Today I had the pleasure of having a sit down with Ramz, THE Mr Barking himself. I walk in and see him sitting across the room finishing another interview. I wait patiently but whilst waiting I can feel some nerves in the pit of my stomach that I push all the way down to wherever they came from.
With he’s debut single ‘Barking’ going platinum, 80 billion global streams and 38 million views on YouTube and most probably counting he has no doubt made a big arrival into the U.K. music scene. For a young man who was attending university some months back to now achieving the title as the highest U.K. urban artist since 2015 is most certainly what you call a change in circumstances. He has now released he’s follow up single ‘Family tree’ which the video already has 2.4 million views and who knows by the time you’re reading this it could be more.
Throughout the interview he was calm, softly spoken and came across as a lovely young man.
So I’m here to find out about he’s new single ‘Family Tree’, plans for the upcoming year and he’s thoughts on a few things.
[The following transcription has been condensed for reading purposes. You can listen to the full interview on our Soundcloud linked at the bottom of the interview.]
Monica PRDN: Your new single ‘Family tree’ is inspired by your family & friends no doubt, so what would you say has been the most valuable lesson or piece of advice you’ve gotten from them.
RAMZ: It would most probably be my mum, to always just listen to what she says cause like being a child or even an adult you don’t always listen to your mum they tell you to do something but you just go and do the absolute opposite and then what she told you just ends up being right.
You mention in the song that Mitcham is where you grew up, what was it like growing up there?
Mitcham is fairly small, and expands into areas like Streatham and stuff like that, but growing up cause and going school I never really got to go out and see other places. Back then Mitcham was pretty, every area had like certain bad people so as long as you got to know them it was fine but there was some trouble sometimes.
Barking’ reached platinum has over 80 million global streams, 38 million views, reached number one on Apple Music and Spotify and no2 on the U.K. Singles chart but are you feeling the pressure to have the same success on your new releases?
Do you know what, not really. I feel like when making music people want to see your second song be amazing or just as good as the first song but sometimes it takes like a lot of time to get that song perfect.
So it might not be the first or the second song that’s amazing but as long as they are good then people can see that you’re getting better. I feel like that’s what matters the most, at least to me.
How did you overcome all the controversy when people were saying you are a one hit wonder?
It can be very [pause]… It can make you feel down if you’re being put down all the time.
Because you’re human as well, it’s almost as if people forget that part.
Yeah exactly, a lot would just say stuff and I’m thinking to myself why do they even saying stuff like that. Especially when I saw people that I know saying things too. It was like but I know you so why would you even put this online, why wouldn’t you just come to me personally and speak to me. Then as time went along I was gradually getting better and better. I just channeled it out and that’s how you just get better in yourself.
There was also a lot of controversy with the video you posted regarding clothing brands, could you clarify what you really meant?
How do you even put that. I would just say I worded it wrong and it just got taken in the wrong way.
Do you think people are jus looking for a reason to dislike you based on all the backlash you have received since starting out?
Erm it’s in the middle sometimes. Sometimes I look at it myself and I just think like maybe they just don’t want me to do the things I’m doing maybe because I’m from university. I think that plays a big part in how people feel about me, because you don’t really hear about people that come from university and start doing music and it just all goes well.
At the same time it shows other people that they can do it, which is good because everyone should be able to do whatever they want to do.
How do you feel about people comparing you to Not3s? For example your hook on power that was supposedly taken/ inspired by him. Do you feel that people should let you grow as an artist and become your own?
People will always compare anybody that you remind them of, whether that’s a boy or a girl they are always just going to try and compare you to something or someone. You still get Bruno Mars being compared to like Micheal Jackson but I see them as two different people and artists. I think it’s over time and the more songs you release that’s what allows people begin to see that yeah this guy he’s his own artist, he’s got his own lane.
Are you excited to be doing Wireless?
Very excited, very excited for wireless considering I was there last year watching myself, like watching the stage that my friend was on, going to do the same thing and perform on the stage as well it’s a good feeling.
Who would you say has influenced your music the most so far?
I would say mainly 50 cent was the main one for me.
Really I love 50 as well, why would you say 50?
He doesn’t influence the music I make but it makes me feel like, this is the type of music I want to do as well where it’s like merging melody with rap.
What have you got in store for us in 2018? Any upcoming releases to look out for?
Yeah there may be a couple more before wireless, in terms of everything else, I’m more or less just when I release a track I like to sit down and say okay what’s next but I’m definitely working on like a lot more songs.
Listen to the audio version of our interview with Ramz below and If you have tickets for wireless (lucky you) make sure you check out he’s set, he will be performing on the 7th of July and for those of you that don’t, sort it out asap.