THE awesome B Green has been telling me about…
his new single, Christopher Columbus, and its interesting story. I ask him what comes next and which artists he is inspired by; a few albums that mean a lot to him and whether there are any plans to tour and come to the U.K.
The Atlanta-based artist tells me why the city draws people in; how he manages to chills away from music; which artist he’d support given the chance; the advice he would give to artists emerging – B Green ends the interview by selecting a Prince classic.
Hi, B Green. How are you? How has your week been?
Good, no complaints. Focusing on promoting this record.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m B Green; a musician from Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) currently living in Atlanta, GA. I sing, rap; produce and play some instruments – I do a lot of things creatively. I just released a song, Christopher Columbus, and it’s getting a lot of positive feedback.
Christopher Columbus is your new single. What is the story behind it?
It’s me dismantling colonialism in a song. Taking Christopher Columbus, an icon of the West, to task for many of the atrocities carried out on his behalf and in his wake. It’s also a hard-hitting, Techno-savvy club song but hidden in the nuances and backstory are images that paint a very vivid picture.
I understand an album is coming. Can you reveal any themes and inspiration behind the songs?
I have an entire life’s worth of inspiration to draw from! Topics range from unrequited love, to being black in America; to the beauty of dreams, to being financially insecure - nothing is off limits. I like to write songs that are distinctly my own and ideally this album will be a representation of everything I have to offer as a creative.
As a Hip-Hop artist/M.C.; how important was Atlanta regarding your tastes and direction? What is the scene like there at the moment?
Atlanta is currently the epicentre for both Hip-Hop and Urban music’s consumption and creation. There’s no better place to be with regards to resources, competition; collaboration or any plethora of things. I love Atlanta because it’s unabashedly raw and African-Americans flock from across the country in attempts to grab a piece of the money that seems to be circling the city’s bubbling industries. It’s kept me on my toes and hungry because everybody seems to be only around the corner from the success they so desperately desire. I’m on the precipice and I like having Atlanta as a home base because it’s a big city but it’s slow and charming.
In terms of influences; which musicians did you grow up around?
I grew up listening to what my parents were listening to and that included a lot of old Soul classics like Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder; The Isley Brothers, Maze; Isaac Hayes and the likes. When I developed my own tastes, it was for guys with Pop sensibilities like Michael Jackson and Prince. I began playing the drums in church at eight-years-old and, as I grew older, I picked up the guitar out of admiration for guys like Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix. Writing poems was something I always did because I was an avid reader. Eventually, I decided to marry my poetry with my instruments and write some songs like my inspiration Bob Marley.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
Christopher Columbus will surpass a million streams on Spotify, which will allow us to set up a festival run throughout spring and summer of 2019. We’ll take the popularity from the streams and the momentum from the tour to release the debut album, Go, in the second half of 2019.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Four years ago, I was working on a lion share of songs over the holiday weekend with a close friend of mine. We, unfortunately, couldn’t afford to travel home and be with our families for Thanksgiving so we decided to turn that energy into creative energy and worked through the holiday. We grabbed a pre-cooked turkey and some sides from the local grocery store and ate Thanksgiving dinner in the studio. We proclaimed that we would remember the day we had to eat holiday dinner in the studio because we didn’t have any money to travel home and no friends to visit.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill
It was the first album that blew my mind as a child and, when I returned to it as an adult, it blew my mind again just in a different manner. There aren’t many perfect artistic creations in existence; I think it’s one of the few.
Late Registration by Kanye West
Because that was the album (when I knew) that I was positive there was nothing else that I was going to do with my life other than make music. That album is perfect, to me. I was young and smart and black and angry and this album helped me navigate my way through a lot of my teenage days.
Finally; I’ll have to say Thriller – Michael Jackson
Not for the same reasons as everybody else! When I was a small child, maybe eight-years-old, I discovered a dusty dubbed tape in the basement simply labelled Thriller and, being a curious child, I took the tape, found a Walkman and popped it in. I probably listened to that tape three hours a day for the next few years of my life. It was a perfect album to me. I stumbled on it by happenstance – but I loved it by nature. I saw something in this album and in music that I identified with deeply enough to make recreating the feeling my life’s passion.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Probably Stevie Wonder because I could cut loose on the guitar while he got down on the piano - and he has a catalogue full of classics.
My rider would probably entail a couple cases of water and a tray with a bunch of tiny little sandwiches – they take riders off the top of your take-home pay!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Stay focused because the race never goes to the swift but to those who endure.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
I’m piecing together a North American festival tour as we speak. I’ll be in the U.K. performing at a few festivals as well.
Might you come to the U.K. and perform?
I’m working on booking some festivals in the U.K. currently. So, you might see me there in the spring; fingers crossed.
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Can I recommend myself?
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Honestly; I like to solo over loops that I made for hours on end to unwind. Granted, it’s music but it’s a different part of the musical appendage. It’s not creative per se; it’s more open-ended and freeing. Soloing is awesome because it’s like painting a canvas that you never quite cover – there’s always more to be added.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I Would Die 4 U – Prince. One of my favourites
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