In a generation where music is constantly evolving, it is inevitable that new artists would emerge; bearing their own skills in an attempt to make their mark on their respective genres. This era of cozy trap music originating from Harlem’s A$AP Mob has found its way to the shores of Nigeria, with Gen-Zers adopting it with open arms and tweaking it to fit their different personalities and environments. British-Nigerian collective Family And Friends are heavily associated with this sound, reciting easy-going lyrics about their lifestyle while clad in their fast-rising Home Delivery merchandise. One of its artists has done well to lay a good foundation for his development, and with his second project on the way, continues to make a gradual but steady rise to prominence. His name is $B, and he is the focus of this week’s RADR New School.
What’s a typical day for $B?
Right now, it’s: wake up, FIFA, GTA, read slightly, then sleep.
Balancing music and school must be tough.
Everything about music and school is hard. From balancing when to go to the studio and having to study, putting songs together and all that.
Do you think you’ve found the right balance?
Nah, but I’m getting there.
Has the virus affected your music?
Yeah. I can’t record at all right now.
Who do you record with?
Dami Beats. I recorded Who Is $B?! with him, and we’ve been working together ever since.
What was your thought process behind the creation of Who Is $B?!
It was my first project and an opportunity to work with a producer who would change my life and sound. He opened up my mind to my strengths in singing and mixing [with something different]
… and the artists you featured?
The features were basically just good friends who I know make music and are really talented.
$B makes music that is never devoid of playfulness. He embraces his youthful facial features, singing about it at any given opportunity and giving the listener an impression of his reluctance to grow old — made evident on his 2019 single, “Cute Interlude”. This aesthetic works for him effortlessly, making his music feel like a breath of fresh air with every listen.
$B’s 2018 project, Who is $B?! was the singer’s first attempt at finding his sound, and while he clearly had room for improvement back then, his consistency has helped him morph into the more polished form we hear today. In a bid to describe his sound, he says, “The music I aim for is a psychedelic feel on relatable topics through Hip-Hop, R&B and alternative music”. He continues, “It’s supposed to be something to calm you down, [to] listen to when you’re in your feelings in the car, your room or whatever.”
Who are the major influences of your sound?
I’d say Tory Lanez, T-Pain, Tobi Lou, Smino and Nav.
His harmonizing. T-Pain, Chris Brown and The-Dream have some of the best harmonizing in the world honestly.
Yeah, The-Dream is a natural. His production is great too. Do you produce?
Not yet. I’m trying to learn though.
You don’t go to school here in Nigeria. How has it been trying to establish a fanbase over here?
Honestly, I’m just grateful for where I am. I’m in England [through the year], so I guess more fans are here.
I like “Better”. You did a great job on it.
Thanks, I really enjoyed making that song.
Are there plans for a new project?
Yes, definitely. Who is $B?! 2 is in the works right now. Probably between the end of the year and next year April [for release].
The ability of Nigerians to add the flavour of their homeland to foreign sounds can never be understated. $B and the Family and Friends collective continue to leave their imprint everywhere they go, so much that they are blessed enough to have two places to call home. While Home Delivery continues to make its name on the fashion front, $B is holding fort on the music end, and he’s doing a good job. This is only the beginning, and he wants us to join him on his journey to create the perfect $B Universe.
In case you missed it, you can check out DRB Lasgidi’s Pioneers album here.