Today's spotlight features an artist picking up heavy traction in the game and at his age, is definitely someone to keep your eyes on. East London’s very own Berna has risen up through pretty much all the freestyle platforms that matter in this country. Here at The Pit LDN, we're going to go through the ones we believe you MUST watch & then we have a few words with the man himself.
This one here is a statement of intent! Would you believe that he was only 17 years old?! BL@CKBOX have given a platform to a lot of people who have come through to the top such as Abra Cadabra, Dave and J Hus to name a few. I'm going go out on a limb with this statement, but I believe Berna’s is the best BL@CKBOX freestyle so far. Check it out!
Mad About Bars Freestyle w/ Kenny Allstar
Another great freestyle platform completely set alight by Berna. On this one he shows versatility with a range of flows & it’s punchlines galore. You won't catch them in one listen! The flow is like Konan meets C-Biz, straight fire! It's difficult to decide which one we prefer more so far but both are very strong. A lot of artists can pull off a good freestyle but two straight fire sessions in a row gives us the confidence that he's definitely up next!
SBTV Warm Up Session
WOW! Real cannot be ignored. Pain cannot be slept on when it's poured onto a record or freestyle. Berna deserves all the credit for this one - he's given us his story and broken down the issues he's faced thus far on his journey. When Berna starts going in about his brother's passing and the effects on his mum from that situation, it gave me goosebumps. That's the real. We need more artists to stand up and really break down their experiences. Due to the nature of this freestyle, Berna stepped it up for me with this one and is definitely my favourite.
Besides all of these, Berna has also done freestyles with LinkUp TV, GRM Daily, Sian Anderson at BBC 1XTRA, Westwood Crib Sessions and DJ P Montana at Radar Radio. This displays a work rate that shows he is a force to be reckoned with. I'm hoping we get passed the freestyles and making the step into more records. As we've seen before with artists, that's where the levels raise. On a freestyle circuit, he can compete with anyone! Let's see what 2017 holds....
So Berna, it's great to finally get the chance to have words with you. Firstly, congratulations on the recent success of your SBTV Warm Up Session. You've covered pretty much all the freestyle platforms since you've started, tell me, which one has been your favourite?
Love for that man. I really appreciate it! Ermm I think my favourite is my Mad About Bars with Kenny Allstar on Mixtape Madness. The visuals are sick, I like the way Frankincense got the freestyle series looking. And the bars are gassedddd, don't think people have even caught onto all of the bars loool
Surely you'll be getting a call very soon from a certain BBC DJ, is a Fire in The Booth something that's being discussed at this point? That’s due to be a madness that the people I'm sure will flock to.
Ahahah Ermmm maybe... maybe not.... Just keep your eyes wide open this year!
You’re only 18 years old! And that's only recently right?! How was it being an artist that promoters were trying to book at only 17?
Yeah I just turned 18 in December..finally loool. It's quite nuts to think about, I've only done freestyles but people still wanna see me perform...imagine when I have actual songs out. Also being so young it's just exciting for me because very little people my age are doing what I'm doing. It's a blessing man.
Have you faced any obstacles being so young in the game?
Not really to be honest. I think my only obstacle is juggling everything. I'm still in sixth form and I have class work to do, as well as writing music.
Growing up, who did you draw musical inspiration from?
From the UK I kinda grew up on Ghetts, Chipmunk, Skepta etc. Everyone that was big at the time. But funnily enough; the majority of music I listened to was American - a lot of Meek Mill, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Ace Hood and a few others.
We saw you recently performed at the #GUAPPARTY3 for GUAPMAG at Birthdays in Dalston. This was your first Live performance – How was the experience?
It was crazy! at first I was a bit nervous but when I felt like the crowd was feeling me I just went into my zone and done my thing. The response from the crowd was nuts I can't lie. Couldn't believe it.
What are your future plans with your music? Can we expect to a see a single or full project anytime soon?
I'm just trying to make good music. Music that people love. There might be a project coming soon but time will tell... Right now I'm just writing and looking for beats.
Which artists do you see yourself working with in the future?
There are a lot of sick artists that I'm feeling right now like AJ Tracey, Hardy Caprio, J Hus, Poundz and loads of others. But in terms of collabs, I think if it was meant to be then it will happen naturally so we'll just have to wait and see what the future holds.... Shout out Stormzy though lool
Finally, What track is playing the most out of your earphones right now?
K Trap - David Blaine
Berna, it has been a pleasure and good luck in the upcoming year. We'll have to get you down to Radar on one of our shows real soon - God bless!
Written by Kieran Spooner
Instagram & Twitter: @kieranspooner13