The last time we spoke to Yxng Bane was for his cover story in Notion 82, now almost two years later and after a hiatus from the game, pretty Baney is back harder than ever with a magnetic new album 'Quarantime: The Lost Files'.
Canning Town hero Yxng Bane really doesn’t need an introduction – his public stature has gone to newer heights as his undeniable pulling force within the culture expands and grows with each new offering from Yxng Bane.
To put it bluntly, Bane is a big deal. His voice and words have created an enigma within themselves, but Yxng Bane continues to do what he does best – spit freedom and honesty in words that only he could marry together. After a brief hiatus from the world to reflect, press pause and simply let life happen, Yxng Bane is back for 2020 with the appropriately titled ‘Quarantime: The Lost Files’ album from the Midas touch rapper. With Yxng Bane representing the melting pot of cultures within East London streets, the evolution embedded within the DNA of Bane’s new body of work cements Bane as the voice of an evolving youth.
Bane’s huge following hasn’t come from the music machine – it’s the authenticity and sometimes brutal vulnerability that Yxng Bane explodes with that has captured the legions of proud admirers behind him, and if anything, it’s humbled him even more. It’s pretty evident that Bane is walking his own path, a brightly burning trailblazer who is focused on perfecting his craft rather than appeasing the distractions of fame. With millions and millions of streams, selling out landmark venues across the UK and walking prestigious shows at London Fashion Week, it’s undeniable the legacy he is creating for himself whilst remaining as down to earth as they come.
When I speak to Yxng Bane, the optimism translating from his voice through the phone is definitely infectious, which in these weird and unknown times is a small and powerful act of kindness to anyone. It’s clear Bane is just happy to have his latest album out in an everchanging world. It’s those moments of escapism that we all need in difficult times as an act of survival for hope and creativity to flourish.
Dive into the interview below with Yxng Bane as we talk about the creation of ‘Quarantime: The Lost Files’, how to maintain positive levels in a world that is anything but positive and what heights the genre-blending rapper has his eyes set on next.
Asking someone how are they are is as imperative as ever, Bane immediately lights up in response, “I’m good man, I’m amazing,” he tells me. “I’m in a great space and I hope you are too. I think the Zoom listening party we had for the new album helped, it was lit!” ICYMI, Yxng Bane had an exclusive Zoom listening party with 7,000 of his fans, because obviously IRL events are not happening anytime soon, so Bane had to make to do with the internet and from his accounts, it appeared just as good as an event. With a “few drinks too many”, Bane and his fans got to experience the new album, party and shout out their favourite tracks to Bane who never carries an ego anywhere.
It was definitely felt in the music industry when Bane took some much need time away for himself after a few crazy years, and of course, Bane put that time to good use. “I learned a lot man, a lot…” he tells me, “I learned not just about myself, but about others too which have actually helped me understand myself more too. People my age, people that come from the same place as me – it’s helped me understand why my generation act and think the way they do. It was definitely useful to take that time away and then put it all back into the new work.”
When it comes to the way Yxng Bane can effortlessly waver and flow in between genres with ease, he tells me it stems from “the experience I have been through – growing and evolving as a person is going to show. What’s more important is how I come out of those experiences, my mind now and how I think about things is very different and I think you can hear that in the new music.”
For some artists, music can be a form of reliving past experiences and memories, for Yxng Bane “it’s always been therapy.” Bane opens up, “I can’t explain it – there have been things that maybe I hadn’t dealt with before that come up in the studio and it just becomes a space where I can release them.” It’s clear to anyone who listens to Yxng Bane to know that he lays it all out in his music. When I ask him if he ever feels a slight fear in laying so much bare, he’s straight up and tells me “I just don’t care about that fear”. Continuing on with the topic of power within vulnerability, Bane opens up “I understand what vulnerability is and what it means. I have accepted vulnerability. Some other people haven’t accepted their own vulnerability yet and they disguise that acceptance as something else, like anger and paranoia. I feel like it’s helped me become a better person.”
When it comes to Yxng Bane’s process, he tells me that “the only thing that has changed since my last work is that I would freestyle a bit, and write the rest. Now, every single thing is freestyled. Everything. No matter when my inspiration comes, I just have to let it out. That’s just how I work now and it feels right. No matter what time of day or night, when it happens it happens. It’s how I express myself and I don’t think that’s ever going to change.” It’s clear Yxng Bane leads with his heart, and his mind is connected to that almost as one. Perhaps that is the secret equation to the success of Yxng Bane, it’s letting your soul speak freely and honestly and the rest will follow suit.