He'll be your bestie
Yxng Bane has had a mad year. From the success of his collaboration with Yungen on the massive, chart-topping banger ‘Bestie’, to surpassing 14 million views on his ‘Shape of You’ remix, it’s safe to say 2017 has been pretty special for the young rapper.
But as his music reaches new heights, Yxng Bane remains grounded: “When people are listening, I just want to give them the best version of me, a better version of me. I just want the music to connect to a lot of people.”
With a fan in grime legend Wiley, and a massive tour planned for 2018, we sat down with the rising star to find out how he’s found his overnight success.
Did you ever expect the response to ‘Bestie’ to be like this?
“We’ve toured and performed it around the whole country, and ‘Bestie’s’ response has been nuts. It’s nothing that we expected at all!”
What was it like collaborating with Yungen?
“It was just a load of fun. We’re under the same management, and he came to see me in the studio when I did ‘Bestie’ and we just sat their talking about life and I just understood his story and where he came from, and we just kept the ball rolling from there. Now we’ve got a relationship, and it was good to have such a big song with somebody you get along with. So when we go to shows it’s just fun.”
Why did you decide to release ‘Rihanna’?
“The song’s not dedicated to Rihanna; however, it’s paying homage to the women that are like her. We all know Rihanna’s a very hard working woman, but we also know she’s a bit edgy. And she’s not scared to take risks and that was just me praising all the women that I like.”
How old were you when you first started making music?
“Nineteen or twenty? Before that, it would just be with your boys, your favourite song would come on and we’d just freestyle on top of it. It was never anything serious. When I was younger I used to play piano, that was from six to eight and then I just stopped, I didn’t want to do it any more. I guess when I grew older my taste in music changed. “
When did you realise this is what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?
“I realised this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life when I met ‘G FrSH’ [Bane’s manager]. When I met G FrSH and we did ‘Shape of You’ that’s when I realised I wanted to do it for the rest of my life.”
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What was it like the first time you ever performed?
“I remember being on my way there; I was cool, and then we get outside and I was nervous. I think it was Birthdays in Shoreditch and I was like nah, I’m not going inside, lets drive around one more time. So we drove around one more time, then we went in, and I was like you know what I’m just going to go in. And I remember, even my first show I took my top off. I took my top off at my first show ever in Shoreditch. I will not forget that day. And I was jumping like a mad man, and I had all my boys behind me and they were going crazy!”
And now what’s it like when people shout your lyrics back to you?
“That’s probably what makes performing one of my favourite bits. When the lights go on – when you come on stage and the lights go on – and everyone’s iPhone is out and they’re all singing. And when I tell the DJ to cut out the beat and they carry on singing. It’s magical, because when you were in the studio you wrote that by yourself, and when you go stage everyone’s joining in. It’s mad.”
Was it one your shows at Omeara earlier this month that sold out within minutes?
“Yeah. The first one was three minutes and then the second one was four. That’s nuts. That was crazy. The link came out – we refreshed it – it’s all gone. Tickets gone. I was like “what you talking about, it can’t be, the link must be broken!” I was getting tagged in twitter by fans who were like “The links not working, the links broken. There’s no more tickets, it couldn’t have sold out it’s been two minutes.” And I was like no G [FrSH] our links broken. It’s not working. And he said “Let me check, yeah, it’s gone.” What do you mean it’s gone. “No the tickets are gone.””
And Wiley came out to the shows – what was that like?
“Wiley never goes anywhere. So when Wiley came to my show I was like “no!”. I remember growing up and watching music videos it would be like “insert Wiley here” or “featuring Wiley” and he wouldn’t even be at the video shoot, and you’d hear about Wiley not turning up at shoots – and then he turns up at Omeara for Yxng Bane? Mad.”
Were you a fan of Wiley growing up?
“Of course – that’s a grime legend. Those are the people that we used to listen to growing up. Being from London, especially East-London – Wiley’s from East-London – he’s from five minutes down the road from me. I would’ve never thought we would of even shared a stage together growing up. Never.”