Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 14 January 2013

Plan B: Mercury Nominated Rapper Reaps The Benefits Of His Ever-Shifting Musical Landscape

Sometimes it must seem that if your name is Ben Drew and you release anything under the nom de plume of Plan B, then everyone and their granny will claim to have you pigeonholed not only as an artist, but as an individual too.


It sure don"t help when said artist is openly honest in interviews about his hopes, fears and goals.

It also puts backs up when an artist gains cult-status but is so talented and driven that being head of a clique is only a stepping stone to mass recognition.

Ben Drew won"t have it said that his ever-shifting musical landscape is in anyway bandwagon jumping:

"I was making (soul) music before Mark Ronson made his name, before Amy Winehouse made hers."

But then again the mass success of his second album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, wasn"t the true face of Ben Drew .. he was playing a character, that of a fictional British soul singer imprisoned for a crime he didn"t commit.



The album followed hot on the heels of his debut, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words; a bleep-heavy, anger-driven, realism-encrusted postcard from an inner-city kid to the big wide world.

Plan B was out of the blocks and the grime community were soon left stunned and in his wake.

But the ways of the music industry were a sudden wake-up call for the artist:

"It was quite a hard experience for me. I put a lot into it and I never felt the record company pushed it as hard as they could.

"I felt there was a lot of people on radio getting in the way of me and my audience."



Drew briefly attended an anger management course:

"I just didn't have time to keep going, but I think I've got my anger under control and have a nice long fuse on my temper."

Then came the mind blowing success of The Defamation of Strickland Banks.

Trouble was, few knew or even cared that Drew was acting out a character.

They were just bloody good songs and he was the face that appeared at the microphone.

He soon came to terms with the fact that:

"I need to start handling things like I'm a star and stop thinking I'm just a normal person.

"But I want to keep the right balance. I don't want to have my head up my arse."



For his latest release, Ill Manors, Drew"s gone back to his roots and back to the early hip-hop influence of his debut.

One thing he hasn"t done is retracted from the public eye, as along with the album came his directorial big budget film debut of the same name.

"I"ve found the best way I can get across what I think is by showing examples, stories. I"m a storyteller, everything else is secondary."

Plan B plays The Brighton Centre on 11th February. For more details visit brightoncentre.co.uk


by: Mike Cobley


Share    

First of its kind, UK based digital-social platform ourscreen aims to support the great work being done in cinemas across the country by empowering film fans and local communities to create and attend screenings at their local cinema. 
Brighton University graduate and local resident Melanie Smith has launched a new company dedicated to sharing a love of storytelling with parents and children. 
Brighton Dome and Chestnut Tree House have around 200 exclusive donated artworks from celebrities and artists now available on eBay until 7pm on Sunday 8th March. 
Bob Dylan will have a vibrant selection of his art on show in Brighton in a retrospective exhibition that brings together works released annually from 2008 to 2014, all from his critically-acclaimed collection: The Drawn Blank Series
The south's top music festival, Reading, has confirmed The Libertines as the final of this year's Main Stage headliners!  
Brighton & Hove City Council is set to become the first local authority in Britain to commission a Housing First project to tackle street homelessness and stop the revolving door of rehabilitation, hostel and street.
The new Brighton Trans*formed website is now up-and-running. Designed by Melanie Menard, the site features photographs and the full interview transcripts that formed the basis of the much praised book of the same name. 
The Fretful Federation is a community orchestra of players from Brighton and the surrounding areas playing all manner of fretted instruments, including mandolins, mandolas, mandocello, mandobass and classical guitars.
WhaleFest, the world's biggest whale and dolphin festival, which attracts over 15,000 visitors from across the globe in just two days, will be held at The Brighton Centre after its rapid growth over the past few years.
'Color Runners' from across the UK are set to round off a summer of colour madness by returning back to Madeira Drive, Brighton, for the third time.
Brighton Festival - the largest and most established annual multi-arts festival in England - has launched with award-winning Scottish author Ali Smith as Guest Director. 
Following a total sell-out Edinburgh Fringe 2014 run, one of comedy's elder statesmen and all-round arty mischief-maker heads to Brighton Dome this spring with a comedy of betrayal. 
Thomas Soud, member of UK Youth Parliament from Brighton and Hove, attended a special event in the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey to commemorate the 750th anniversary of the parliament called by Simon De Montfort, which met from January to mid-March 1265.
Fiona Oakes has broken three world records and is now the fastest woman to run a marathon on each Continent and the North Pole in elapsed and aggregate time.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...






Latest Brighton Jobs

Enforcement Officer

Must have a full UK Driving licence. Clamps or seeks permission to remove and impound the vehicle, completes the CLE2/6 ticket via a tablet P.C., compiles a...
NSL Ltd - Brighton
More details

Corporate Governance Manager

Manage the process to ensure effective organisation and support is provided for the Panel - including managing timelines, case bundles, applications from...
- Brighton
More details

Brighton Customer Service (Advisory Calling)

This is a fast paced outbound Telesales role where you will have 100-200 sales opportunities a day. To be considered you must be able to demonstrate relevant...
Red Flag Recruitment - Brighton and Hove
More details

Food & Beverage Assistant

A Level 2 certificate in food & hygiene would be beneficial but not essential as training would be provided. The highest standards of personal hygiene, grooming...
Virgin Active - East Brighton
More details
Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd