Some artists take years to learn and build their talent, and some are just born to be stars. Yxng Bane is most certainly the latter. Since he began his musical journey approximately two years ago, the East Londoner has gone from strength to strength in such a short space of time. With chart-topping hits such as ‘Shape Of You’, and ‘Rihanna’, Yxng Bane is already seen as one of the UK’s rapidly rising stars.
So, your name is known internationally now, but I want to know about the Yxng Bane before the fame. Tell me about your experiences and upbringing in Custom House, and basically what led you to start making music?
The Bane before the music is exactly the same Bane you see now, to be fair. I’m still very expressive, a get up and go person, still very motivated, but it’s just being channelled in a different way. So, when I was at college or school my energy was focused towards that, but now it’s all going towards my music. So it’s the same Bane, but just adapted to what I’m doing right now.
Now G FrSH is your manager. How did that relationship come about?
Basically, G FrSH hit me up in the DMs to come and chill at the studio, this was last year. So, we were just chilling and ended up making a track, and then from there, our relationship just grew. But even then, it’s still not just a managerial relationship, it’s a bit more than that because it’s not solely business, I can call him to talk to him about life and everyday stuff too. It’s definitely beneficial to have someone there who’s experienced. He’s like a mentor, a big brother, so big shout out to G man.
You’ve had an outstanding 2017. You’ve achieved a remarkable amount of success so far without even dropping a project. So, can we expect a body of work from you this year, and if so will it be a mixtape, EP or an album?
This year, I might do something like that, I might just put a bunch of tracks together, but it wouldn’t be anything like an EP or album. It’d be more like a playlist, just something for the fans to enjoy, you could call if it a gift from me to them.
With your next project, what can we expect?
It’s just gonna be me, when I go to the studio I don’t go in thinking I’m going to make a signing track or I’m going to rap, it’s just more about what I’ve been through, maybe a phone call I’ve recently had or whatever has happened the past week that’ll influence what I create. It’s not something you can expect something, it’s just going to be me being self-expressive, and I’m hoping that it connects with the people out there.
Well, it’s no secret that the ladies love you, so I want know why you call yourself HBK…
HBK is a way of life, it’s a lifestyle, I call myself HBK because I am the heartbreak kid. For a long time, I’ve been the one trying to please everyone around me and when you do that you end up being heartbroken.
You recently modelled at London Fashion Week. You’re always dressed well, I know you like the designer brands, and you’ve also got a clothing collaboration coming up. So, what led you down the route of fashion?
It’s obvious from some of my past videos, such as ‘Pronto’, that I’ve always liked designer, but I’m just trying to grow, and whenever I do something I want to be great, I don’t go into anything half-hearted.
So you’ve previously mentioned that you can speak both Lingala and French. Do you see yourself infusing more of that dialect into your songs?
Yeah, I’ve got a song with a French artist whose doing very well called Franglish, and on that track, I’m signing in French, Lingala, and English. So, it’s something that I’ll be looking to do again.
You say you don’t belong to any genre. However, I heard a quote recently which stated “If you were to cut an artist in half they should bleed one record”. Meaning, every artist has that one track that only they could make. So which one of your tracks defines you?
I don’t think that track is out yet. It’ll probably be a track where I’m doing everything on one track. So, that track is unreleased for now.
You’re so diverse that any time you release music it sounds so fresh and original, and from the outside looking in, it doesn’t seem like you feel any pressure to release the next hit. At this point in your career, do you feel a lot of pressure due to people’s high expectations?
No, I don’t feel any pressure – well not because of the music, more because of the people around me. I want to do so well for the people around me that I beat myself up about it, but I don’t know if I can even call that pressure, I don’t know what that is. I think that as long as you’re being yourself all the time then you shouldn’t ever feel pressure, people can only accept you for who you are. Obviously, I care about what people think, but I can only be me.
You’ve been about for just over two years now and you’ve charted already. Not only that, you’ve achieved a top 10 single in the charts. At the start of 2017 that must’ve been unimaginable, and now that you have these achievements the goal posts must’ve shifted majorly. So what are your biggest targets as of now?
To be honest, the majority of the time I just wake up and try and be better. So, for example, my song ‘Rihanna’ reached the top 40, so now I’m going to try and do better than that, I just want to better myself. My targets, are to just be bigger and better, I don’t over complicate things I swear to God, I don’t watch anyone and everything, I just focus on getting better.
Photographer: Luca Anzalone
Stylist: Kirubel Belay
Hair & makeup artist: Mattie White