Hip Hop has made strong grounds as an art and cultural movement in the north.
Independent rapper, Barnabas Johnson as known as Barnaba$, is part of this urban community making waves in the local music scene.
“North side is the next wave. Hip Hop keeps evolving, it’s never the same.”
But despite its evolution, the traditional elements of this influential art form remains.
“My dream is for my music to impact and connect with people around the world,” BaRnaba$ said. “That’s where Hip Hop started, sending a message or standing for something, and that’s what my music is about. “It’s about being fun, but making an impact at the same time.”
For BaRnaba$ it’s not only about respecting the art of Hip Hop, but representing his own cultural identity.
“In my culture there are these people called griots which are storytellers,” he said. “They told their stories through music and poetry. “I want to be like that, I want to take on that tradition.”
BaRnaba$ has been telling his story through music since the young age of 14 and recently released a new single, Holding On.
The single is a mix between his style of soulful and trap Hip Hop, giving listeners an insight into his life.
“There is freedom, you do what you want in music,” BaRnaba$ said. “There are no boundaries.”
It is with this limitless energy that means these artists are creating music unheard of within the Northern Sound System (NSS) studios.
Nick O’Connor from NSS mentors young artists to support them through their creative process.
“The future of music in the north is in good hands,” Nick said. “We are constantly amazed by new artists creating music that defies any music genre.”