- 18 Sep 18
After a tough upbringing that included a stint in jail as a teen, grime star Bugzy Malone is now spreading an optimistic message with his stunning debut album, B. Inspired.
Having released his debut album B. Inspired just a few months ago, UK grime merchant Bugzy Malone has grown from cult Manchester performer to international star.
In Dublin, this has seen him transition from playing the Academy to the Olympia. Meanwhile, B. Inspired is climbing the charts and Bugzy has recently collaborated with the likes of Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and JP Cooper. Speaking about his new tour, Bugzy promises Irish fans a performance on a whole new level.
“Previously, I’d just jump onstage, perform and leave,” he reflects. “It was very direct and focused on my journey; what my story was and what I had going on. Now, the connection with the fans is much deeper. I’m really able to open up and give a true account of who I am and where I’m coming from. I’m telling my story, but with bits of other stories. It’s more universal and appealing, without being pop.”
Bugzy’s connection with Irish crowds runs deep – he describes them as hardcore supporters.
“Once the Irish get behind you, it doesn’t go anywhere,” he notes. “It means a lot to me. I’ve always wanted a certain level of respect, and I feel with this album everything I’ve ever wanted to happen is happening.”
B. Inspired tackles serious issues like poverty and gun violence. The song ‘Die By The Gun’, for example, is an honest and raw account of the struggle to survive gang life. Bugzy often chronicles his own rough upbringing, which involved a brief stint in prison as a teenager. Despite delving into such heavy topics, the album still presents a message of hope for younger people.
“I just wanted to make an inspirational piece,” says Bugzy. “It’s my life story. I wanted people to come out of it feeling that they can accomplish the things I’ve accomplished. The people who normally touch on these issues talk about punishing the people involved whereas I’m coming from the perspective of somebody who was caught up in it myself. I get it from all angles. I’m giving the people involved hope that they don’t have to live like that.”
Hoping to inspire people who grew up in similar circumstances, the rapper wants to send the message that they too can achieve their dreams. Bugzy notes how he has received many messages from young people living in situations similar to his own, in which they have expressed gratitude for the lasting impact his music has made.
“I was somebody who got into trouble myself,” he expands. “But when I became busy, I had an excuse not to get into trouble. When you’re bored and you have nothing to do, it’s like, ‘Why not just get in trouble?’ It’s the easiest thing in the world to do. If you’re busy and you want to become a boxer, an accountant or a doctor, then you have no time to be idle and get in trouble. You need to focus on something. Your life needs to have a purpose.”
Having experienced such a whirlwind of success, Bugzy has only now managed to appreciate everything he’s accomplished thus far. “Everything has been such a hectic rush,” he says. “I haven’t taken loads of it in – I’m only now soaking it up. With the album doing well in the charts and a tour on sale, it’s going brilliant. But I’m not looking back, I’m just focusing on right now.”
Bugzy Malone plays the Olympia, Dublin on December 1.