Bonkaz is an unsung hero. Fact. The musical ability he holds and the sheer determination to bring the best out of himself on every piece of music he releases is undeniable. As of late Bonkaz has caused a storm a number of times on the Internet for his freestyle on Toddla T, his live performances and how could we not mention, the single “We Run The Block”.
Since then Bonkaz has been working on his EP, in which he completed and then scrapped. So in the last two weeks he set the mission of starting and finishing the EP. And from a number of listens, I can tell you it’s amazing.
‘Forgive Me When I’m Famous’ is more than an EP for Bonkaz. It’s a statement, the versatility he projects on this body of work shows us he can do everything we want from our favourite artist. He can shell down a beat which he proves on “King Mike Skinner”, he can make songs for the ladies, cue “Pretty Brown Eyes” and “Sequel”, but finally he shows that he can piece it all together to make one of the best projects I have heard this year.
To go more in depth on the body of the work, where else is better to start than the title track, “Forgive Me When I’m Famous”. Produced by The Writers Block, it is a coming of age story. He explains how he has plans for everyone that he is with, but sometimes they don’t see it. Feeling that sometimes they may feel they’re being left behind, but assuring they’re not. He tells us to forgive him when he is famous, but that isn’t his priority, claiming him blowing up is “fucking awful” and that even though he could have bought a Mercedez with his second advance; he is more concerned with saving the scene. A very thoughtful and insightful song which lets us as spectators and fans see what the man behind the music wants from this.
Leading from the title track is the song some of us were lucky to get if we signed up to his mailing list. “Sequel”, produced by Jay Jay Musika, it has the very mellow feeling of an old school R’n’B song mixed with the very eclectic UK sound we hear through such artists as The Streets. It’s hard to pick a favourite song from the EP but this is in the running for sure. With such a catchy hook and perfect production behind it, it’s hard to not get lost in the music.
If any of you follow me on Twitter you know how much I love Etta Bond. So both of them on a tune together is a stan’s dream come true, there will always be the worry that the song won’t hit your expectations, but I take my hat off to them both; this is amazing. Entitled “Young Hearts”, produced by prgrshn, it’s the perfect mix of a song that could do damage on radio, but also the summer song that you get lost in the moment over. When listening to it, you can’t help but picture the summer love you’ve attempted at getting for years now (yes I have a vivid imagination). Nonetheless, I can’t fault the song in any sense. The upbeat verses, the mellow chorus, it combines so well.
Well the next song, “King Mike Skinner Freestyle” blew me away. Nothing melodic, no symphonies, just bars. Amazing production by The New Machine, Bonkaz goes absolutely mental. An influence to Bonkaz from the start has been Mike Skinner, hence the lyric, “somebody find Mike Skinner for me, so I can put a crown on his head”. This track, I find difficult to explain, you have to listen to it. A highlight track for me definitely, you see Bonkaz in his most relaxed form.
This leads me onto “Pretty Brown Eyes”, musically such a different song to the last, but quality? Exactly the same. That’s a thing I wanted to touch on, was the sheer quality of production, vocals, writing, of the whole EP. The UK has a lot of talented artists, but the thing most of them don’t seem to nail, is the projects. They release amazing songs but they never have a complete project that has the same quality from start to finish, very few do. “Pretty Brown Eyes” got a lot of love earlier this year when Bonkaz released it on his Soundcloud, it was one of my favourite songs at the time. Honestly, I’ve found a new love for it when listening to the project as a whole, it just sounds right. Produced by Wizzy Wow and Benjj Flow, it’s a great mix of Bonkaz’ lyricism as well his melodic vocals over the hook. A fan favourite that many would be glad to see on the EP.
Finally the last song on the project, “Walk Away” has been on repeat for ages now. It’s produced by The Confect, and is one of the best closing songs to a project I have heard in ages. The imagery of someone walking away, which many of us listening to this would have been through, is captured perfectly by Bonkaz. The explanation as to why it was his fault, why it wasn’t, why it happened, is perfect. The influences of The Kooks and Scouting For Girls as well as The Killers on Bonkaz is evident in this song with the softening guitar in the background, and even the way Bonkaz sings the chorus and bridge, it has more of an indie band feel than it does a R’n’B artist.
Overall, the six track project is something I enjoyed investing my time into. I’m happy to say I will invest even more into it too. It compliments every mood you could want from a piece of music. Touching on love, family, friends, success, failure, hopes and dreams, it gave me a journey into Bonkaz’ life through his music. The title is fitting, it won’t be long before Bonkaz is famous, and he won’t need any forgiving if this project is a taste of what is to come.