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Jeshi is a London born-and-bred rapper on the rise. With his scathingly sharp lyrics and dark imagery, his music isn’t scared of embracing the darker side of the Gen-Z experience and the reality of a complex modern life navigating sex, love, drugs and the intensity of living in one of the world’s largest cities.

Jeshi speaks to Bee Beardsworth about creativity, embracing your anger and his new single “Look Like Trouble”.

Hey Jeshi, How are you?

I’m good, thanks. 

Where are you from? 

I’m from London, born and bred. I really think it’s the best place in the world. I don’t have any interest being anywhere else, I have this deep attachment from being here forever. 

I love London as well, there’s this energy and I can never be bored. 

Yeah, you can never be bored. It’s intense and claustrophobic and it opens your mind. 

Is the influence of London a big part of your music?

I think it’s a direct reflection of many things, like all the experiences you have and where you grow up. It’s a direct reflection of my surroundings at the time. If I had grown up in, I don’t know, the countryside or something, I would probably make completely different music. Actually, I’d probably be a fucking farmer and be making way more money!

So, your new single “Look Like Trouble” is out now. I heard a snippet of it the other day when you played it at our friend’s house. 

Did I? Well yeah, I’m excited about this track. 

Where did the idea come from?

I had a flashback to being a bit younger than I am now and doing dumb shit. I still do a bit of dumb shit, but not as much as I did then. And making it was reflective of the time. I made it during lockdown, so there’s frustration in there as well. It feels good to make something a bit angry. 

Yeah, lockdown made me feel like a tennager, stuck inside without the full autonomy over my life that I’m used to. 

It’s a very claustrophobic feeling. So, although the song isn’t about that, I think it’s been subtly influenced by the time it was incepted. 

And tell me about the video, because it’s really cool right?

It’s fucking amazing. I don’t want to toot my own horn but it’s a great video. As a musician who really cares about these things, I think it’s hard with videos to create exactly what you want when you aren’t the one behind the camera. You have to work with a team and try to find the perfect sweet spot where you can achieve what you envision, and this one I’m so happy with. It captures the rawness and energy of the track perfectly. I got to headbutt mirrors which was really fun, and set stuff on fire.

I think it’s always fun when you have the opportunity to do crazy things that you’ve always wanted to do - it’s like being a character in a film. You get to embrace your animalistic tendencies.

Yeah, to be fair, I feel like that expression is a big part of what creating this song and video was about. Obviously I want people to like it, but I also got what I wanted out of the creative process.

Well, that’s good if you got that fulfillment out of it. It’s good not to care too much.

I don’t know, I think a lot of people pretend they don’t care. There can be truth to this, like I don’t lose sleep over these things, but at the same time I think anyone who makes any kind of art does it because they would like other people to reciprocate their feelings about what they’ve made and think it’s great too. 

I think the problem is when artists do all their decision making in order to try to satisfy other people, and ignore their own instincts. At the end of the day, if you make shit you like and you think it’s good, other people should think it’s good too. You can’t please everyone, but you can have a true lister base. 

I feel like the music you make is like something you wanted to have when you were younger. Like, you’re not making music for Top of the Pops.

I think integrity will take you the furthest. Maybe one day I will be on Top of the Pops and be 57 and playing the banjo. Everything comes full circle in life. 

Social accounts: @jeshi__ @beebeardsworth

Interviewed by Bee Beardsworth

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