Interview: Bang On!
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In the world of UK hip hop Bang On! is an island - cut off, untouched and “evolving in different way” to the mainstream. From a city with no scene, friends with no interest in hip hop and no links to the industry the Liverpudlian MC has been left to forge his own sound. TNS sat down with him last month to discuss his imminent debut album Sic.. Liverpool isn’t exactly synonymous with hip-hop, but somehow the North West port-city has birthed one of the freshest new artists on the UK scene. The fact that the city has nothing to do with hip hop as a whole has seen Bang On! become something a little different. “I genuinely think that I am really isolated in a sense, and that is a really good thing. On the Galapagos Islands and Madagascar, you get lemurs because millions of years ago it broke off from the continent so things evolve in a different way to the mainland. It’s like that in a sense, I have sort of been untouched and uninfluenced by shit influences, be it money, be it a scene. In other places a music career seems like something that might happen, but round here (Liverpool) it seems like it will never happen so I think it has allowed me to be 100% true instead of having these influences.” A Liverpudlian MC is definitely a novelty, and one that is getting as much attention in some quarters as the music being made. Does this geographical focus get a bit annoying? “It’s not annoying, if anyone is asking me questions about myself it’s flattering. To be honest, I haven’t had anyone disrespecting me. I haven’t had anyone say ‘so you’re from Liverpool, do you sign-on and steal things?’ Everyone’s been sound about it. If it is something that gives me oxygen in promo terms then it’s not really harming me is it?” “Everyone from Liverpool thinks that Liverpool is better than the rest of the world. So it’s like asking someone with a 12-inch knob, ‘Are you embarrassed about your 12-inch penis?’ Why would they be?” Bang On! revealed himself to the rest of the world with the dubstep-infused aural kick in the balls of ‘Hand’s High’ – a tune so ‘banging’ that it was picked as the only tune from an unknown artist for the ultimate party-movie Project X. It announced the arrival of an artist who doesn’t play by the rules. “I’ve never been into any scene. The idea of any scene is a bit cringeworthy, well not cringeworthy as such but I have never really been into that sort of thing really. I have not relied on a community. These people are not even my friends, it’s not like they are saying ‘why aren’t you doing this?’ I don’t even know them, I have always just had my core group of mates. I have never been about being a career musician. Even the people ‘keeping it real’ have still got the thing where they are setting out to be a musician, throwing their shit in everybody’s face. I have just never been on that.”
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