26-year-old Vancouver rapper, singer and songwriter bbno$ (real name Alexander Leon Gumuchian) has been growing for a while now, and his latest single Edamame was a career highlight. The track features Rich Brian, who's one of bbno$'s favourite artists. It's a fun, bouncy single, and the video for the track sees the pair goofing off and having tons of fun.
We spoke to bbno$ about working with Rich Brian, as well as how he's used the Internet to his advantage. He also gives Aussie punk trio The Chats a shoutout, so we might see them pop up on a track with bbno$ in the future!
Cool Accidents: I wanted to ask about working with Rich Brian on your latest single, Edamame. Can you tell me about how that collaboration came about, and any highlights from working together?
bbno$: Honestly, it was kind of an internet collab! I started the song with Diamond Pistols, then I just sent it to him and texted Rich Brian. He immediately replied and was like "THIS SONG IS FIRE". He then jumped on it and sent a verse over, came to the studio and we finished it together. Honestly, I was fanboying the whole time hah.
You’ve mentioned that you were a fan of Rich Brian before working with him – did he pass on any advice, about music or otherwise, that really resonated?
There was one day we were texting, and we discussed having popular songs alongside the stress of being an artist. He shed loads of light on how to cope with your artistry and it was reassuring that he had felt the same emotional stressors as I typically do as well.
You’re a big user of social media – how does being active on social media allow you to stay connected with your fans?
It’s pretty much the only way I have a career to be completely honest. I genuinely think posting photos and video content online - shit that is easily shareable - allows your fans to feel like they are involved in either blowing up your song or being part of your career!
As an artist, you’ve definitely made the most of the internet. What’s one thing on the internet that brings you joy when you need it most and why?
Memes, video gaming, the accessibility to information also... unless it's medical questions. You are borderline fucked if you look up symptomology online lol. Definitely go to the doctor if you are worried about something, because you will almost always misdiagnose yourself. The internet is a blessing, but also a curse sometimes, not gonna lie.
Building on that – do you think the Internet allows people to be the truest version of themselves, or do you think people misunderstand what bbno$ is all about?
I think it can go both ways. I genuinely think bbno$ is pretty much Alex. On the other hand, people create a persona online and run with it. You never really know the true persona of the individual, even people who are on Twitch, which displays almost your everyday life. People can be putting on an act.
In past interviews you’ve spoken about being in tune with your body – how does that translate into how you choose which beats you’re going to rap over, and how you write your lyrics?
[laughs] I'm not sure if caring for my physical and mental well-being has a significant effect on my beat selection! I sometimes feel like it would be hilarious to introduce lyricism using a bit of my kinesiology degree… but then I just realise it would also be outrageously lame. My typical creative process is quickly slamming some coffee and going in.
You work with a lot of artists like Yung Gravy, lentra and more - what kinds of artists are you influenced by?
$uicideboy$, Pouya, Rich Brian, 21 Savage, Missy Elliott, and Pharrell. SB and Pouya for the SoundCloud influence, 21 Savage and Rich Brian for the delivery and Missy and Pharrell for the beat selection and bounce. They are all so fire!
Are you across any Australian artists you love and wanna shout out?
THE CHATS BABY!!!!
Your upcoming album, Eat Ya Veggies, is out in September. What do you think fans will resonate most with from the record, and do you have any surprises in store?
Honestly, I think the whole album is ridiculously fire, I genuinely put some blood into this album lmaooo. I think it's great and I am certain everybody will like every song on it, it has a song for everybody and is incredibly diverse and displays my range!
Finally, what’s the best way to Eat Ya Veggies and why?
Make sure you just steam them. That allows you to keep the nutrients. If you're going to have a stirfry, that's super fire as well.