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


   

Started in 1976, by maverick music entrepreneurs Jake Riviera and Dave Robinson, the legendary Stiff Records changed the landscape of a moribund record industry. 
Imagine your mind has been wiped: memories, knowledge, experiences, language - every word you ever spoke, has vanished. If eventually you found the words, what would you say? 
Following the recent release of her third album 'A Perfect Contradiction'Paloma Faith is set to visit the Brighton Centre next month.
A year ago last Spring, having just announced an autumnal release of their new album, Give the People What They Want, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' world was put on hold when Sharon was diagnosed with cancer.

Brighton Film School has announced a new Film Forum monthly club for young people passionate about films and filmmaking.
Being an iconic band is all about chemistry. Be they the Beatles, Small Faces, the Who, the Jam or the Stranglers. It's the mix of the individuals that makes the perfect whole.

Talented vocal coach, Katie Holmes, who has worked with stars Leona Lewis, Professor Green and Lily Allen is the latest musical heavyweight to be included in The Band Project's amazing 'All Stars' line-up. 
It's been claimed that one-time Never Mind The Buzzcocks presenter, Simon Amstell,started his TV career at Nickoledeon where he was fired for making pop stars uncomfortable, and that he then began presenting the Channel 4 show, Popworld - where he gained a huge following for his groundbreaking work in making pop stars uncomfortable!
The city's teachers may have only recently returned to their classrooms but many of them kept themselves busy by volunteering their time over the summer for Young City Reads, Brighton's citywide reading initiative for primary school children.
After two years away the most popular ice show in the world, Holiday on Ice, is returning to The Brighton Centre  for one week only with their 70th anniversary show Platinum, featuring Dancing on Ice All Stars winner, Ray Quinn. **(See competition below).
Following its successful pilot in spring 2014, Umbrella Club - Brighton Dome's membership club for children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their siblings and carers – is to be rolled out across performances (suitable for under 16s) for the Dome's autumn season.
George Egg has lived in Brighton for more than two decades and has used the time wisely. He has honed a stand-up comedy show unlike anything you'll have seen before. 
Following Virginia McKenna's recent appearance at Whalefest, in Brighton, she releases, Tonight The Moon is Red, a very personal collection of poems that recall places, animals, concerns and people that have moved and inspired her over the past 30 years.
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