Ghanaian-Australian artist BLESSED understands the role that music can play in pushing for change. His new single, NO CHANGES, sees him discussing how a better tomorrow is possible, if people are willing to work together. Transitioning between melodic rapping and singing, he captures the inequality that runs rampant in society, while also conveying a sense of optimism. It's not a melancholic track - instead, it comes from a place of hope.
Having recently signed to Rainbow Valley Records, the time feels right for BLESSED to reach new heights. He's been involved in the career of countless other artists (notably producing The Kid LAROI's debut EP 14 With A Dream), but over the last couple of years, we've heard more from BLESSED as a solo artist, including 2021's Lockdown Tapes Vol. 1. He's been one of the most important figures in hip-hop in Australia over the better part of a decade, and now, more than ever, the world's learning what BLESSED can do as an artist.
We spoke to BLESSED about NO CHANGES, as well as the power of music. BLESSED is an artist that's always striving to bring the best out of both himself and others, and his passion for highlighting the talent present in Western Sydney comes through in everything he does.
Cool Accidents: Hi BLESSED! The message of NO CHANGES is a powerful one – I’d love to learn more about the catalyst behind making the song, and how you view music’s ability to create change in society?
BLESSED: In a world changing so rapidly the system has remained the same and I believe music has the ability to inspire us to create the change we need.
Watching the video for NO CHANGES, it feels like despite the issues that society currently faces – Palestine, Invasion Day, BLM, climate change, etc. – there’s a sense of optimism for the future within the video. What does your vision for the future look like?
I have faith in the youth. They are more socially aware and more accepting of each other. The powers that be will die out eventually, leaving room for a brighter future of equal opportunity and inclusivity.
You wrote that NO CHANGES was the first time you’ve had your “family and extended family” involved in a release – does their presence give this release an added significance when reflecting on the song?
Having my family and loved ones be a part of my creative vision is a blessing and it signifies to me that not only do they support me and my artistic integrity but they stand behind the message of the music.
I wanted to ask about the phrase “Music Is The Medicine”. It’s the title of one of your recent projects, but more than that, I’d love to learn how music got you through the last couple of years?
Music is made up of frequencies and vibrations that resonate with the mind, body and soul. It heals or hurts us on a metaphysical level, whether we realise or not. My music is therapy, not only for my fans but for myself. It's held me together my whole life, not just the last couple of years.
2021 was a big year for you, releasing LOCKDOWN TAPES VOL. 1. It was one of my favourite projects of the year, and I especially enjoyed the features from Jaecy and Chirine – both fellow Western Sydney artists like yourself. I’d love to know more about the creation of the project, and the importance you place on being able to highlight up-and-coming artists from Western Sydney?
I really appreciate that. The whole tape was made in my bedroom during the last lockdown we had in Sydney. I was recording everyday, sometimes three times a day. I was working online with Jaecy, Chirine and a few other artists. Collaboration and community are what is important to me. I only work with like-minded creatives and kids from Western Sydney just have that hunger and drive that inspires me.
You’ve just signed to Matt Corby’s Rainbow Valley Records – can you tell me more about your relationship with Matt, as well as the decision to sign to RVR?
Matt Corby is one of those artists that creates songs that move the soul. I remember the first time I heard his music I was brought to tears. A few years ago I supported him on his national tour and this year I'm the first artist on his label, what a blessing. I chose to work with him and his team at RVR because I believe we have the same mission, to inspire and evoke emotion.
READ MORE: Meet BLESSED, The African-Australian Artist/Producer Creating New Sounds Out Of Rock & Rap
Finally, you’ve mentioned previously that The Kid LAROI is like a “little brother” to you, and there’s been a fair bit of discussion around the Hottest 100 result – I’d love to know what you made of the Hottest 100?
I don't know anything about the Hottest 100 but I love The Kid LAROI.