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

by: Mike Cobley


With nearly 300 years of history, twenty eight writers and artists, and fourteen fantastical tales featuring unheralded characters and true events from the city's fascinating history, Brighton: The Graphic Novel is a unique collaborative collection. 
Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK's largest HIV and sexual health charity, has launched the fourth annual National HIV Testing Week in Brighton and Hove, with a focus to increase testing within black African communities. 
In heart-warming, family-drama Watercolor Postcards, actor Jonathan Banks shows his softer side as homely, small-town barkeep Ledball. The Breaking Bad star talks childhood, values and his joy at reprising the role of Mike for Better Call Saul.
Steve Punt, Charlie Condou and Philip Franks are set to star as The Narrator in The Rocky Horror Show, which visits Brighton, next month.
Members of Brighton’s One Voice partnership, that brings together communities including faith groups and minorities to tackle racism and intolerance, has met following the recent Paris terrorist attacks.
It was straight down to business when Paul Weller took to the Brighton Centre stage, last Friday night (20th November 2015).
On Monday 23rd November 2015, a new weekly evening show is launched on Brighton's community radio station RadioReverb – and it's especially for Irish citizens living in the city. It's called What's The Craic?
Pic by Heather Buckley
Brighton charity Same Sky has raised a third of its £6,000 crowdfunding target, for Burning the Clocks 2015. 
Fans of Alan Partridge have reason to rejoice as Brighton resident Steve Coogan is resurrecting his legendary character in 2016. After the success of the movie Alpha: Papa and the original run of Mid-Morning Matters episodes, there is more Alan coming our way.
The Closer We Get is a powerful and exquisitely-shot autobiographical portrait of loyalty, broken dreams and redemption told by its director, reluctantly-dutiful daughter Karen Guthrie, who takes you under the skin of the household she returns to for this long goodbye.
“Take me back to dear old Blighty, Blighty is the place for me…” Blighty Brighton, the new e-book from QueenSpark Books, is a collective memory of Brighton and Hove during the First World War including posters, photographs, pictures, songs and personal recollections. 
Two British filmmakers are hoping to reverse long-held prejudices against the Islamic Republic of Iran with a new adventure film Karun, portraying their unusual journey through the country. 
He is best known for playing socially inappropriate and hopeless-in-love anti-heroes. From Gary Strang in Men Behaving Badly to the eponymous lead in Doc Martin . The real Martin Clunes however, is far more charming and lucky in love…
Esmee Drake, 14, from Brighton, was born six weeks prematurely, without an oesophagus and with a hole in her heart. She is profoundly deaf and couldn't sleep at night – too afraid of the silence in the dark.

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

Warehouse Operative

You will be joining a small team within Brighton based fast moving warehouse environment. The successful applicant will be able to work well under pressure as...
Ashtons Hospital Pharmacy Services Ltd - Brighton
More details

Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer

So if your job in retail, customer service or admin is driving you up the wall or you wish you had a job you loved and like the thought of being your own...
PureGym - Brighton
More details

Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer

So if your job in retail, customer service or admin is driving you up the wall or you wish you had a job you loved and like the thought of being your own...
PureGym - Hove
More details

Day Services Manager : LD client group

Day Services Manager - LD A fantastic opportunity for a Day Services Manager has arisen to join this well respected group of Care Homes with a great ethos and...
Domus Recruitment - Hove
More details
Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd