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    

This year, ahead of the general election on May 7th, the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) is marking World Day for Animals in Laboratories by calling on Sussex residents to Vote Cruelty Free and support its campaign to end animal experiments in the UK.

Pic WaterAid/ Eliza Deacon
Local fundraiser, Sophie Goodall, from Brighton, saw first-hand the difference the money she has raised for WaterAid is making  during an unforgettable trip to Uganda, with the international development charity.
One of the highlights of Brighton Fringe 2015 is The State Vs John Hayes, a striking one-act play about the death penalty, a psychological thriller laced with dark humour.
Long cherished by fans and critics alike, Thea Gilmore's 17-year career has seen her profile and audience grow with inexorable momentum since her first album, Burning Dorothy, was released when she was just 18.  
1926: Houdini's right-hand man deals with the death of his boss. A half century later, a Blackpool joke shop proprietor takes on a wide-eyed young protégé. 
Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse have spent their long working partnership creating unique comedy characters for life on the small screen.
Tommy hates everything: his home, his clothes, his fellow man, and most of all, his poverty. 
Nutkhut, the leading outdoor performance company which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is joining forces with City College Brighton and Hove's Acting & Dance department to stage a new production, Dr. Blighty, in the 2016 Brighton Festival. 
Vic and Bob have announced their first tour since 1995! The tour, '25 Years of Reeves and Mortimer: The Poignant Years' will be a celebration of the first 25 years of their professional collaboration. 
Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus are set to go back to the Bond Age where an evil despot sets out to snatch their scoring secrets and crack the code of camp.
'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 Film School recently welcomed the legendary music video director W.I.Z (Oasis, Emeli Sande, Dizzee Rascal, Kings of Leon) to the school as a guest lecturer to their Filmmaking HND 1st year students.
There are too many jesters pretending to be kings, too many charlatans and not enough innovators. These are the musical times in which we live .. and Paul Weller, 56, aiin't havin' none of it.
Britain's nostalgia obsessives have a new act to follow: a TV themes band, Dream Themes, playing what one aficionado describes as 'songs for the sofa'.  

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

Groceries Online Shopper

Our internet customers’ shopping experience will be completely down to you – and each order will be your responsibility until it’s loaded onto the delivery...
Sainsburys - Lewes
More details

Dispensing Assistant

NVQ level 2 or an equivalent dispensing qualification, pharmacy experience and knowledge of stock control are essential, as is the ability to develop good...
Sainsburys - Hove
More details

Insight Analyst Brighton-UK-£35k+ Benefits

Technical skills - knowledge of SAS Base, SAS STAT, SAS Enterprise Miner, Microsoft Access, SQL and Statistics....
Churchill Frank - Brighton
More details

Contact Centre Team Leader - Sales

As one of our biggest clients and departments, our Sky division comprises outbound and inbound areas, which form part of a fast-paced, energetic sales...
Domestic & General - Brighton
More details
Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd