23 is an artist who’s had an incredible couple of years, with hit singles, chart time and award nominations flying in for the young artist.
It was only right that we documented some of the East London rapper’s journey. From his name origins (taking inspiration from Michael Jordan and his favourite shoe brand) an coming up in Hackney, to now shutting down shows to fans across the country, check out his journey and get inspired.
“I believe the harder you work, the better the results are,” he says in the video. “A lot of people in London tend to have that mentality, hence why a lot of people are successful in whatever they do.”
He added, “Hackney has a bad stigma sometimes but the youth are bringing brightness to the community. You do more positive things, you get more positive results.”
It;s an attitude that seems to have stuck with many of his peers too. 23 is currently one of the leaders of the new school of the UK’s rising rappers.
“London’s brilliant at the moment, we’re leading the charts in the country and I’m happy to be one of those bringing the positivity. We realise that it’s actually possible to do what we want to do and we don’t really care what people have to say about it – like you can’t do this or you shouldn’t do that.”
A refusal to say no is something that the young star hopes to instil into his growing fanbase too. He said, “I never doubted myself, no matter what anybody told me, I chased my dream and i got it done myself – it got me to where I am today.”
His name origins isn’t the only thing that ties 23 to the legendary Michael Jordan. He feels like athletes and musicians have more similarities than it may first appear, as he explained, “I feel musicians and athletes have similar lifestyles – we perform for crowds, everyone has an opinion on your work and – like athletes – we’re only as good as the work we put in.
“If you’re always on the training ground, you’re going to be one step ahead – and if we’re always in the studio writing songs or always at home writing lyrics, we’re going to be more creative.”
Watch the short film below and for more from 23, catch up with his “Recognition” video featuring M Huncho, exclusively on GRM Daily.
23 wears the Air Jordan Future. Visit nike.com/jordan for more information.