunately when someone gets that mainstream or popular they tend to become a puppet for the majors, then they’re just being used for their skill/name not their creativity/originality any more. I think the UK’s very proud musically anyway and quite resilient to all that mainstream bullshit, or definitely a large majority of us.HHIE
“Gifted” is a great track, packing great verses from you and Verb T. You say “I keep the track aggy, but me, I’m a peacekeeper.” You’ve always struck me as a chilled guy, but with powerful passion and venom on the mic. Is rapping your way of letting off some steam?BVA
Definitely, writing raps is like meditating for me I think. It’s definitely relaxing writing anyway. But I am generally a calm, peaceful person (or at least try to be) that likes to get hyped as fuck on stage and on the mic etc.HHIE
Since you’re now an established artist, and you’re working for one of the UK’s leading Hip Hop labels, what advice would you lend to younger heads looking to make their own music?BVA
Make music because it makes you happy and you enjoy doing it, not because you think it’s gonna make you rich and you’ll be fine. If you wanna rap, learn to freestyle, it keeps you sharp, and is the essence of MCing but very different to writing completed songs.HHIE
Even though we’ll be bumping the album for the forseeable future, do you have any other projects in the pipeline?BVA
Me and Leaf are putting out 2 new guys on our label RLD Records very soon. The two releases will be ‘Jack Jetson – The Adventures of Jonny Strange’ and ‘Smellington Piff – Notice of Eviction’. Me and Leaf feature on both the releases and they are all strictly Leaf Dog production and gonna fuck shit up for sure!
I am also working on Brothers Of The Stone and Four Owls material as well. Leaf Dog also has a new album coming in 2014 which is sounding heaty trust me! And I feature on a few tracks on that too.
Many thanks to BVA and High Focus for the interview. We hope our readers are ready for the album. Remember:
our review is out tomorrow with all the details Our Review is out now! You can already pre-order the album on High Focus Records.