Being a self-made producer and artist anticipates starting from the very beginning, not only having to build a foundation to then work on, but also determining what creates that foundation in the first place. Bowzer Boss attains attributes that can only make for more success in the future than already reached in his present career.
Born in Bromford, Birmingham, Bowzer had started with nothing and has now made and maintained a strong foundation that is set for a rude awakening of real and raw music made in the West Midlands. Bowzers catchy beats and heavy hooks have the UK itching for more. Having toured with Stormzy and featured with the likes of Jaykae and Aitch, Bowzer is making some noise for the West Midlands music scene.
After his first initial single Big Risk was released, Bowzer went in depth about his music up to that point, working alongside Jaykae, and his movie career.
You’re pretty much a triple threat; you produce, direct your own videos, and you also feature in the songs, what urged you to want to be involved in all aspects of a song and its visuals?
You know, I’m an artist in all aspects. To be an artist is to cover all aspects of the art. So making the music, directing and shooting a video is the visual, and the actual hearing of it so like to producing and the actual vocals, is hearing the art.
‘If you could smell the art, I would indulge in that’
Your first solo single Big Risk puts out quite a bold statement. Why was taking a risk the focus for your first single?
You know, I’ve been a feature to various artists in the last four years. I take music seriously and the main part of that was producing and putting my statement hook on there. I was literally making the skeleton of a song and giving it to the artists, and they were filling it with the muscles and body you know. I always knew that I was going to build myself up to a point where people will ask me for a full body of work. I thought that I could go into 2020 with my own solo track as a solo artist and that in itself is taking a risk.
In the visuals for Big Risk, the colour green seems to be the centre of attention, is there any significant meaning behind that?
I really wanted to highlight myself in this video and my favourite colour is green, so I thought why not just be green.
You asked your social media followers to join you on set in Birmingham to be a part of the visuals for the single. Why was Birmingham so important as part of the message?
Yeah, so the area I’m from is very deprived, most people don’t have a lot of money. There are people out there who don’t understand that we can actually make sh*t happen ourselves over here. I just wanted to show everyone link up and show we can make some noise from the ends without money.
‘The Big Risk video didn’t cost me anything at all and that itself speaks volumes’
People from Birmingham have been tearing up the scene over the past 5-10 years, Lady Leshurr, Lotto Boys, and your close friend Jaykae. I’m sure that people from the Midlands look up to you guys and it’s driven them to get out there and believe that it is possible to get into the creative industries.
Exactly, I could’ve honestly done this years ago but I’ve been kind of living in my own fears, so this was all a big risk. It was a big risk to beat my own fears. Because I’ve been doing songs with bigger artists and getting millions of views, and doing big shows. Starting on my own is essentially starting from the bottom.
Did you ever doubt yourself of get scared wondering whether or not you would make it?
I wasn’t really scared about whether or not it was going to go well or not, it was just overcoming the actual fear of standing there on my own two feet, because I’ve been holding Jaykae’s hand for the last 5 years.
Over the years, you’ve produced and featured on multiple songs, would you say that your sound has evolved?
100%. Its constantly changing because I’m constantly progressing. My sound is mixed between UK Rap and Grime, and I’m originally from grime and that’s what I grew up on. That’s where my inspiration comes from, and when I need inspiration I go back to grime. But right now, the UK rap game is making noise and I’ve grown up on rap too as well as other genres. I thought I’d put out a rap song first. My whole sound is growing constantly. If you listen to Moscow, it’s a bang in the middle mix of both and it’s my own genre. No one really raps or makes tunes of that sort, it’s a mad sound.
Back in 2017, Bowzer solely produced and directed Moscow, one of Jaykae’s biggest single’s to date. Bowzer’s gritty hook and Jaykae’s polished bars entered the UK grime scene in full force as soon as the single was released.
Moscow became very popular in the UK, even major artist Billie Eilish was listening to it. Did you ever expect the song to get that big?
I knew the song was a banger when I made it, but I didn’t know if it would make it past the West Midlands. When I heard Jaykae on it and we took it to the studio to add the lyrics, I knew from then it was a banger. It was just the case of how people were going to take it. When we put the whole song and video together, I knew it was going to make some serious noise.
You directed and created the concept for the Moscow music video, what inspired the Peaky Blinders theme?
Jaykae’s from Small Heath, Peaky Blinders are from Small Heath too. Originally, Jay wanted to go to the MOBO’s dressed in the Peaky Blinders fit, I said f*ck that let’s make the f*cking music video based on Peaky Blinders and then we’ll go to the MOBO’s with that! It was all pre-meditated.
You produce, feature, and direct, what would you say differentiates you from other producers?
I think that all producers can rap in their own way in their own head. Once they make a track, they know which artist would suit that certain track. Every producer has a specific vision, they put a mood to whatever they produce and some can have an idea of a visual to go with that vibe and mood. I’m different because I can execute the whole package, the track and the visuals all come together in my head.
Your music is easy to listen to, one listen and people become hooked.
I try to keep my music as simple as possible. I don’t like to use too many instruments, or too many sounds at once. I think the more simple it is the more infectious and memorable it becomes.
‘If I could describe my sound in three words, it would be raw, uncut, and unpolished.’
You previously worked on the track Mike Myres with Swifter Beater and Lady Leshurr, you’ve known Leshurr for a while, how did it feel being alongside her again after all these years?
I feel like it was a full circle moment because I was producing songs 16-17 years ago, we used to go to a youth centre and Leshurr was literally the best. I would put my CD on, and she would just rip every song and terrorise the whole place. There was no one in that room better than her, so for us to be on a track together all these years later it was like a full circle moment.
You’re working on a movie?
I am, there was a Birmingham based movie called Certified that has been building over the last 2 years, its still in the works. I think there’s a bit of politics behind the scenes, so I’m not sure when or how it’s going to be released at the moment.
I’ve also bought my own production kit to make my own movies, camera gimbles, tripods, lighting generators, I’ve even got a team of camera men, a whole squad ready to shoot movies and I’ve just written about three movies and its just executing them now.
‘I just try and make as much money as possible from the things I love doing’
In 2019, Bowzer hooked up with Jaykae and Aitch for the much-anticipated single On The Way Home. As well as producing the song and directing the video, Bowzer also featured on the hook. The video has over nine million views on YouTube and the song had peaked at #73 in the UK Singles chart keeping its spot for three weeks.
Talk me through the music video for On The Way Home
So I’m the taxi driver, and basically Jay and Aitch are the naughty boys in the back…I’m the good lad. All the words are the truth and from the heart, like every word I put into my songs are all true. If I go out with the lads, I’m the person to be on the way home to my girl.
Aitch had blown up by this point, what was it like working with him?
To be honest it was normal, he’s just one of the lads. I’ve known him about a year or so, so to me he’s not a superstar he’s just a good lad. Because I’m in the game, I don’t look at people like ‘Oh it’s a superstar’. It’s the same touring with Stormzy, I just see them as one of us.
You’re close with both Jaykae and Aitch, does the friendship and business ever get mixed up when music is involved?
Yeah for sure! We can get into arguments, more so in my way though, I get emotional and touchy. They don’t really let it affect them like that. I can get business mixed up with friendship and take it to heart or the wrong way. Business is business, it’s a cold fame sometimes, and that’s something you have to understand and kind of get used to.
Sometimes there is no friendship in business, so when you have to shake hands and agree on a percentage, there’s no real friendship, it’s just business. But as soon as we’ve shook hands and were in f*cking Nando’s having a meal its back to normal again!
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