I've always found that when it comes to an artist trying to find their way in the vast jungle that is the music industry, they've got to really standout to become noticed. The amount of rappers that pass through with gimmicks and an attitude that they are the greatest emcee to ever touch a mic is huge, and it's not often that you find someone who has the talent as well as being humble.
Today we have an exclusive premiere from one of the UK's most humble up and coming emcee's (and in my opinion, the most hard working too), Bugzy Malone, who has put together an exciting video series to accompany the release of his latest project The Journal Of An Evil Genius: Volume 1. The compelling sequence of visuals depict a gruesome story, with Bugz as the main character, which plays out like a mini movie showing the trials and tribulations that he goes through. The first episode in this six part series is premiered today, with the following videos releasing every Monday for the next 6 weeks, whilst the complete mixtape will be released halfway through on February 10th. To get a better idea for who Bugzy Malone really is, and to introduce him to you before you watch the first episode, we sat down with the young emcee to get an idea of who exactly he is, and what he has in store for us.
EARMILK: Hey Bugzy, for anyone that’s unfamiliar with yourself, could you give us a little background on yourself and the journey you’ve taken into music?
Bugzy Malone: My journey into music is an interesting one, in a nutshell I've always been artistic in every sense of the word in fact my first works of art were drawings and paintings. I'm somebody that feels strongly about expressing myself and documenting my journey through life and it wasn't until I stumbled across Music and song writing that I felt I'd found the perfect way to tell my story and express my true emotions. I have had a very colourful past and have managed to document almost everything.
EM: Speaking of that colourful past, what kind of effect did the gang life that you’ve left have on you and do you feel it shaped the artist that you are today?
BM: The term gang life is one I'm not very fond of. I think due to the nature of my story telling style of songwriting, I feel my past in general has shaped me as an artist, not just my time spent in gangs.
EM: Are there any artists that you look up to or get influenced by, or are you more about trying to forge your own style?
BM: I get asked this question a lot, it's a hard one, and it's not that I'm too proud to give another artist props because I have massive respect for all good music. I'd say it's because I'm a fan of great music from any genres and a firm believer in originality so I try my hardest to create a unique style and come up with out of the box concepts.
EM: You're not just a rapper, as you have your own tee shirt out too. Do you see Bugzy Malone as more of a rounded brand as opposed to just another rapper from the streets?
BM: I don't think I'm quite the finished article but yes I'd definitely say I'm moving in the direction of a rounded brand, mainly because being a creative person I find it hard not to be hands on in every aspect of each of my projects.
EM: Whilst we're talking about your projects, tell us, what exactly is The Bugzy Malone Show?
BM: With one of the main topics of my music being my life experiences and my stage name being Bugzy Malone, I guess 'The Bugzy Malone Show' just felt like an accurate representation of the brand.
EM: You're premiering your Journal Of An Evil Genius series through us, which will see you drop 6 new music videos across 6 weeks. What made you want to do a series like this, and what can we expect from the upcoming videos?
BM: I normally watch a lot of films in the lead up to making a new record and writing storyboards for videos and stuff but I started to find some films too long and hard to follow and eventually ended up watching a lot of films in parts, so I started to watch television series in episodes and found them much more interesting and easier to follow. In the lead up to this project I was watching a series called 'Heroes' and it's profound yet consistent story left me feeling compelled to keep watching. I thought incorporating this idea with my new project and making episodes that all tied in was the perfect way to tell this story, all I can say is from these up and coming videos expect the unexpected, this hasn't been done before.
EM: The mixtape, The Journal Of An Evil Genius Vol.1 will be released mid way through the series on the 10th February, what can listeners be expecting from the project, and do you feel that this is your best work to date?
BM: Writing this record basically felt like a creative way to write my diary and to document what have turned out to be some of my most challenging situations. Listeners can expect one of the most intricately detailed stories they've ever heard in a musical format.
EM: Have you worked with any particular producers or emcees on this project, and if so, what drew you to working with them?
BM: I worked with producers Ali Karim, Blinkie and Sulker mainly because I connected with them as people and each of them make really powerful music.
EM: Is there any track or mixtape within your repertoire that you would recommend to any of our listeners that are feeling The Journal Of An Evil Genius Vol. 1?
BM: I would definitely recommend "Hip Hop Heavy Metal", mainly because it's a personal favourite of mine and the mixtape Lost In Meanwhile City simply because I feel it's a timeless body of work.
EM: One last question, and I know it’s impossible to predict the future, but what does 2014 have in store for Bugzy Malone, and where do you see yourself growing from here?
BM: Me and the team are in the process of planning my next project as we speak, and for me this is all about the artwork. Not only will i grow as an artist but the artwork will grow in production value and creativity. I'd like to tke this opportunity to say a big thank you to my team who've made this project what it is today. My camera man/graphic designer Matte , producer/engineer Hey Gamal and also Phaze One & Joss from Wired PR.
With the introductions and formalities over with, "Serial Killer" is the song that Bugzy has chosen to start the story off, and the visuals that accompany the track completely set the mood for the rest of the series. As a hauntingly soft vocal sample starts to linger around, and Bugz begins to talk about previous projects, the anticipation grows before deep kicks burst through and the young Mancunian starts to spit with the kind of passion and aggression that has seen him build up his reputation on the UK scene. Lyrically, he comes with some of his hardest, and darkest bars to date, but my favourite part is that the flow he possesses allows him to tell the story in a way that intrigues the listener and compels them to listen to the narrative. The visuals that follow this track are equally dark and mysterious, as Bugz stands dressed head to toe in black as he spits his bars, as the camera cuts from shots of him in a dark room, to ones of him on the rooftops in the city. It starts to make you wonder what exactly is he planning in the video, and the anticipation for part two grows to an unbearable level.
What Bugzy has presented to us in this series is not just another collection of music videos; it's a personal insight into his own life and what he has to deal with, all done in a hugely professional way, especially when you put it into perspective that he's not even signed to a label. You can watch part one of the series below, and be sure to keep your eyes and ears locked onto EARMILK next Monday for the second episode, which will be exclusively released via our site.
The Journal Of An Evil Genius Vol.1
- 10th February, 2014