Jul 18, 2020
The vibes in this interview ARE ASTRONOMICAL.
With over 1 billion streams, of course Canadian rapper and social media sensation BBNO$ (pronounced “baby no money”) followed up his 2019 single ‘nursery’ with the music video we all deserve. The single itself has been streamed over 50 million times on Spotify and has garnered viral success on TikTok with the #nurserychallenge.
The video itself takes the audience through a fantasy world of nursery rhymes come to life from the “Fee-fi-fo-fum” reference of the iconic Jack and the Beanstalk to Mary had a Little Lamb.
Don’t mistake the internet success of ‘nursery’ for a one hit wonder though. Two full albums later, the artist has multiple songs on Spotify streaming in the 30+ millions including ‘Welcome to Chilis’, ‘Bad Boy’, and ‘shining on my ex’ with one track ‘Lalala’ over halfway to one billion right now! He also garnered an insane lineup on the rerelease of ‘Bad Boy’ with MAX and Wiz Khalifa. Even through quarantine the artist is releasing music with his latest single ‘astrology’ released *yesterday* July 17th (which is live HERE) and made its way onto Spotify’s NMF playlist.
The artist talked PopularTV through his recent success, the ‘Bad Boy’ rerelease, and what influences him musically.
1. ‘nursery’ completely broke the internet! It’s a real success. Were you expecting this boom?
I remember the day Lentra and I mixed the Recess Project we were like, “We have to try to save this song “nursery”. Originally we just had the little blop sound for the lead melody in the song. Then we added a second section and the ‘4 on the floor’ part. We had zero expectations of this song being big….absolutely zero. I did have one friend say it was his favorite song, but didn’t fully grasp how it could even blow up. How I was mistaken.
2. What was your initial feeling when you realized your song became viral?
I’ve always wondered how to effectively describe the feeling of when the internet takes things for a wild ride, but all I can say is that it is kind of funny, and entertaining. Got to let it do its thing.
3. Many people may not know that you’ve been creating music for a while and ‘nursery’ was actually released two albums ago. How has your music or the way you write/produce changed since the release of that?
Not super different, although I think I have honed in on my sound more and more. After having decent success with my music, I feel a little bit more pressure with every release. I used to put out a song a month, or every week even, but I have certainly slowed releases down and paid more attention to the business of it all. Other than that I don’t think my musical style has changed all that much.
4. This question is a vibe check. What are you playing right now?
Lol! Are you vibing? Video games wise, when I have time I love to sit down and play a bit of World of Warcraft, or my favorite hack and slash game, Diablo 2.
5. One of your most recent releases includes a double release to the song ‘Bad Boy’ with MAX, Wiz Khalifa, Yung Bae, and Billy Marchiafava on the track. How did this collab come about and what was the choice behind releasing two versions?
Billy, Bae and I originally released the song around this time last year and it did decent out the gate. Clock 8 to 9 months later and it is going viral on TikTok. Immediately we all thought we should get a remix going here and I sent it out to a bunch of friends and teams. Then all of a sudden we woke up one day with a Max and a Wiz verse. The Wiz verse was crazy, I used to listen to his music tons when I was growing up so that was really cool to have him on one of my songs.
6. You definitely take the humor approach to your rap. Were you funny when you were growing up, or are you into comedy?
I believe that the most engaging movies and videos (content!) have tidbits of quality humour sprinkled throughout. I was homeschooled until grade 8, I do not know if I am funny but I mean, everybody wants to laugh right? There is so much negativity in the world right now it seems only right to try and throw some humor in where it is relevant.
7. Who is a musical influence for you?
I never actually listened to much music when I was growing up. Right around the 8th grade my brother was listening to a copious amount of house music and that is kind of where I first started listening to music. I couldn’t have been a weirder – a homeschooled kid who doesn’t listen to music. From there I got really into Tupac and Biggie Smalls, I mean….who didn’t. Then, I transferred my attention to the likes of Gucci Mane and Chief Keef and now here I am. I would say the biggest inspirations for bbno$ would be Pouya, Yung Lean, $uicideboy$ and Bones.
8. Do you think the DIY movement through social media and the internet in general has changed the industry and changed the way musical artists like yourself get discovered and reach new fans?
Absolutely, distribution companies allow musicians like myself to be able to promote, release, generate revenue and even have a fruitful career from their bedrooms. It certainly takes years of work but sometimes you get super lucky!
9. Who or what initially inspired you to pursue a career in music?
I just kind of started doing it for fun – making music is really fun. Then with time, I realized I quite like the business side of it too. I just dropped my new single, Astrology, and I love the fact that I am my own boss – I plan to keep it that way haha.