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Interview: London rapper Bushrod talks J. Cole, his new mixtape, and annoying neighbors

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Alternative London rapper BUSHROD has been releasing self-aware and upbeat hip-hop songs for the past couple years. A few of these singles, as well as some new songs, make up the rapper’s new mixtape TV Dinner. BUSHROD’s style is a mix of hip-hop and indie pop: less the Guns of Brixton, more a dude chewing some gum in Brixton.

We had the opportunity to ask BUSHROD about what music he’s listening to, his new mixtape TV Dinner, and about when his neighbor posted a note on his door criticizing his music.

Bushrod

How did you get your start in music?    

Everything has always been very ‘DIY’ and hands on for me. Nobody ever really gave me chances or opportunities so I had to create the opportunities myself. It’s beginning to pay off now, but when you’re starting out from scratch it’s not easy at all. I soon learnt that consistency and persistence played a big part in starting out with music.

Your music seems to have both hip hop and indie rock influences. Who are your biggest musical influences?   

I grew up surrounded by music and musicians. My Dad is a musician and always had something playing on the speakers, or his band mates over for rehearsals. It was almost ingrained in me from a young age. I love Mike Skinner’s early stuff, big fan of J Cole also. I suppose the indie rock side of things comes from listening to bands like The Clash.

What current musicians are you listening to?   

I’ve been listening to a wide range of stuff at the minute. J Cole’s latest album of course, a bit of Pro Era, Little Simz and Rejjie Snow.

How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your music?

I’d tell them it’s Hip-hop with a bit of a twist. I wouldn’t want to pinpoint my music of being one particular genre though, as I like to experiment.

What can you tell us about your new TV Dinner mixtape?   

I wrote most of TV Dinner during the summer of 2020 when everything was pretty much locked down. We couldn’t leave our houses, so for me naturally, the only thing I did was create music. It was an interesting time, because I’d go from making all of this music in my bedroom, to suddenly going downstairs and eating my dinner in front of the TV. It was a point in my life when these two parallels met, where I’d be on such a high from making all of this exciting music, to suddenly watching some mundane show on TV.

A few months ago you got some attention for a note a neighbor left on your door complaining about your “annoying rapping.” Has anything similar happened since?   

Funnily enough, we didn’t see each other since that happened. I’ve actually moved house since that, so it’s actually worked out quite well. I’m hoping we don’t see each other again to be honest!

Your songs and music videos have funny aspects without being outright comic. How do you view the balance of comedy and seriousness in your music? 

I’ve always said to people I never take myself too seriously, life’s too short. In terms of music, I do take that seriously so I suppose it’s adding an element of my personality which is slightly immature and humorous, with the seriousness of the music and the topics I talk about. I don’t really overthink it, I just create what comes naturally, and normally that includes an element of humour.

Stream TV Dinner here.

Follow BUSHROD on his socials:

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