The UK’s own fast-rising Afrobeat songwriter and artist Birmingham has recently launched his colourful and infectious new single Take It. We caught an interview with the Stoke-on-Trent creative, to find out more about what led him towards this style, how the song came to be, and what’s on the cards for 2024. Here’s the conversation in full.
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Birmingham – great to chat with you! For those who don’t know, who first inspired you to make music, and how long have you been releasing originals?
The person who inspired me to make music was my uncle because since I was little he played every Sunday in a group at church and it was from that moment that I wanted to make music.
You’ve been making music since you were just five – what’s your most vivid musical memory from that time?
Congrats for the release of Take It, beautifully produced with an organic afrobeat groove. Who created the instrumental, and how easy was it to vibe to this beat and weave in that catchy hook?
Thank you very much, the beat was a friend of mine who sent it to me and the craziest thing was as soon as I heard the beat the first thing that came to my head was the hook, just to tell you how easy was it to find the hook.
Are you vocally trained, or do you play any instruments – in either case, how do you generally get started when writing a new song?
Yes, it was at church that I learned how to sing. I don’t have any particular technique for writing my songs, it depends on my mood and my inspirations. I can go a week without writing a song and then get up one morning and have a lot of inspiration so it really depends on how I feel to be honest.
You’ve amassed tens of thousands of streams of your music on Spotify alone – what’s the best tool you’ve used to promote your music, and why do you think your songs connect so well?
Sure, I think Spotify and YouTube are 2 very good platforms that can help independent artists who don’t necessarily have a big budget to promote their music, so I think if you know how to use it you can get very good results. I think people like my music because it makes you dance, it puts you in a good mood and it’s Afrobeat – we mustn’t forget that Afrobeat is one of the most popular music styles to listen to at the moment.
In what ways did growing up in Stoke on Trent impact your style or work ethic as an independent artist?
Do you have much planned in the way of live shows, and what would be your dream venue or event to perform at?
Yes, with my team we have quite a few shows planned for 2024, it’s going to be fire – I can’t wait. There’s a big festival called Afronation – I would really like to make a show there one day, it will be very nice, let’s keep working hard; who knows, maybe one day.
You say that you listen to a broad range of genres – who’s an artist or band you’re a fan of that might surprise your audience, someone far from the realms of RnB, Hip Hop and Afrobeats?
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about the music industry that might help aspiring musicians get ahead?
That you have to be patient and work a lot, because music requires a lot of sacrifice, so if you are not ready to make sacrifices, forget it. And for those who want to get there, simply believe in your dreams.
What’s next for you – any longer projects, videos or collaborations on the cards?
Yes, I’m working on a new song. 2024 we have a lot of things for y’all, I ain’t going to say too much but big things are coming, so make sure to follow me on my Instagram and my YouTube channel. It was your boy Birmingham.