Suburban Spotlight: Birmingham
7 Jul 2020
Birmingham, otherwise known as the 0121, has a formidable amount of talent brewing in the West region. Posing as our fourth edition, ‘Suburban Spotlight’ is a series that highlights the best new and upcoming talents across various cities in the UK. This edition has been highly-anticipated, as Birmingham has already birthed the likes of M1llionz, Mist, Jaykae, Tana, Lotto Boyz, Mike Skinner, Dapz On The Map, Lady Leshurr and a whole lot more – it was only inevitable that Birmingham would be our next visit!
At just 22 years of age, Tugz is posing as one to watch this coming year. Influenced by his peers, the rising rapper made his debut back in December last year with his greaze-enriched single titled, “Paid in Full”. Quickly amassing views, this track is filled with an over-riding energy which see’s Tugz layer cold bars and fire-ball adlibs throughout. Leaving supporters waiting eagerly for his next drop, he returned earlier this year with his second charismatic offering, “Repeat”. Gliding across a skittering, bass-heavy and hard hitting Drill instrumental, Tugz only certified his indisputable talent with this track. Harnessing the hype surrounding his name, he dropped off his third single “Latex” (below). Coating the melodic backdrop with a haunting hook; “Wash that, set that, get that gone” – the Birmingham native has turned the heads of many!
Having only started music earlier this year, Tali has already been racking up views. Influenced by an array of artists, he made his debut apperance on “Traplife” – a huge linkup alongside Trapmash and Akman. Currently sitting at just under 220,000 views on YouTube alone, Tali had a strong start into the UK Rap game. Layered atop of an eerie backdrop, all three of them glaze the beat with greaze and raw street poetics; Tali appears last and offloads nothing but straight-talking bars throughout. Following the momentum of “Traplife” he dropped his debut solo single “Bankrolls” (below), dressed head to toe in drip the ascending rapper harnesses the track with a steady-paced flow and his signature low cadence. Enriched with street poetics, Tali touches on life on the road; the bouncing and melodic instrumental courtsey of Flashy Nizz is bound to leave your head bopping. Although Tali is only at the beginning of career, he’s already set pace for what’s yet to come!
If you’re familiar with the Birmingham music scene, then you’ve probably heard of Ninioh. Influenced by Birmingham’s early Grime circuit; NODB, S.L.A.S.H and B21 Bang Bang, Ninioh, a few years later found his ears were blown wide open by Kanye’s ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’. In the midst of this period, the renaissance of Hip-Hop happened with Odd Future, Pro-Era, Drake’s dominance as well as Frank Ocean and The Weeknd’s re-calibration of R&B – Ninioh was influenced by a whole lot! At the age of 14, he began building the foundations of what’s looking like a prosperous career ahead. His debut release was via the well-known collective Blue Room Mafia, although they aren’t currently active, you can find a tonne of gems on SoundCloud in which their fan-base often refer back to. Journeying forward to now, Ninioh has a cluster of bangers behind him including his most prominent track “Diablo”, which has amassed just over 370,000 streams on Spotify alone. Following the release of “Diablo” he dropped “Gwop” (below), a wavey joint filled from top to bottom with intricate wordplay and an infectious hook. Taking a slightly different turn on “Fodie”, the minimal instrumental enables Ninioh to soak in the spotlight with his wordsmith. Having kick started 2020 with “Lasso”, the up-beat offering only certifies his versatility – Ninioh is bound to blow!
Brixx first began writing and rearranging other people’s music from only 9 years of age. Singing as long as she could remember, music has always played a huge role in Brixx’s life. Growing up, the ascending rapper was influenced by an array of artists including Etta James, Toni Braxton and Amy Winehouse; before her love for rapping sprouted, singing was her passion. Gradually as she got older, she found herself penning rhymes influenced by the likes of Dr Dre, 50 Cent, Grime and Garage. Inspired by their infectious flows and intricacy, Brixx began writing to Ghetts, Skepta and Kano’s tracks. Exploring her potential and undeniable talent, Brixx over time has been mastering her sound. Earlier this year, she dropped an “On Da Radar” freestyle via Northside Media TV. Currently sitting at just under 110,000 views, the female force dropped fiery wordplay and bars from start to finish. Coating the skittering backdrop with her deep tone and fierce prowess, Brixx set the tone for what’s to come. Releasing her debut track “Man” (below) shortly after, she instantly caught the attention of many. “Man” is a vessel of punching sounds, layered with the up-most greaze – this track allows her effortless and natural flow to shine at the forefront of the single. We’re sure this isn’t the last you’ll hear of Brixx!
KayFaraway is a name to remember; from the youthful age of 12, he found his love for words through writing poems. Slowly transitioning his love for writing into songs, KayFaraway started to pen lyrics from the age of 16. By the time he reached 18 he began recording his tracks, however, it wasn’t until he reached 20 that he introduced his music to the world. The 23 year-old released his debut track “So Real?” back in 2017, exploring his sound the budding artist has continued to expand his talent further, and has since developed a healthy catalogue of work behind him. Influenced by South London’s very own A2 alongside musical heavy-weight Drake, KayFaraway has managed to pave his own lane musically. Fusing together nostalgic sounds in with the modern-day soundscape, his use of laid back flows and complex wordsmith has seen him garner an ever growing fan-base. On tracks like “Crazy Ride” and “10th Wonder” both featuring frequent collaborator ROMderful, KayFaraway showcases his lyrical ability and indisputable versatility. More recently, the Brummy native joined forces with Santeezo on “Ps & Q’s” (below). This single is embellished with his signature flow and tone, boasting his wordplay and bars, “P’s & Q’s” is full of quotables – KayFaraway is definitely a name to look out for!
Influenced by Dave, Aitch, Caps, Unknown T and Tana, Tamz started building the foundations to his music at the flourishing age of 13. Releasing his first freestyle via 5StarMedia back in 2014, the rising rapper has been working on his craft since. Fast forward to now, at 19 years old, Tamz has an array of bangers behind him including fan-favourite “No Hook”; penning about his grind and ambitions, the minimal beat allows Tamz’ bars to soak in the spotlight. Later last year, he stepped forward for P110’s signature ‘Hoods Hottest’ as well as a ‘Scene Smasher’, which has garnered just under 70,000 views on YouTube. Alongside these two explosive releases, Tamz dropped “Go Hard” (below), a potent offering that see’s the Birmingham native offloading slick bars from start to finish. Opening 2020 with a bang, he joined forces with YB on “Make It”, a melodic, trap-influenced bop that see’s Tamz coating the beat with punching verses – it’s only a matter of time until he gets the recognition he deserves!
Lady Sanity, known for her fierce lyrical prowess and all-round assertive artistry, is here to make a stand! The 26 year-old, inspired by the likes of Wretch 32, Akala, Lauryn Hill and Kendrick Lamar; when listening to her dynamic bars and wordplay you can tell that the spiraling rapper has studied music attentively. Lady Sanity began her journey in music in 2009, rapping in school, the Birmingham native went onto college and university where she studied Music Technology. Back in 2018, Lady Sanity performed at the Commonwealth Games and as a result of, has been self-employed with her music since – amazing right?! Having achieved such a mountainous goal, it’s since been nothing but an up-hill climb for the rapper. With a slew of boast-worthy tracks behind her including “Trappin'”, a forcible and menacing single to her most prominent track Focus, Lady Sanity recently dropped a 7-track EP named ‘Lying in Truth’ – which features stand-out track “Time and Space” (below). Attacking the beat with ease, she seams the beat with a punching and aggressive flow adding that extra layer of greaze to the powerful track – Lady Sanity is one to watch!