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
Some established bands settle on a five night run in a major city, whereas those notorious rule breakers, The Stranglers, have, so far, gone for the risky business option of a five-year consecutive run of gigs in Brighton.
Pics Courtesy Of Andrew Sturmey
This could have led to a series of diminishing returns, but their most recent one-night stopover at Brighton...
City College Brighton and Hove's boxing gym was recently transformed into a movie set as Director and former City College film-making student Max Goldini and Director of Photography Ewan Cassidy used it as a location for the forthcoming feature film, 64 Days.
The movie is based on the true story of British boxer
Randolph Turpin who was world middleweight champion for two months in the 1950s, aft...
"It's really gorgeous to have people say to me it's good that I'm back," says soul-popster Lisa Stansfield.
“Not that I had a break. People think you had a break because they haven’t seen you, but I can tell you I have been busy!”
This year's International Women's Day celebrations will also mark the 40th birthday of Brighton Women's Centre.
The centre has inspired the development of a number of much needed services for women
such as The Women's Refuge Project
, now RI...
Organisers of the first Brighton Love Your Bike Week
declared it a success after over 1000 people participated
in special activities at Circus Street Market, including group bike rides, workshops and The Spin free fun day on Saturday, where bike-related entertainments were on offer.
More than 80 unused bikes
were donated to the Circus Street Bike Hub
during the week and are being recycled or refurbished by ...
UK rockers Heaven's Basement debut album has been likened to standing on the runway as a fighter jet screams off the tarmac and into the air.
landed early last year and left listeners breathless by the rush, by the roar, by the energy and the neck-snap dynamics of...
If you suffer from snoring or are fed up with being kept awake
by your partner's nocturnal noises, joining your local Rock Choir
could be the answer to uninterrupted sleep.
The nation's favourite contemporary choir can help boost people's mental health
and wellbeing, plus scientific research has shown that sin...
South East Dance's latest application to Arts Council England towards developing The Dance Space has been successful, meaning their vision to create an internationally recognised centre for choreographic research, creation and engagement in Brighton, one of the UK's most creative cities, is on track to becoming a reality.
The Dance Space, due to open in 2017, will be a home for dance, connecting professional artists to local communities.
For forty years The Stranglers' enduringly unfashionable sound has been driven by Jean-Jacques Burnel's melodic bass and the prominence of Dave Greenfield's keyboards. Add to the mix drummer Jet Black's metronome-like timekeeping and their succession of charismatic front men .. and seemingly you have a recipe for longevity in the notoriously fickle music business.
The Stranglers and Brighton go way back. My first sigh...
The Haim sisters are not only doing it for themselves but quite a few thousand head-banging boys and girls who have only recently ventured out of their bedrooms and into the venues and festivals on both sides of the Atlantic.
The California-based all-female indie rock band may have only recently released their debut album, Days Are Gone
, but they have been garne...