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Be Very Aware features collabs from many of the usual suspects including Fliptrix, Verb T, Leafdog, Dike and Rag N Bone Man as well as an appearance from Kashmere one of our favourite UK rappers. From the get go this album is golden, opening with a cut from a wildlife documentary;
"For the beaver these are idyllic days and the true harshness of winter has not yet set in."
It's easy to hear the progression from his much earlier solo releases that can be found at the RLD bandcamp. The new material bangs hard with production from Leafdog and illinformed accompanied by a bag of new flows and heartfelt messages. Track 4 "Frontin' is one of our favourite beats on the album. With a smooth orchestral loop and deep lyrics its deserves a place at the top of any UK hip hop playlist.
Album Drops on 14/02/14, and can be pre ordered before that from the high focus website
BVA: Its pretty much a 50/50 split from leaf dog and illinformed, except for one beat from a guy called amdek aswell,
What artists did you listen to growing up that you feel have had an influence on your sound?
BVA: My mum used to listen to alot of reggae when i was younger that i listen back to now and realise it all had quite alot of rapping in it all so that was probably the first influence i can't remember much of that obviously but she said i particularly liked eek a mouse and freddie mcgregor. Then at about 10/11 ish i was getting into coolio, fugees, biggie, salt n pepa things like that, then as i got a bit older i got into wu tang, gangstarr, slick rick shit like that, first UK Hiphop thing i heard (other than mark morrison haha) was Countryman by Skitz when i was about 16, that definately inspired me to rap myself rather than just being a fan and was a real good introduction to what the UK had going on - taskforce, rodney p, skinnyman etc.
What was the name of the first release you featured on and how old were you at the time?
BVA: My first release was 'Lost but not Forgotten' as part of 'The 3 Amigos' which was me, leaf dog and a producer called naive in 2005. It featured the first track we ever recorded called 'the truth' and i was about 18 when it came out i think, maybe 19.
As well as your solo work, you're also a member of both 'The Four Owls' and 'BOTS' can we expect another album from either of these groups dropping this year?
BVA: There could definitely be another 4 owls album this year, we've started working on one. Me, leaf and illinformed have also been working on some stuff for a new Brothers of the stone album as well but you can expect a leaf dog album before that appears and leafs album will be out this year for sure.
What's been your favourite gig in the last year?
It has to be outlook festival 2013 really, its so much more than a gig, it was a holiday/festival with 2 gigs, we did a high focus boat party and a high focus showcase on the mainstage and apart from some miltitant security the vibes real good out there. It did leave me with a fear of high speed water sports, shouts to jam Baxter though the invincible man of steel!
What artists are worth keeping an eye for in 2014
BVA: Me and leaf are bringing out two guys on our label RLD Records called Smellington Piff and Jack Jetson there two new dudes that are gonna fuck shit up in 2014 for sure. There really is to many to mention though, anywhere i go north, south, abroard there's always talented rappers n groups it seems.
Do you have any advice for people starting out rapping, that you wish someone had told you.
BVA: I mean a lot of people told me a lot of things hahaha some good, some bad, and everyones path and life is different, eh, but my advice to someone starting out rapping in the UK would be do it original, don't chip anyones style, don't front/come across like a badman if you ain't, don't expect to get nothing you don't work for and don't expect to get rich. But really just enjoy doing it, keep at it and don't be afraid to push yourself and approach people, that's all you can do, there's a world full of people making music that want to connect and build all the time.
Favourite non hip hop artist or band?
BVA: ......Bob Marley
Favourite food (aside from the obvious tree stumps?)
BVA: Hahaha..pretty much any asian dish with duck in it, and i don't just mean duck with pancakes! i mean the extra-curricular shit!