Tony Cummings spoke to GUVNA B about a new album, modern worship and crime culture
Continued from page 1
Guvna B: Grime is a subculture, it's not just UK music, it's UK street life. I grew up around grime culture so I guess I can be called a grime artist, but grime is not as internationally renowned as rap so I don't really mind what people call me.
Tony: It's become huge, are you surprised how successful grime has become in mainstream culture now?
Guvna B: I'm not surprised. I started listening to grime in 2000 and there were a lot of leaders in the scene such as Wiley, Skepta and Dizzy Rascal, it was just a very interesting and energetic genre that's been going for a while then eventually, just like any other trend if you've got a few leaders, soon it will catch on. So yeah it's good to see grime come of age.
Tony: A lot of grime is criticised for its liberal use of swear words and some of the themes they use.
Guvna B: Anything that is used for bad can also be used for good. Heavy metal has been criticised for the same thing, grime isn't the first at all. There's power in the tongue and if you can use your tongue to say some negative things you can also use it to say positive things and I'm just trying to be the alternative and show that there is some positivity in this genre.
Tony: We've been talking a lot about labelling. Recently, in America, Lacrae has been trying to distance himself from the label 'Christian hip-hop', he just wants to be known as a rapper. Do you ever have any problems with the Christian label?
Guvna B: No, I don't have any problems with it. As long as the music is touching people then that's the most important thing. I think America is slightly different, there's a lot of tension politically and religiously, I think a lot of the crazy reasons are because of the white Evangelical Trump supporters and he's not a Trump supporter so there's probably that to factor in. Over here I think whoever likes the music can like the music and I'm not too concerned about a label. I think labels often make people feel comfortable but I don't really see them as that important.
Tony: Have you played in America?
Guvna B: Yes, about five months ago I supported Matt Redman on his Glory Song tour and I was on that record, it was great, I really enjoyed it.
Tony: How's the response to the book been?
Guvna B: Well, considering I'm not an author and this is my first book, it went really well. We've sold over 5000 copies and we're still getting messages from people saying how much it's helped them.
Tony: There's so many undercurrents and problems, there's almost a worldwide xenophobia going on. How much of a social political commentary are you bringing in to your music?
Guvna B: I think I chime in in situations that I'm really passionate about such as youth violence and youth culture and some of the policies made by the conservatives in this country. It's not always music, sometimes it's public speaking and going into schools. I think the main thing I realised is that humanity on the whole is broken and only God can fix it. So I'm just praying for leaders with the right morals and agendas to rise up and make a huge impact. I think I care about what God cares about and I believe God cares about politics and people so I want to care about the same things.
Tony: What you're doing presumably this kind of work, it's given you the opportunity to meet politicians and movers and shakers in our culture. Are they listening to what you're saying?