Flavour talks to Bigz who has come back with a bang, following his recently released mixtape “Quantum Leap.’ Lyrically one of the best rappers in the scene and one of the most respected. His single ‘I Just Want The Paper,’ has been receiving massive air play, and has been included in Radio 1Xtra DJ Twin B’s, ‘Best Of British.’ Flavour’s Shireen Fenner sits down with the big man to talk
How would you describe your personality?
Bigz is Bigz, God fearing, try to be wise, practical joker. I like laughing. I care about my family. I’d like to think of myself as a really honest and genuine person. I play the big brother figure to a lot of people.
You’ve been in the scene for a long time putting in work. Whilst you have always had a fan base, why do you think you’re starting to get a lot more recognition now?
It’s got a lot to do with consistency; I’ve put in a lot of work. I’ve got better people involved now as well, better management and generally a better situation. I’m feeling good; I’m feeling the music I’m making. I’m feeling like everything is working in my favour because everything is good right now, and it will continue to get better.
You’re no stranger to tragedy. How have events in your life shaped you into the artist you are today?
It makes you mature very quickly. It makes you think about your situation and life. It made me think about what I wanted to do in life, music has always been my first love and my passion, and so I’ve channeled it from a negative into a positive. You never get over these things, people say do you ever get over it, no you don’t, you just learn to get on with it. It’s made me a better person and a better artist as well. You have to live in order to be able to talk about your experiences. An artist has to be an entertainer, but there has to be a message and a story, I think a lot of people are interested in my actual story, because there is a lot to it.
In your home country of Nigeria, there have been problems based on religion and ethnic boundaries. Do you believe music can be a positive force for change? And do you intend on using your music to bring about change?
A lot of people say that religion is a problem, but a lot of it has to do with money as well. It’s like what Lauryn Hill said, ‘It could all be so simple, but you choose to make it hard.’ I do want to use my music to make a change. I feel like I do try to put an overall positive message in my music. Whatever religion you are it doesn’t matter, we all believe in God. Ok some don’t, but everyone has to love one another. Love and respect for other human beings only brings you back good, what you put out you get back.
Where do the ideas for your songs come from?
I think about experiences and how emotionally I was feeling at that time. Whether it is a good time or a bad time, whether it be falling in love, or falling out of love, having a fight and making up and settling differences.
When ‘I Just Want The Paper,’ came about I was feeling swaggy. It was kind of like saying, ‘Yo you lot can just do what your doing and be excited by stupid and frivolous things, but I Just Want The Paper, I’m out to get mine, and I’m fully focused.’
Where do you feel your strengths as a lyricist lie, content, wordplay or flow?
I think I’m a good all-rounder. I think the intelligent man makes the better MC lyrically. I’m always trying to do something different, I just try to kill it, I try and over kill it, I try and kill it three times. So I think between the flow, delivery, content and the wordplay, you have to pay attention to small details, its very important. That can make the difference between a great rapper, and someone that’s not so good. I think I tick all boxes really. I read a lot of books and research a lot of things and watch a lot of television that a lot of people probably wouldn’t watch. I’m interested in history like warfare, and Roman and Greek history.
How has the feedback been following ‘Quantum Leap’?
It’s been fantastic. I’m pretty grounded and I always see it as there is work to be done. Even if it’s massive, which it has been, the response has been crazy, but I want it to be more. It’s something that a lot of people need to hear; it’s what’s been done independently as well. I think the music rivals some of the best music in the world right now, I honestly think that. But I think it’s something that I want more and more people to hear, the response has been fantastic, but it could always be better. But I’m very happy.
Having been an integral part of the industry for such a long time is there anyone new out there that’s worth looking out for, that gets the ‘Flygerian,’ salute.
There is a singer called Jareth, she’s on a track of mine along with Professor Green, I mean her voice is amazing. Obviously I got to look out for all my Eurogang members, Villain, Haze, Mega and Mayhem. My little brother as well, he is part of the Flygerian movement. He’s coming with a lot of heat right now; he’s going to be a problem when he’s launched. A rapper called Ikes; he’s a great artist too.
Words by Shireen Fenner