Rising 11: Young T & Bugsey
This article is an excerpt from the Rising 11 feature from Issue 01 of GAFFER: ‘England’s Finest’. Available from our online shop now.
Urgent, unique and completely of it’s time: Words and phrases commonly thrown at Young T and Bugsey. The Nottingham upstarts have developed an intriguing fusion of Jamaican and Nigerian dancehall, utterly at home at the rave as it is in a car stereo. Terrifyingly still just 20 years old, and there’s a dynasim between the pair that harbours memories of a young Skepta and JME, sparring between bars and conjuring up idiosyncratic lyrics that can often take some mental unpacking. The pair have been collaborating since the age of 15, so the success of break-out singles ‘No Mickey Mouse Ting’ and ‘Glistenin” has been a long time on the cards.
GAFFER caught up with the pair, to have a go at fusing grime and football…
Has football inspired your work?
B: Not yet, but I’m sure it will do as some point; Football is a part of the culture just as much as music.
T: Not yet, but I’m sure it will.
How did your upbringing growing up influence what became your sound?
B: My Nigerian heritage & T’s Jamaican heritage helped spark our knack for melody. A lot of old school afrobeat & dancehall is jam-packed with melody and soul.
T: Where I’m from, my background and the things and music such as my mum’s old CD’s I took for myself and listened to.
We feel there is a tribal energy to football that also exists in music, notably Grime. Do you agree?
B: Yeah, most definitely! It’s like a raw energy that sort of can’t be explained. It’s the same feeling you get when you’re onstage performing in front of thousands of people.
T: Yes, I do agree. I would say it’s the same energy you put towards building your craft and skill. That’s one way of looking at it.
How do you see the future relationship between football and music developing?
B: I think we’re gonna see even more friendships between footballers and rappers, more football talk show appearances, there might eventually even be performances at massive football matches before the game or at half time.
T: I think we’ll see more appearances, more talks on shows and channels and all things of that nature.
What helps you get into the headspace to create?
B: Building a vibe in the studio normally gets the creative juices flowing. Once you build a vibe, you give the producer a insight into how you’re feeling that day and what direction the beat or song should go, then you just bounce ideas back & forth. Before you know it, you’ve made a banger.
T: Feeling comfortable and being able to build a vibe! Sometimes you’ll be surprised where an idea can come from. As long as I’m comfortable, I can find a way to get in the zone.
Who is, or would be, your ideal artist to collaborate with?
B: Drake. It’s gotta be!
T: The Migos, Rae Sremmurd. Right now I think we would be able to make something wavy with them.
The UK is undergoing social and political tension on unprecedented levels. Do you feel this is a difficult time to be doing what you’re doing, or the opposite?
B: There’s always political & social tension going on, that’s nothing new. It’s just a lot more in ours faces currently because of social media, but in all honesty it don’t affect what we’re doing. Our music plays on the radio all the time.
Do you have a favourite football kit from the past?
B: The red Arsenal 2004/05 kit. Memories.
You need to create a 5 a side team with four other musicians. Who’s on your team?
B: Lotto Boyz, Dirtbike LB, Not3s and me.
T: D-block Europe, Hardy Caprio, One Acen. Decent.