Ghanaian-born, Sydney-based artist/producer BLESSED is transforming the way people look at rock, one track at a time. Taking inspiration from the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Kanye West, his musical influences are eclectic, and the result is a sound that can't quite be nailed down.
BLESSED makes music to challenge himself, and the result is a sound that is ever-evolving. To celebrate the release of his new track, Not Sorry, we've taken a look at BLESSED's musical journey so far, as well as where he's heading next. BLESSED's influence spreads far beyond his own output, and that's the way he likes it.
How did BLESSED start making music?
BLESSED credits his Ghanaian heritage as the reason he's making music, and he played drums at church, teaching him the importance of rhythm and timing. It was his experiences growing up in Australia that led him to playing guitar, as he found that listening to the music his friends were playing meant he was drawn towards the instrument, which meant he was able to embrace the emotion inherent in every song.
Speaking to Equate Magazine, BLESSED says, "Since I can remember gospel music has always been present in my life. My parents are Christian missionaries and we always played and sang along to legends like Ron Kenoly and Mary Mary, but my first taste of secular music that I was allowed to listen to was Kanye West – Jesus Walks. I’m a pretty obsessive person so from then on, I just wanted to be like Ye. Artist, Producer, Visionary."
What does BLESSED's music sound like?
BLESSED's music combines elements of R&B, punk, rock, hip-hop and rap, and brings it all together to create tracks that explore his views on the world, as well as experiences that are closer to home. Music is at the core of who he is, and speaking to Pilerats, he explains, “Honestly, I'm a very, very obsessive person. All I do is make music. There's really nothing else to it… just the way that I am, I don't really go out or party, I don't have too many friends either, so all I really do is make music, and I do it in my bedroom.”
As part of his previous project, Miracle, BLESSED was an instrumental part of shaping the sound of Australian hip-hop. He's worked with the likes of 360, Justice Crew and even The Kid LAROI, serving as the executive producer for LAROI's 2018 EP 14 WITH A DREAM. While he might consider himself shy, his ability to collaborate with musicians from any scene has helped him influence the sounds of many artists around him.
Speaking about his audience, he tells NME, "I want those who resonate with [my music] to take that piece of me with them and be able to know that they’re not alone and they’re not going through whatever they’re going through by themselves, but everybody goes through things. As the title of his 2020 mixtape suggests, Music Is The Medicine. His music is designed to help people heal.
What's Blessed been up to in 2021?
Throughout Sydney's lockdown, BLESSED has been releasing a string of sessions featuring different styles of music. He's been working with different producers and posting the results to social media, from hard-hitting rap verses to songs about "memories from 2 years ago". The videos have been further showcasing BLESSED's talent, as well as his relentless work ethic.
One of the highlights from the sessions has been BLESSED's take on Drake's No Friends In The Industry. The track sees BLESSED calling on artists to "bring back the biff", showcasing what it would have sounded like if Drake had reached out to him to jump on the track. If Drizzy's looking for someone to jump on a remix, he knows who to call.
What's next for BLESSED?
Following the release of Not Sorry, BLESSED's continuing to work on music for both himself and other artists. Stay tuned for more from him, because you can be sure he's always working on something new.