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Getting to know Guvna B

Image Credit: Ian Homer

Emily Parker, 28th Jan 2018
Tags: Music Interview Guvna B Grime Hip-hop

Guvna B talks MOBO Awards, rapping with Chance The Rapper, and worship as a lifestyle.

Emily: You first released an EP in 2007. Did you have any idea that you were going to eventually become a professional rap artist and that you would even go on to win a MOBO Award?

Guvna B: It's been pretty crazy. I never wanted to be a rapper or musician. I don’t even know if I knew what I wanted to be when I was older, but my youth group leader set me a challenge of recording some music, because he knew that I was pretty decent at it. Then I recorded the music and everyone started to listen to it and it went from there.

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I’m totally winging it. God’s just opening the doors.

So when people ask me, "did you plan this?" and "you’re so clever," amazing strategy and stuff, I’m like, I’m totally winging it. God’s just opening the doors where I need them to open and half the time I don’t know what I’m doing.

Emily: How has your rapping style changed since your ‘Narrow Road' album? There seems to be something of a UK grime influence on ‘Secret World’.

Guvna B: We’re always trying to evolve and get better. You go through new experiences, listen to more music and you get influenced here and there. 

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‘Narrow Road’ was probably zealous and passionate, whereas ‘Secret World’ has probably got a lot more grace.

I guess the only thing that is really different is I’ve probably matured a bit more in my faith. So ‘Narrow Road’ was probably zealous and passionate, whereas ‘Secret World’ has probably got a lot more grace. 

The music has developed a bit, so there is a lot of grime in ‘Secret World’, rather than being predominantly hip-hop.

Emily: People were surprised when you appeared on the ‘Fear is a Lie’ single with Hillsong Youth UK. Is worship now something that you would consider doing?

Guvna B: Worship is just the lifestyle. Rap music is worship in a sense, and going to the shops is worship. Whatever we do we can do it to the glory of God and give God thanks for that.

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I’ve got a big heart for breaking down barriers.

I’ve got a big heart for breaking down barriers. 

With Hillsong it was great to work on that song. I’m on Matt Redman’s new album and he’s also a worship leader. 

It’s cool to marry different backgrounds and genres.

Emily: You released a cover of ‘Angels’ by Chance The Rapper and it now seems that Chance is a Christian. Did you know this at the time when you recorded your version of ‘Angels’?

Guvna B: I kind of knew he had faith of some sort, from just being a fan from a lot earlier.

Everyone’s on a journey. Faith gets stronger, or weaker, and stronger again.

Everyone’s on a journey. Faith gets stronger, or weaker, and stronger again. 

That’s why I thought ‘Angels’ was a really cool song, because I knew he was actually talking about angels.

Image Credit: Ian Homer

Emily: What advice would you give somebody who wants to get started writing their own material?

Guvna B: I actually started off in an embarrassing way. I used to listen to my favourite artist at the time like Kano or Tupac and just write down their lyrics and write them back to myself. 

Then I started writing my own and I was terrible for a few years, but I had to keep going. 

So my advice would be to start, because you’ve got nothing to lose. You’ll probably be really bad at the start, but if you keep going and you’re consistent and keep learning then you’ll get better and better.

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