10 things you need to know about young rapper barny fletcher
Not what you’d expect from a kid from Somerset.
Photo courtesy of Barny Fletcher
Well, this is exciting. There’s a new artist in town offering up fast-flowing intentionally-nonsensical lyrics over old school hip-hop beats. London-based Barny Fletcher is just 20 years old and though relatively new to rapping, he has already found himself signed to TAP, home of Dua Lipa and Lana Del Rey, with a whole lot of music industry eyes fixed firmly on his progress. Having first showcased his skills on the eccentric DOUGH at the tail end of last year, he just followed up with Christ Flow, the first single from his forthcoming debut mixtape.
As stressed again and again on the hook, Christ Flow “don’t mean much, but it’s sounding tight though”. Sprung from a freestyle laid down over the catchy James Jacob-produced track, Barny’s brilliantly chaotic bars manage to tie together The Iron Giant, Monty Python Life Of Brian and the 1963 rendition of Jason and the Argonauts – fun! There’s a video too. It's directed by fish eye-fan Taichi Kimura, and in it we find Barny going full on Supermarket Sweep somewhere near Elephant and Castle. Decked out in a zebra print furry jacket and Kill Bill trackies, we like to imagine that he downed multiple cans of Red Bull before Taichi called action.
"It’s a lot about very little,” Barny confirmed the other day in an email to i-D, before suggesting that the rest of his mixtape might just be as unpredictable as the lyrics to Christ Flow. “In the future it won’t be all rap,” he says. “I think of myself as a singer first and foremost. I’ve got like 200 songs as of right now... some of them are soul, some disco, some are folk sounding. There’s a lot I’ve got to get off my chest and I’ve got the time to do it, so I’m happy.” Pulling in influences from far and wide -- everyone from The Beatles, Queen and The Bonzo Dog Band to Jay-Z, Kendrick and Skii Mask -- Barny just likes music that “paints a picture or tells a story”. There seem to be about a thousand stories going on right here.
Dive headfirst through Christ Flow and get to know Barny Fletcher via these 10 fun facts.
1. The first concert Barny ever went to was Meatloaf.
“The year was 2007. It changed my life.”
2. He was born and raised in Somerset, home of hip-hop.
“I mean, the air is clean... it moves at a very slow pace. When you visit after being away for a while, it’s actually nice to see that nothing has changed, but when you’re a young person living there, it feels kind of dead.”
3. He’s only been rapping for a year and a half.
“Before then I’d been listening to a lot of hip-hop and R&B, but I wasn’t writing any. Halfway through 2017 I started downloading beats from YouTube, writing songs on them, and putting them onto SoundCloud. I released one song every Friday without fail for about 4 months. That’s what got me into writing songs and rap stuff.”
4. His go-to shopping list looks a little something like this:
“Voss, Super Noodles, lobster and maple syrup.”
5. Aside from himself, his favourite Barny is...
“I fuck with the dinosaur. His music is crazy. He’s dropped some heaters.”
6. Barny reckons Christ Flow would be a good soundtrack for an Edgar Wright movie.
“Baby Driver 2? Or maybe an R-rated Pixar film, if they ever do one? I’d love to switch it up in future and do a song with someone like Yann Tiersen and make something sad and dreamy for a foreign film. Or maybe a song with Chilly Gonzales. His song The Tourist is the most relaxing, beautiful piece of music I’ve ever heard.”
7. Rumour has it that he does tricks, but he refuses to unleash his magic on the world.
“Not until I’m on Ellen at least. I’ll keep it low-key until then.”
8. He has a Canadian passport.
“That’s pretty fun, eh?”
9. Back in 2016, Barny was in an unreleased Frank Ocean music video.
“During the summer of 2016 I was in LA and got scouted to be in a Frank Ocean music video. We did a two-day shoot and got paid but I’m still waiting for it to be released. I don’t think it ever will be.”
10. Barny doesn’t want to be remembered for his music.
“I’ll do something after music that’s better.”
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.