Despite his young age, Barny Fletcher is a name you probably have heard on the British airwaves. His exceptional sounds, daring lyrics and original style are unforgettable. Once you listen to Barny’s songs, you feel that you commune with something fresh and worth following.
Fletcher talks to us about his newest album, JETPACK, his main influences and how his family and friends supported him in his journey from living in one of the Somerset villages to becoming an influential young rapper in London. Also, Barny tells us something about his favourite artists and where he sees himself in the nearest future.
- What can you tell us about JETPACK? What sort of mixtape is it going to be in terms of its stylistics?
It’s got a range of vibes. I’m calling it a mixtape, not an album. There’s no running theme, but it still feels like a cohesive body of work. You’ll have to listen and see, and it’s hard to describe.
- How does your work showcase your lyrics?
It’s mostly all written in the notepad, which is built into Logic. That’s the platform I use to lay down ideas. I’ll always start with melodies, cadences and structure with any song, then colouring in the flows with words, like a colouring book. Everything is there. I give it life when I add the words.
- Do you consider yourself a modern poet?
Sure, why not. All good songwriters are.
- Personally, are you proud of it? Or is there still much work that you have to do as a musician?
I’m proud of everything I put out. That being said, there is always work to do. More to learn, people to meet, and more worlds to take inspiration from because this never-ending journey is what being an artist is all about, that’s why it’s so exciting.
- Tell us, what exactly does it mean to you to be featured on the BBC 1xtra x BBC Introducing?
Filming and recording at Maida Vale was such a wild experience. It’s such a legendary location. Everybody has recorded here. The Beatles, Nirvana, Bowie, and Jay-Z are just one of the huge names that have been here. I was honoured when BBC Introducing asked me to represent The West for 1Xtra’s new show to mark their 15-year anniversary. I met a lot of cool artists too and had a great day.
- Your numbers on streaming platforms are getting bigger every week. Have you ever imagined anything like this? Or maybe you still want “more and more”?
More means more people are connecting with the music. So yeah, I want more. But I always appreciate how many are already tuning in. It’s exciting to see.
- You grew up in one of the Somerset villages. Was it difficult to aspire to become a musician from such a small hometown?
I don’t think it was easy to aspire to as I knew London would always be the move. I would use Facebook, Reddit, and YouTube to tap into different online communities and keep track of what’s happening. As you can imagine, the culture’s not too diverse in a small village, so as a young person it could have been more stimulating.
- Were there any obstacles that you had to overcome on your own?
My manager, Tina, has been on board from day 1, and other characters in life have always kept me on track too. I try to avoid carrying things and having a good team around them. The team solves problems together.
- Did Somerset’s upbringing somehow help you become a young artist?
Regardless of where I grew up, I would have always done what I do now. My family’s influence and love for music contributed to my journey.
- Who did support you in that journey? Friends, family, other musicians? Or you found support in the most unexpected places.
All of the above. These are damn Grammy winners! I’ve learnt a great deal from producers along the way too. E.g. White, Jacknife Lee, and Jimmy Hogarth are all extremely experienced characters who have given me incredible insight into this music world whilst working with them.
- Which artists inspire you and influence your newest track? Or, on the other hand, do you find your inspirations somewhere else?
All my songs take inspiration from the myriad of different artists I enjoy. ‘Intergalactic’ is Pharrell, early Timberlake-inspired. ‘FUN+’ uses cartoon character-type voices reminiscent of the Bonzo Dog Band. ‘Weakness’ feel like some Noah 40-produced shit. I don’t know. It’s all different.
- Where do you imagine yourself five years from now as an artist?
Wiser. More money. Well travelled.
- What is your biggest goal (or even a dream) you have? Are you a person who is looking forward towards the future? Or who is trying to live with a moment?
I want to be able to play shows anywhere in the world and make a good life for my family. And have fun. I love the quote, ‘We are all just temporary stewards of the love we carry with us. Our task is to carry it and, if we can, to pass it along.’ I will try and do just that.
Article written by: Jan Tracz
For more on Barny Fletcher: IG: barnyfletcher
Images: Darren Filkins