For those of you who are not familiar with him, Blemish Black Storm as he is formally known has worked with a host of acts such as De La Soul, Mr Midas, Taz, Asher D, Bruza and Big Brovaz. He was also the 3rd runner up in the Hugo Urban Rules competition in the London heats.
Blemish’s deep lyrical content, clever word play and his sharp sense of humour have made him an underground veteran. In fact you could say he’s your favourite rapper’s rapper. With his latest track ‘Blackstar: Are you a Gangster?’ blazing up 1Xtra, Choice FM and Galaxy and the video on heavy rotation on MTV Base, Blemish’s year looks promising.
It’s been along time since I have met an artist who is so on point and with a nice personality, especially in the very fickle and tainted music industry. Always keen and smiling with a good head on his shoulders. Here is what the man himself had to say to Britishhiphop.co.uk.
BHH: What was the fist tune that you ever brought?
Oh wow, let me think, it was a Ghanaian high-life tune by an Artist called Kojo Antwi. ‘Bo min komode’ was the title, loosely translated as ‘Give me a sweet conversation’.
BHH: How did you come up with your name?
Blemish B: My name was given me because I was in a two man group called Miscellaneous and my partner in crime’s name was Flawless. He was taller than me, he had a softer tone than me, he was also a little lighter in complexion than me so in our wisdom we decided the opposite of Flawless would be a suitable name for me lol. I honestly didn’t think it would stick but 5 years later here we are.
BHH: How would you describe your music to people? (Discuss)
Blemish B: The best way to describe my music would be Versatile. I make all kinds of music from different genres like Hip-hop, Grime, R&B, Indie and even Hip life.
My current product out now It Iz What IT Iz showcases my hip hop roots because it was designed for the underground. My new EP entitled ‘Reflections’ however, is far more adventurous and sees me rhyming over different and unexpected beats. ‘Reflections’ is an amalgamation of different genres on one CD, I’ve got some Grime/Hip-hop fusion sounds, some Indie style beats and of course there’s some R&B and Hip-hop on there too.
I am also writing with a number of R&B acts such as Tinashay, Loick and Candice at the moment as well as about to record a full hip Life album in America and that’s going to be something different too. Versatility is the only word I can find to describe what I do.
BHH: Who are your main influences?
Blemish B: When it comes to making music, Life is my main influence to be honest. I’ve seen so much and still see so much so it allows me to express my feelings in an appropriate and constructive manner. When it comes to listening to music, I’m currently feeling people like Gorillaz and Amy Whinehouse.
BHH: Did you always have a back up plan if your music career didn’t work out?
Blemish B: I’ve still got my back up plan in tact. Music and anything within the entertainment sector in general is a very short term ambition, my back up plan was always to set up my own IT Company, and hence my 9-5 profession is that of an IT Facilitator at King’s College. If music flops in the worst way possible, I still intend to own a company and be a success regardless.
BHH: Is there any song out there right now that you think you could have done better?
Blemish B: Err, I cant think of any so I guess that means no. lol Unless we’re talking pop songs, in that case Id say all of them lol.
BHH: If you were not part of Strictly Bizzness do you think you would be as successful as you have been underground?
Blemish B: I doubt it because SB was a team of dedicated young talent determined to get our music heard at all costs. We would hustle all the way up in Leeds and then come back to London and do the same thing in the West End the next evening. That takes a lot of kudos to pull off successfully. If it wasn’t for the determination of certain members of SB, I probably wouldn’t be an artist at all; I would have probably been a manager or something within that vicinity.
BHH: How would you define success? Because you could say you’re successful already.
My definition of success is world wide acknowledgement as an independent entity. I have sold a lot of records on the streets of the UK but I want to reach out to other markets and I want them to embrace me as the UK has.
BHH: Have you always been business savvy?
Blemish B: Yes I have. It’s the only thing I learnt off my dad. Growing up in Leyton, I watched my mum work odd jobs to keep the house afloat whilst my dad spent most of his time travelling and securing independent ventures in Ghana and Japan. My dad is now a self made millionaire and I would say that’s why I have a knack for business opportunities because I was exposed to that at a very young age.
BHH: What are your immediate and long term goals?
My immediate goals are to complete and Release my new EP complete with 3 videos and then concentrate on BreakProof LTD
, which is a consultant agency for unsigned acts. I am planning a lot of shows abroad with my BP affiliates as well. I am also set to feature in a short film called ‘Puppeteers’ (A Film by an independent company), so depending how well that goes, I might include films to my CV on a regular basis.
Outside of music and entertainment, my goals are to concentrate on property development in any capacity; I have land in Ghana which I sell / rent at affordable prices and so I think I’ll build on that very soon. My Long term goals include owning my own business be it in music, property or in IT as long as I’m working for myself successfully, I’ll be happy.
BHH: Were you disappointed that you didn’t win the Hugo Urban Rules competition?
Blemish B: Not really but as competitive as I am, I want to win everything I’m apart of. In saying that though I kind of knew I wouldn’t win because of the Panel and the nature of the competition. It was designed for singers and so to be the only rapper to actually make the final 3 was an achievement in its own right.
BHH: How did this experience affect you?
Blemish B: It simply opened my eyes to the fact that there are other methods to getting heard. I’ve never associated myself with competitions but I guess this experience has changed my views.
BHH: Who is the best artist you have worked with?
Blemish B: Wow, I’ve worked with a lot of artists so I’ve got a list of the ones I like working with, Storming of NASTY Crew is funny and keeps vibes alive, Mr Midas of Gold Touch Records, Richie Rich of SFR is very innovative and responsible for a lot of my recent production, Danielle Senior is extremely talented and Taz, because he works off of good vibes so the music comes out in the same manner. I’m sure there is more but I don’t want to bore you lol.
BHH: What have you got in store for us in 2007?
Blemish B: As I’ve been saying, the Reflections EP should make a lot of noise, I have just completed my first video for the first single off the EP called ‘Black Star’ Feat Richie Rich so look out for that. I’m expecting to get more shows abroad and at some point in 07 my LP should be complete, and that’s entitled ‘When It Rains It Pours’.
You can catch up with Blemish on his myspace page:
http://www.myspace.com/blemishblackstorm and look out for his video on MTV base.
For interviews and show booking contact his Management: Nina Carmela T: +44(0)7734414280 E: firstname.lastname@example.org.