There’s a new wave of local MC’s making noise and amongst them stands B Wise, an African-Australian artist with a different story to tell. The son of an Aussie born Mum and Nigerian Dad, B Wise’s family bounced between rural NSW and Sydney’s South-Western suburbs, before finally settling in the latter; where he still calls home today. It was here that his love of music transformed from a side hobby into a full time labour of love.
He first paid dues in Sydney as part of the group K1 and then went out as a solo artist to now becoming one of the most promising Hip Hop artists in the country. Recently signed to Elefant Traks and with his “Semi Pro” EP just released, Grindin’ caught up with B Wise to discuss the journey he has been on thus far.
Who is B Wise?
A Hip Hop recording artist from South West Sydney
What are you earliest memories of music?
Playing records on my Dad’s AKAI, ranging from Michael Jackson, Bob Marley through to BT Express.
Who were your influences coming up?
You first got known as part of K1 how do you look back on those times?
I look back at those times with pride, knowing we did things that hadn’t been done yet in the Australian Hip Hop scene as African Aussie artists. We did some ambitious things at a young age and had a lot of fun doing it. We may not have found our unique sound and style then, but we got close. I learnt a lot from those years.
What did you learn most being in the group?
How to work with others. Think for the collective and not just yourself.
What were your views on the local Hip Hop scene back then compared to now?
That the scene may not have been accepting of people like me or the story I had to tell. Where as today, it’s the opposite. The local scene is a lot more accepting of new views and new styles of sound.
What made you decide to go the solo route?
My thinking at the time was different. I wanted to be 100% responsible for how my life would turn out so I felt I could only do that on my own.
How hard did you find it making music on your own compared to being in a group environment?
Writing songs definitely took longer. Working every angle of the writing yourself and not having anyone to bounce the ideas off was a bit hard to get used to, especially performing on your own.
Did you have any doubts that things were going to work out. What kept you motivated?
Not to sound over confident, but I never had any doubts and I still don’t. I just never knew when it was going to happen. So I just kept working and I still am, probably even harder now.
What was the turning point where you felt your solo career was starting to move in the right direction?
Somewhere between meeting my current manager Alexander Franco and people coming up to me on the street in other states telling me how they f*ck with my music.
Your “Semi Pro” EP dropped via Elefant Traks. How did your signing to the label come about and how have you found your time on there so far?
It came about when I got that first initial Twitter follow from the boss Tim Levinson ‘Urthboy’. We built up a friendship and then I ended up working with him on a track called ‘Running into the flames’ for his album. He and my manager eventually started to talk more where the interest was sparked and the rest is history.
What do you want the listener to take away after listening to your EP?
A feeling of relation to the lyrics they just heard. I hope they got to know me a little better and in turn will look forward to following my experiences through music.
You primarily make your music in the Dream Big studios with a collective of likeminded artists and producers describe the set up and working environment?
It’s very cool to be in a space with so many other musicians and creative minds who are ALWAYS working. It pushes you to work harder and you also know you can bounce ideas off them and we all give each other support on release dates.
Who should we be on the lookout for coming out of there?
What inspires you to make music?
I can’t say, besides the way it makes me feel when I create something from scratch. I just enjoy it.
How would you describe the B Wise sound?
Introspective, over head knocking production.
What one thing does Hip Hop in Australia need right now? Exciting new artists who have no filter.
What one producers beat would you most like to rap over and what one MC would you most like to rhyme on a track with?
Producer right now: Kaytranada
What advice would you give to young aspiring artists?
To make your dream a reality, set realistic goals and targets. Work hard towards them and trust your instinct. Take constructive criticism into account but don’t let it define you.
What does the future hold for B Wise?
More touring, More music, More progression. Sky’s the limit.
What’s your definition of Grindin’?
My definition is working and hustling to make something happen at any cost
Interview by Duggs.