In celebration of this year's Youth Music Awards in association with Hal Leonard Europe, we catch up with two rising nominees, brothers Boodz and TL.
It’s a rarity to witness brothers in the same industry, let alone twin brothers thriving in the bustling music scene. Well, two of London’s newest up-and-coming rappers (and twins), Boodz and TL are proving otherwise. While crafting their own distinct hallmark sounds, they’re not scared of showing brotherly love by collaborating with each other to produce a synergy like no other. Both picking up nominations for this year’s annual Youth Music Awards in association with Hal Leonard Europe, the brothers have proved their rising status and are undoubtedly ones to keep a close eye on.
At the age of 12, the prodigious pair began their musical journey. Through their affiliation with Rap Club Production’s The Spit Game, London’s most exciting emerging talent cadre, they’ve since cemented their position as two of the most promising artists on the rise. Showing us their twin similarity, Boodz and TL both affirm that their nominations are a self-confessed dream come true.
The annual event, in association with Hal Leonard Europe, is widely regarded as a pivotal stepping stone in the journey of those who are just beginning their careers. Creating a nurturing environment of inclusivity, diversity and accessibility, the Youth Music Awards applauds and recognises emerging creatives, particularly those who have encountered significant barriers in their pursuit of a place in the music scene.
Last year, Boodz made his name and solidified his status as a rising star by winning the 2022 Spit Game competition. This year he is running for Youth Music’s Original Track Award (Solo) for his track ‘Inside Step’ featuring TL. Meanwhile his brother TL has earned a nomination for the Lyricist Award for his emotive and heartfelt track ‘Time Will Tell’, a poignant song penned in the wake of the tragic loss of his best friend during their formative years.
Whilst we await the unfolding of the evening’s award ceremony tonight, we catch the brothers to talk everything Youth Music and more.
Hey TL and Boodz! How have your years been so far? And what are your moods going into the last few months?
BOODZ: This year has been busy but exciting. It really feels like my career is starting to look like my dream. There’s a lot that’s been going on performance-wise and we wrapped up our debut, BBC-funded feature film. Now that the year is coming to an end I’m gassed for what next year is gonna bring us.
TL: This year has seen a series of big and small steps of progression. I’m very glad I’m in this position and I’ll be keeping the same mentality for the last few months.
When did you guys start making music and what made you want to pursue it seriously?
BOODZ: We started making music when we were 12 and joined Turner’s Rap Club. [Benjamin] Turner has been there for us the whole way through and ultimately got us both properly into acting and music in the first place. I think the point where we started to pursue it seriously was when we worked with him to set up The Spit Game.
TL: Yeah, we both started doing music around the same time with Turner, and then acting later on. I personally wanted to pursue music because of the community I was in and the response I was getting from people who listened to my music.
In three words, for those that don’t know, how would each describe your sounds?
BOODZ: Niche, old school and eccentric.
TL: I would describe my sounds as cinematic, energetic and London.
Lyrically, you cover a range of topics. Where do you find it easiest to write? Are you more productive in a studio or do you have to venture out of your comfort zone?
BOODZ: I think I get most writing done when I’m at home. Being at the studio is fun but I feel like there’s a certain pressure you feel when you’re in the studio to get stuff done because you don’t wanna be wasting time. When you can take your time and have all the space you want writing at home, it allows you to be much more creative.
TL: I also find that I write more efficiently in my room at home. Once I find a rhythm I start to pick up the pace and ideas keep flowing through my brain, but I still write hard bars when I’m in the studio as well.
What do you listen out for in a beat? What gets the TL and Boodz seal of approval?
BOODZ: It’s the vibe. The vibe of the beat needs to be out there and in your face because there’s so many beats these days that sound the same.
TL: When listening to a beat, I like to look for different sounds. I really like simple beats, because as a lyricist you need to have space in order for your bars to land.
You’re both nominated for awards at this year’s Youth Music Awards in association with Hal Leonard Europe, congratulations! How does it feel to get such recognition at this early stage of your career?
BOODZ: It feels surreal. It’s mad because you never really aim for it when you’re being creative but it validates your work.
TL: It genuinely feels like my dreams are turning into reality; I’m still shocked at the recognition. This is only the start and it encourages me to work harder towards the goals I’ve set for myself.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
BOODZ: Probably performing at the Royal Albert Hall or in Trafalgar Square. Those two performances in front of thousands were crazy and I was performing with The Spit Game family, so I couldn’t ask for any better.
TL: I’d say the same. The response and energy we got back from the crowds was nuts.
You’re both aspiring actors as well as rappers. Do you see similarities between both art forms?
BOODZ: Yeah, of course! That’s why I lean into acting so much. They both require you to connect with your feelings and to tell a story that people can understand. They both take time to really understand the craft behind the two.
TL: I believe there are similarities between the two, but for me, it’s because you have to put the personal stuff to the side and properly embrace a character. I think that changing personas definitely has a big impact on performance.
What fictional character do you both relate to the most and why?
BOODZ: Sonic. All he wants to do is move fast and all people wanna do is slow him down, for good reasons and for bad.
TL: I relate to the character Miles Morales a lot because of how he balances different worlds and pursues something bigger than himself.
Boodz and TL rule the world for the day, what’s going down?
BOODZ: If we ruled the world? Everyone’s getting a pair of Jordan 4s and Caribbean food for free.
TL: Nah, if me and BOODZ ruled the world for the day it would be complete carnage.
How far do you want to take music? Are there any specific goals and aspirations that you have?
BOODZ: For me, the passion I have for acting has changed the whole course of my career. I want to win an Oscar! I also want to write and direct, which I’m already starting to do with Turner.
TL: I intend to be the best at what I do, I don’t necessarily have aspirations but I set short-term goals that give me structure.
What’s next for TL and Boodz? Do you have any plans to release music before the end of the year?
BOODZ: We have our feature film, Monique, coming out sometime next year, which could be massive for us. We just came back from a writing camp to make the soundtrack for it with the rest of The Spit Game, so be ready when it comes out!
TL: It depends on what my supporters think about my upcoming freestyles. For now, I’m gonna be focusing on building my socials and developing my sound. But things can change!
Keep up with the awards live tonight on Youth Music’s Instagram stories.