Originally part of Harlem Spartans hip hop crew, Blanco’s solo ventures have allowed the artist to tap into his creativity much more deeply. Originally creating drill sounds, the rapper has since expanded his musical sound, notably tapping into Brazilian funk as a result of his post-incarceration life. Nowadays, Blanco is working on the release of a new EP, teased to be coming out in early summer, after having just released the cinematic music video for Londis.
Hey Blanco ! Your latest music video for Londis takes place entirely in a corner shop. Tell me a little bit about the process of filming, from the concept to the actual shoot.
The concept was amazing. I’ll hold my hands up. It wasn’t my idea, that was the director’s. I wanted to film some in a Londis but he wanted to film all of it with extras and all
The chorus to Londis captures your talent at wordplay and lyricism, as you rap “Been True Flavours, never been Hakkasan, it’s mad / WD-40, turn them jelly, mash is jammed / Hell In The Cell, that’s 2v1, that’s handicap / Diamonds dance, no salary cap”. What’s your process like when it comes to writing lyrics? Are you a journal kind of guy or do you just let it flow on the mic and see what comes out?
I’m a journal kind. I think in slow motion and remembering lyrics after I just sang them is something I can’t do either
You’ve mentioned growing up surrounded by music. What kind of tunes or artists do you remember being played around the house?
50 Cent was everywhere. There was a time where 50 Cent’s In Da Club, Candy Shop and all these songs were playing everyday on TV channels. This was 2010, I didn’t know these songs came out in 2004.
Since first venturing into music, what has been a career highlight for you?
Getting 64 million streams. It’s amazing everytime I look at it, it makes me go “wow”.
In the past, you could have been categorised as a drill rapper, but now you’ve leaned into more different types of music including Brazilian funk. Why did you feel like making that move?
I just had that in my head since prison and I thought that it was always going to work. When I heard those songs I used to rap over them, so I knew it could be possible
You’ve also mentioned that no drill artist wants to be a drill artist. What did you mean by that?
Being called a drill artist puts you in this imaginary box. Drill is seen as a passing sub-genre meaning people know drill will die soon. So you don’t want to be stuck as a drill artist. Every true artist wants to evolve.
You came up with the Harlem Spartans before eventually going solo. How was that transition?
The transition was smooth going solo as we all support each other.
Talk us through a day in the life with you. What does your day-to-day look like?
8am I’m up like the true entrepreneurs, cycle to the gym, workout and come home. I like writing music during the day so I’ll probably do that, do my daily dues then sleep. That’s like an average day.
The last time you put out an album was in 2021 with “City Of God”. Do you approach an album differently to just making a song? If so, how is it different?
Actually, depends. I approach songs like they are going to be on the mixtape so when it comes to making an album I feel right at home, the only difference is to keep a similar theme in at least some of the songs.
With 3 singles out already, can we expect a mixtape from you this year? Or anything else you’re working on for 2023?
The mixtape will be dropping in June with some more singles on the way.
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