- Words Miriam Balanescu
BAD WITH PHONES exclusively shares his musical firsts with Notion, from EPs named after bang bang chicken to casually bumping into Usher.
Few artists genuinely test the limits of genre but BAD WITH PHONES is certainly one of them. Raised in Deptford, now hailing from South East London, the self-professed “ex-hacker” and “space enthusiast” combines slouchy alt-hip-hop, down-to-earth vocals with an occasionally indie-folk feel.
His pastor father’s church was where BAD WITH PHONES was first introduced to bass guitar, the instrument that would catapult him headfirst in love with music. BAD WITH PHONES made his debut with “Needles”, an acoustically rooted endearing single which set the score for future releases and earned him an ardent following. “ON1”, meanwhile, has tallied 1.4M streams and proved that the artist’s mellow voice could thrill.
Owing his spiritual and psychedelic slant to a transformative trip to Berlin, BAD WITH PHONES’ latest, “Ghost”, brings carina’s Florence and the Machine-esque vocals head-to-head with compellingly understated rap beats.
Notion caught up with BAD WITH PHONES about his musical firsts, from self-doubt to his love for bass guitar.
First time you realised you wanted to be an artist?
Hmm I don’t know – maybe seeing the Sade “Sweetest Taboo” video… That video is just fire, does something to me now and did something to me then.
First gig and first festival you went to? And the first festival you performed at?
Fuck knows – been to too many but the first festival I ever played was a friend’s one in Sicily, Palermo.
First time one of your dreams came true?
Everyday man haha.
First instrument you owned?
First time you felt like giving up?
First time you felt starstruck?
Bumping into Usher at Shoreditch House coming out the lift… Crazy.
First time you heard your song playing somewhere?
DJ Target 1XTRA. That shit was wild.