From the busy streets of West London to the deep-cultured roots of West Africa, home is where the heart is for the ever-impressive rapper and songstress that is Br3nya.
Raised in the multicultural area of Shepherd’s Bush, looking for any musical motivation wouldn’t be hard to find. The iconic 02 Empire was a stone’s throw away and having family ties with one of the noughties favourite female emcees in Estelle, made her path to success seem destined. Later appearing in Estelle’s music video would then unlock the full potential which we all see today.
The flag has been passed down to Br3nya who has seized her opportunity, already showcasing how versatile she is with an evolution to her artistry. Stormzy and Dave have seen the vision, and whether it be her raw-hitting delivery, punchlines to make you spin the track, or paying homage to her Ghanaian heritage, recognition has been well-deserved.
Any career-driven journey comes with bumps along the way. Having to juggle attaining a degree whilst perfecting her musical craft was Br3nya’s, but timing and manifestation really do play a part when achieving your goals.
March see’s the release of Br3nya’s inspiring new single “Payday” which reflects on past experiences and her time as an artist. Taking in her latest sound, this is definitely an eye-opener for those trying to break down the music industries hallowed doors.
Ahead of its release, we caught up with the West London star to speak on her new single, sisterhood, Ghanaian Independence Day, 2023 goals and much more!
You have new music out! Tell us more about your latest single “Pay Day”?
Payday is me reflecting on my time as an artist within the past few years. The things I’ve experienced and things I’ve went through. The struggles you go through as a young adult. That turbulent period of time and me telling myself your time is going to come. I needed to put it in a song for people who are going through these things. I wanted to let people know payday is coming! Whatever you’re going through, you will get what you want.
“Pay Day” gives us a motivational feel – We know you want to influence the next generation of women. How will you go about trying to achieve this?
I hope me doing what I do and succeeding in it, will inspire people that are looking at me to know this is real and it can happen to you. I want them to look at me and see that I’m doing things that they can do in the future as well.
When creating music, what would you say is the most important part of the process?
For me, it’s definitely the verses. I always come up with verses easily and that’s really what the track is. I know people have this notion that the hook is your track. I feel the hook is like a summary of the track but the verses are really where the juice is! Good lyrical content. I take long to write because I’m always trying to perfect my lyrics. I want it to be a good listen.
Is there a different process working towards releasing a single to creating a project with multiple tracks?
I feel like when people are working on projects, they work it single by single. If you’re working towards something bigger you might want there to be a theme. Lets say you want to show your culture, you will have a hint of the theme in every beat or concepts to show your being consistent with the project.
You’ve just released a short vlog in “Big B Diaries” on your channel – What can we expect to see included in this content and will this be a continuous series?
It’s definitely going to be a continuous series. I want to give my supporters another glimpse into my life, not just music, just me being me! People have always said I should be vlogging. If people want to see it, why not! I’m going to be making more content in general. I want to connect with my fans in different ways.
If we touch on last summer and your single “Kumasi” which gives us an authentic feel through the visuals. What did you want to achieve with this single and can we expect more of the same vibe on your new music?
With Kumasi, I was paying homage to the city. I feel like when you go to Ghana, everyone focuses on Accra. When I go to my mum’s hometown which is a little town called Sefwi-Wiawso in the western region, I have to take a flight to Kumasi first. I’ve been there a few times and thought this city is a vibe! I wanted to celebrate it and shine some light. I just wanted to big up Ghana in general which I always do! It’s definitely a theme and you’re going to hear influences because that’s who I am!
Ghanaian Independence Day was celebrated this month. How important is it for yourself to include your roots in your music?
We went to a dinner hosted by Juls Baby. He had a lot of Ghanaian creatives there. Musicians, producers, doctor’s everyone you can imagine! It was a nice sit down where everyone networked and connected. In terms of including your roots in music, I think it’s just lit! I’m a London girl, a West London babe! But there’s nothing like being Ghanaian. Everything about it is lit. Culture, music that you can be influenced by, the food, the people! When you go back to Ghana, you just feel at home. It’s definitely important.
Have you had the opportunity to perform back home?
Not yet, but it’s on my list! I don’t just want to go there and be there. It needs to be a big thing and everyone’s ready for it. Hopefully early next year something can be in the pipeline!
Being from West London, were there any artist from your area which inspired you to do music?
I think the first person I saw growing up doing music was Estelle. She’s really good friends with my cousin. My cousin would be with her all the time. I’ve appeared in one of her music videos when I was young! I was probably 10. Seeing how big she got and being close to home, it made it real to me, like you can actually be a star. A few years later I would really get into music, but I’ve always been the dancer, the singer in my house. That was from the age of 5 onwards. I’ve grew up on Ghanaian music so I’ve always performed at home. I grew up on So Solid, Grime, Garage. Everything has inspired me and influenced me to become who I am.
Was there someone that gave you that extra push to take music seriously?
I started without people knowing and my friends were the first people to hear me. They said to get in the studio! I then extended to my family hearing and my sister Hemah was always pushing me. Everywhere we are, we’ll go parties and I’ll be rapping to the mandem and she would gas me up! I think even when I started to go heavy into education with college and university, she would always remind me to get into the studio. I didn’t lose sight of where I wanted to go but sometimes you stall. Hemah and my friends were instrumental in pushing me to get into the studio.
You’ve already been co-signed by the likes of Dave and Stormzy. Was this added motivation for yourself?
It was a bit overwhelming! You don’t really know what’s going on. It happened when I released my first song and it feels nice but it’s hard to process what’s going on because it’s happening so fast. I know certain mandem that have been freestyling for years before getting recognition. My first freestyle that I put out to the world turned into my first single. I didn’t have no build-up, just straight you’re here! It was very quick and can become overwhelming. Where do you channel that? It was nice to know I was doing something good!
How did you balance working on music whilst you was at university?
I think I didn’t! I definitely focused more on my work but I would just start writing. I would be in the middle of an essay then stop, start writing and then get back to it. It was more weighted towards my work. I was so focused and the degree was so time consuming that I didn’t have time to just start writing everyday like I wanted to.
We know you have close relationship with your sister Hemah. Do you both push each other towards reaching your goals?
I think it would be really terrible if I didn’t have her! We both have our days when we are like this is long but can push each other through. That’s my one person than can champion me in the industry and vice-versa. Even going to events, having your buddy there helps. The industry can be a scary place if you don’t have your go-to people.
We know you like to play Tennis, netball, and football – Has there ever been a time where you considered taking these on as a career path?
I definitely wanted to be Serena Williams but that more of a fantasy! I was passionate with Netball and would play every week against different schools. If I stuck at it, I could’ve been a professional netball plater. You’ve got to pick one! With football I was good too but more just fun.
Who are your 3 current go-to-artists to listen to?
Wiz Kid, Don Toliver and Summer Walker!
What are three goals you want to achieve in 2023?
I want to have consistent music out. That’s my main goal. My second goal is to be rich! I’m trying to change my mum’s life! I also want to be healthy and fit. I’m gyming hard but I want to marry that with healthy eating. Without that I can’t be rich and make good music!