From London, England - we were lucky enough to come across the great talent known as IBZ, who is a 25-year-old rapper of Libyan heritage.
His new song “Rocky” is short and sweet, definitely to the point. Clocking in at 2 minutes, the song starts off with a smooth Hip/Hop vibe that is reminiscent of his influences, such as OutKast, J. Cole and Kayne West. The beat of the track is a familiar feeling, but it’s IBZ’s vocals that make him stand out. His vocal delivery hits home and sits with you, making the replay value of the song huge! His lines and rhymes are super futurist and ahead of the curve, not like many others in his world. “Rocky” is not a hard song to follow along to. It’s the sort of jam that you want to drive around to at night, with some friends in the car (or alone) and just chill out to, and your friends would think you're the aux chord master for playing something like this. With a wide variety of influence, you should consider checking out IBZ today and keep up to date for new music.
Give a listen to IBZ here!
We appreciate you taking the time to speak with us at BuzzMusic! You’re from all the way in London, England but your music feels very “American” esq. Is that something you keep in mind while producing your music?
Good question! One I get all the time! I can explain this by going a bit into my background - so I was born in London, raised in an Arab family who spent a lot of my youth moving between London and North Africa. My first school was actually an American school which I guess played a big effect on my accent - it's what I feel is authentic to me, so I rap with it! In regards to the sound: yeah, it is very American influenced. This is because a lot of my earliest Hip-Hop influences were Outkast, Eminem, Tupac, Kanye, to name a few - I guess that is where the flow patterns, conceptual songwriting and sounds I come up with are really influenced from. There is still some light British influences in some of the stuff I do - I do listen to a lot of UK stuff (grime, rap and drill) - so it's only natural that I learn something from it.
What encouraged you to start rapping and producing music at such a young age? Any artists in particular that helped you want to start out?
I had always wanted to learn and play music at a young age - I started learning the drums and guitar at a young age and always had a desire to create my own music and songs - they were terrible, but I guess it was when the idea of creating content started to sink in.
The biggest influence in rap music for me, without a doubt, would be J. Cole. I remember being introduced to him for the first time and I was so intrigued by the approach he took to creating an identity for himself, let alone how strong his ability was. When I heard 'Friday Night Lights' for the first time, I played that shit for like 2 months straight, daily. He had a song called 'Before I'm Gone', which had a line that goes "never sold a rock and look I made it bitch' - this was the line that got me to start rapping, and actually understand the genre... this was the first time that it really clicked for me that I could actually do this, that rap music doesn't just have to be about selling drugs, violence or women, but rather, is about telling your story or speaking on something important to you! Couldn't thank him enough for that!
You mention that you have influence in Alternative and Punk music. Who are some of your favorite artists in the genre?
Wow, where should I start? So my biggest influences would have to be Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte, and Panic at The Disco - 'Folie a Deux' by Fall Out Boy is one of my top 5 albums... of all time! Other bands like Blink 182, Bowling for Soup and System of a Down, I also love. I guess you could say that that genre was really a soundtrack to my life at that point - I liked the energy of the music as well as the ability to touch on internal topics that people think about every day (such as pain, mental health, and vices) and portray them in unique ways through their styles of songwriting. I try to take as much as I can from these influences - be it that energy, musicality, unique off-kilter sounds and the breakdown of social/societal habits. I am truly thankful for my exposure to the genre, as I feel it brought a new dimension to my music as I learn to incorporate more of it into my style.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
There are so many to choose from, I don't know where to begin... I would love to work with Andre 3000, I feel like anything he touches is automatically interesting (and would be great to be torn apart but a legend on the track haha). Kid Cudi is another that comes to mind - I feel like his style could really compliment my more dark music. On the flip side, Chance the Rapper would also be great for the more lighthearted and maybe thought-provoking content I make. Isaiah Rashad is also one of my favourites right now, he would fit the bouncy style and flows that I have on my newer stuff - and he's a very talented artist that stands out. Playboi Carti would be an awesome pick too! Even if our styles aren't a 100% match, I feel I would listen to that song myself for years. Also, of course, J. Cole - being my biggest influence, I couldn't not say him, right? ;)
Sorry about the long list, there's just so many that I couldn't pick one! Also, these are just Hip-Hop artists, not to mention the other genre-mixing stuff I'd love to do someday - and artists I'd like to work with!
What can your fans expect next from you?
Well right now, you can listen to my single 'Rocky' (Prod. Jido), out on all streaming platforms! I am currently working on my next project called 'TZUNAMI', coming out early 2020. I have a few singles I'm planning to drop before then - with some great artists too, such as GR3YWXLF and 9th The Dawn. I am also working on a separate EP - four tracks, that should be out next year too - a lot of exciting stuff planned for the near future!