- Words Solly Warner
- Interview Tiffany Calver
- Photography Naomi Wong
- Styling Nura Abdela
- Photography Assistant Molly Mae Smalls
- Art Direction Maria Maleh
- Art Direction Justin Moore
Trinidad born singer-songwriter, rapper, and producer, BERWYN, offers a sensitive insight into life as a young man.
Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, BERWYN moved to London at the age of nine. Growing up with a DJ as a father and embracing his musical roots, the self-taught music maker can play the piano, the guitar, the drums and the violin.
The Trinidad born artist’s musical rise started from a young age. BERWYN came out of school with some complications from the home office as he had no rights to use his successful grades. This, on top of his mother and father both being away, meant that the young man had to find another way to make money. From struggling at the very bottom of the pile, BERWYN has faced many challenges in his way to get where he is today with the creation of his first major project.
Berwyn’s debut album ‘DEMOTAPE/VEGA’ showcases his ability to merge intellectual lyricism with emotive narratives. The singer, rapper, songwriter and producer relays his experiences of growing up in London through an eye-opening perspective. Utilising influences from soul, rap and contemporary electronic styles, the multi-instrumentalist provides listeners with a sensitive insight into an often-unwelcoming hyper-masculine world.
Notion 88’s guest editor and Radio 1Xtra host, Tiffany Calver, picks BERWYN as one to watch for next year. Get to know the creative better before he blows up.
- Jacket and jeans PATTA
- T-shirt LIAM HODGES
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Sit on my balcony floor, smoke a spliff and thank god for another day.
Tell us your first musical memory?
Performing in that big steel pan festival in Trinidad, think it’s called Panorama. I wore an orange t-shirt and fucked shit up.
Three songs that sum up your life?
‘Trini the Bone’ – David Rudder, ‘He Still Loves Me’ – The Fighting Temptations and ‘Because I Got High’ – Afroman.
What’s your biggest learn from 2020?
We can’t control the things we can’t control.
You’re stranded on a remote island – you can only have five items. What are they?
A box of weed, a rucksack with clothes, my little blue ipod and headphones, a pair of sliders and a comb to plait my hair with.
- Tracksuit PATTA
Describe yourself using one of your own lyrics…
Young b, Grease Lightnin’, always smiling.
You can only eat one meal for the rest of your life. What is it?
Pelau but the Trini one! Nothing like the Trini one with some pepper sauce and cold mayo on the side of the plate. Coleslaw would be nice, but not a deal breaker.
What has been the defining moment of your life so far?
Probably when filmed the car shot for the Trap Phone video. We were driving up and down a road I’d walked a million plus times – but this time I was in a professionally lit and rigged car with a camera op using a walkie talkie like feds on a high budget video. It was a moment I can’t lie.
Which of your songs do you think could have gone #1?
None of them! I didn’t even expect them to be played on radio LOL! What a world.
If you could curate the line-up for the next Tiffany Calver & Friends, who would you pick?
Potter Payper, Mustafa, Chrissy, Pa Salieu & Prince Swanny.
- Jacket THE NORTH FACE
What’s your hidden talent?
Catching food in my mouth! It’s mad, I never drop it.
If you woke up to 1 million pounds in your bank account – what’s the first thing you would do?
Not much to be honest, probably roll a slightly bigger than usual zoot to celebrate and treat a couple loved ones.
If you could win any award what would it be?
I’ve always fantasised so much about winning a GRAMMY growing up but u know what, I wouldn’t mind a Nobel Prize, that’s my answer.
Which of your songs means most to you and why?
I’ll never be able to answer this question they all mean so much. Especially the ones you ain’t heard yet.
If you could be remembered for one thing what would it be?
Legalising weed on planet earth! 🙂