Canadian rapper bbno$ on how music enhances gaming experience
Rising Canadian rapper and social media star bbno$ (pronounced baby-no-money) has explained why he’s allowing his music to be used for free in the gaming world and streams.
In a virtual conference for select press, one of the artists behind the viral track Lalala spoke of his interests in gaming and music, his brand-new single Edamame and the upcoming album eat ya veggies.
“I feel like most of the people, who run high-profile or at the top of the music industry, the CEOs and record executives, are now just realizing that gaming and sinking in the gaming world (are) so unbelievably beneficial to their artists, a.k.a. how they make money,” he told The STAR.
But for bbno$, as an independent artist, he is generous enough to let his tracks be used in the gaming sector. “If I release a song, I always allow every single content creator to use it throughout any platform without getting claims so they can make their own money,” he said.
The 26-year-old singer-songwriter highlighted the importance of producing great sounds and maintaining friendly relationships in the music circle. “At the end of the day, if they like me and they use it (my song) a lot, then I gain fans and those fans will listen to the music regardless. I think that matters more. You garner relationships with other creators,” he added.
A gamer and a musician at the same time, he cited how music enhances the gaming experience. “Listening to really upbeat music, for instance, Edamame (his single), when you’re playing like a shooter or a fast-paced game, it’s just entertaining. It makes the gaming experience a little bit more like encapsulating, I guess.”
Speaking like a true gamer, he added, “Listening to fast music when you’re playing a fast game and a slow music when you’re playing a slow game, it increases the enjoyability of the game. And it’s fun.”
The rising star from Vancouver, British Columbia is also an Internet sensation, whose tracks have been streamed more than two billion times. He has more than 600,000 TikTok followers and over one million Instagram followers. bbno$ had toured in North America, China and Europe to promote his music.
He was asked if there are still advantages of signing up with a label in this age of digital distribution and streaming. “It depends on the artist,” he replied. “My brand is pretty DIY, do-it-yourself, that has always been my brand. I function as a label.”
bbno$ basically started on SoundCloud in 2016 and from there, he “grew a fan base out of absolutely nothing.”
“It’s more difficult to do that now due to the fact that you have to spend money to make money. (There is) a community on the music listening services. Ninety percent of the time, you gotta spend money to get people to send ads out and this. If you don’t have a big budget, that’s difficult. And that’s where a label comes in help,” he explained.
But, of course, “if you make just good music, people are going to find you.” bbno$ also noted how networking plays a huge role in music industry. “It’s like weaving through and like seeing what, meeting new people and talking to people. It’s like being social and I’ve always enjoyed that. And I think that’s a big key player when it comes to music.”
Bottom line is, “if your music rocks, people are gonna listen to you,” he asserted.
bbno$ recently dropped his new track and music video Edamame, featuring Rich Brian via the former’s label in partnership with mtheory. He is known for his “oxymoronic rap” style and lyrics.
“I was just in the studio with Christian (Dold) and he started a beat. I said, ‘Balls hanging low while I pop a bottle off a yacht’ and that was it. It’s the first line and he was like, ‘Yeah, that’s cool. Run it,’” he shared how the song came to be in just 15 to 20 minutes.
In the music video, bbno$ and Indonesian rapper Brian wear heavy armor suits and it was the “most moronic thing” bbno$ had thought of.
He quipped, “Brian, his outfit, it was too small… He was wearing a suit of armor technologically like a hundred years ago… I was like, being a knight, I thought you’re strong, you won’t die because you have armor but like you cannot move. There’s no mobility at all.”
“I think the viewers know that he couldn’t move because the camera was moving back and forth and there were different shots and what not but that was very interesting because he literally could not move. And no one picked up on it. But it worked so it doesn’t matter,” he added.
Born Alexander Leon Gumuchian, his stage name, bbno$, is a “reflection” of his frugal personality. “I’m just like a really cheap person. I don’t like spending my money. And that’s pretty much it. I’m just a very cheap, frugal person at heart.”
He came up with “baby” when he was looking for a term that was “more extreme (word), either I go old or the youngest which is literal than little and younger than young.”
It was her mom who “forced” him to learn how to play piano when he was young.
He did not undergo formal music lessons and labeled himself as “a bad musician by textbook.” “I was never really good at reading notes and what not. Maybe the early introduction to just music as in its entirety. When I was younger, it kinda helped me have an ear for music. But I’m not musically inclined at all. I didn’t go to school for it. I don’t know how to read music (notes). I don’t even know what keys are.”
His other tracks include wussup with Yung Gravy, Lalala with producer Y2K, imma and help herself. Edamame is part of his forthcoming album eat ya veggies, which is slated for release this month and scheduled on tour across the US and Canada by end of this year.
“It’s good music. That’s it,” he said of his album. “Definitely (it’s) my best collection of work and I’m really excited to share it with the world. I hope people eat it up as much as they ate up Edamame.”