Br3nya talks new single “Plenty”
We’d been patiently waiting for another punchy verse from one of the UK’s hottest rising rap-stars. So, when Br3nya treated us to a new single and visual for “Plenty” all in the space of a week – whilst under a global quarantine – it’s safe to say we were relatively spun.
Jumping in the studio with frequent collaborator C.Biggz for her first offering of 2020, Br3nya brings her characteristic boisterous energy to the bass-heavy, Bashment-inspired summer-anthem. This utterly infectious track marks a continuation of the wave Br3nya brought in 2019, which saw the then budding rapper progress from releasing singles, to opening up for Stormzy’s “Merky Festival” and even headlining her own debut show accompanied by a supporting line-up of friends Darkoo and Alicai Harley. With the release of “Plenty” we see Br3nya poised for another successful year, with an ever-impressive work-rate and a clear drive to have her music heard at shows everywhere in the city by the time lockdown is lifted.
For now, the self-shot visual for “Plenty” provides us a window into Br3nya’s life in quarantine, both highlighting the imaginative ways she’s keeping herself occupied, and setting the record straight that she has no plans for slowing down in 2020. Below, NBGA got the chance to chat with Br3nya about “Plenty’s” girl-boss narrative, her plans for 2020 post-quarantine, and her definition of what it means to be a non-basic girl. Be sure to check out the visual for “Plenty” whilst you’re down there – it’s an un-skippable one for your summer playlists no doubt!
Hey Br3nya! I guess I should start by asking how you’ve been holding up under lockdown?
I’ve been alright – It’s felt a little weird, but I’m more of a homebody anyway so it’s not so bad for me. I guess it’s been restricting for me as a creative, not being able to shoot music videos and knowing that people won’t be able to enjoy my music outside for a while.
You’ve been keeping busy at home shooting the video for your new single “Plenty”. Did you self-shoot all the visuals?
Yeah – I drew a lot of inspiration from Beyonce’s 7/11 music video – I wanted to make the visuals feel as playful as possible so I had to use my imagination quite a bit. I guess me twerking in a tree could be used as an example haha! I knew it was something outrageous and daring that would add to the excitement of a home-video. The same with the scene on my balcony, I just wanted to put on my swimsuit and imagine I was on holiday chilling by the pool and looking ‘boujee’. I’m glad with how it came out and I think it was a good opportunity to show off my creative side.
“Plenty” has a real girl-boss narrative, it’s all about self-empowerment; can you tell us a little bit about the creative process behind recording the track?
I was at the studio and honestly…i’d been drinking a little, so I was already on a wave. CBiggz and I we’re going through some beats, then he played me the beat for “Plenty” and I just started messing around with it. I’ll admit, the hook came about whilst I was still messing around. I didn’t think Biggz even liked what I was doing at the time because I wasn’t being serious, but everyone ended up really loving the track, so I decided to release it.
London and Rap are two words that are synonymous in my mind nowadays. In recent years, the genre has been firmly built into the fabric of our culture. How do you think growing up in the city has inspired your sound?
I think being from London allows you to inherit an understanding of a mixture of cultures – as it’s a melting pot. For instance, I grew up listening to so many different styles of music; from 90’s Hip-Hop, to R’n’B mixed with Ghanaian Hiplife and UK Garage. When I was in my teens, Bashment began to have a huge impact on me, especially when we’d go out to party – or “shoobs” as we used to call it back then. Growing up here, I now understand that that’s at the core of what London rap culture is, it’s the musical experience all wrapped into one thing. I’d say where I’m from definitely comes out in my music quite naturally.
You’re coming up amongst a generation of talented female rappers who are all putting their stamp on the UK scene in their own way. Do you have any peers in particular who are inspiring you right now?
I’ve had the pleasure of working with a good few talented females already! I’d love to get back in the studio with some of them and collaborate again. I loved working with Alicai Harley and Ms Banks – I think if we got the chance to work on some more tunes the link-up’s would be mad!
“Plenty” is definitely a turn-up tune for the summer. Hopefully when we all get the chance to go out, we’ll be hearing it blasting at parties all over the city – you must be excited to perform it live? Do you have any shows planned for once the lockdown is lifted?
Oh for sure, I think that’s the main thing I’m struggling with right now, not being able to perform the song or hear it live in action. Once the lockdown is over, I guess it’s going to be down to event’s planners to decide whether artists can start rescheduling the shows we we’re previously booked for and get back out there – for now though, they’ve all been cancelled.
What’s Br3nya’s 2020 looking like post-quarantine? Will we be hearing a project from you before the year is out?
Girl, it’s looking like a 2020 takeover – lots of new music and if you’re lucky you may be hearing a project of mine before the year’s done…. that’s if you’re lucky haha!
Lastly, in your words, what does it mean to you to be non-basic?
I think being non-basic is being yourself, owning who you are, and most importantly taking risks in life because you only live once – make the most of it.
Br3nya got you feelin’ too trendy?
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COVER IMAGE: Courtesy of Dawbell PR
TEXT: Tahirah Thomas