At the age of twenty six, British gospel rap artist Guvna B already has 5 albums, countless live appearances and scores of fans under his belt. His album Odd 1 Out reached number one in the official Christian and Gospel charts and he he has shared a stage with the likes of Matt Redman, Israel Houghton and even Tinie Tempah. But despite all this, Guvna B has his feet on the ground and his eyes set on the positive message which has attracted young people nationwide. I had a chance to ask him a few questions about his music and his message.
How would you describe your music and its message, in a few sentences, to someone who has never heard of you?
I make music to inspire people to become the best they can be. I want people to listen and feel like their past doesn’t have to dictate their future, but they can always make something of their current situation and future.
What encouraged you to start making music, and who were your early musical influences?
I saw people like Dizzee Rascal, Wiley and Kano on TV. They were enjoying life, being themselves and earning money. I wasn’t great academically so to see people like me on TV doing well inspired me.
Do you have a few favourite artists on the current scene?
I love Tori Kelly at the moment. She’s pretty refreshing.
What problems do you think there are with the message that mainstream contemporary hip-hop gives to young people?
Glorifying a lifestyle that isn’t for everyone. Not everyone wants to have five girls on the go, carry two knives, and five guns. Some people are just living normal lives. A lot of rappers don’t even live the lives they’re rapping about. I think young people are very impressionable so hip-hop should be careful with their content.
Can you tell us briefly why you choose to make music about Jesus?
I make music about my life and Jesus is a big part of my life so it naturally comes across in the music.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your line of work; is there a moment or a time that you remember as a career highlight?
Yeah. A guy I grew up with was on the roads getting up to no good and living a pretty dangerous lifestyle. We lost contact and about 8 years later he found my number and called me and said he heard my album and it changed his life. He decided to stop all the craziness he was involved in and walk on the straight and narrow. That was pretty special for me.
On your website you say that your new album Secret World will go beyond anything you’ve released before. What makes this album so special?
I’ve matured and been through some things. It’s very personal and I hope people will relate to the testimony.
Guvna B will be performing at the Lemon Grove for The Nooma Project’s Gospel UV Party, SHINE, with DJ Kelechi, on 5th November.