If you haven’t heard of bib sama. this is your sign to immerse yourself into his video game-eqsue soundscapes. The producer and rapper is carving out his own unique lane with his futuristic sound. Following the release of his mixtape ‘PLATINUS ✧’ and EP ‘XCHRA’ we sat down with him to discuss his ever evolving soundscape, his approach to production and writing and more.

What’s the meaning of the name of the EP and how did the songs on it tie in with that? 

bib sama. : Initially, the EP was meant to come out last year and it was as a whole bunch of extra tracks after PLATINUS ✧, hence the name XCHRA. Then, it became a thing where I wanted to leave PLATINUS ✧ as its own era, its own arc, and just focus on the next thing. The whole purpose of me doing this EP, alongside the sequels that I’m dropping this year, is trying to expand and refine on concepts and ideas that I had been touching on with PLATINUS ✧, but developing and maturing it so by the time I’m ready to make my next full length project next year, I’ll be on top of my game. I see this as ways for people to get fed as well as for me to practice new ideas, new concepts, new skills, and just expand and grow.

As XCHRA is the first of a trilogy, what are your plans for the other two EPs and what’s the link between each project? 

bib sama. : I’m trying not to go into it with too much of a concept because I feel like in the past that’s limited me. Right now my main focus is actually trying to improve on the musical elements of my tracks and implementing balancing the musicality with the experimental nature of previous songs that I’ve done. I’m still finding that sweet balance. So, with each EP it’s me taking different elements. I can’t reveal what I’m going to be doing too tough for the next ones, but each one has its own purpose.

For XCHRA, it was me mainly balancing out melodies and trying out new things with my voice as well as giving the people a good mix of tracks. The last track ‘COMFORT’ is quite similar to BLEED’ in the sense of the synths, melodies and vocals. Then I got a track like ‘ICDY’, which is more familiar to a lot of people in terms of my sound. Then we got ‘B2’; people have heard me put jungle and breakbeats in my tracks, but they didn’t know to what extent it could go. ‘B2’ is the more of that left field nature that I want to do as well. It’s all of these elements that I’m working on refining and making more cohesive. All of that, with each project – tone wise, sonically – I don’t want to just speak it, I want to let the EP speak for itself, or the next EPs speak for themselves. -You’re just going to see, you’re pretty much just going to hear good music. That’s the bottom line.

Do you prefer writing lyrics or producing?

bib sama. : Oh, 100% I prefer producing, that’s not because I don’t feel like I can’t really write if I want to. Nowadays I’m not really writing, if I wanted to sit down and actually write proper pen lines or all of that, that’s kind of taxing to me. So, I don’t really do it too often. I used to do that back in the day in like 2020 – especially when I was rapping on slower BPMs and boom bap. Now, producing is just second nature to me. I don’t really have to think as much than when I’m writing. When I write, I have to think  what line I’m going to say, what intention, what messages it’s conveying, how can I stylize it, but when I’m producing, all I need to do is just open up FL, look and then that’s it.

You worked with a few other producers on PLATINUS . How does producing an entire project on your own compare to working with others? 

bib sama. : Honestly, there’s been no difference. With PLATINUS ✧ it was 12 tracks and only one track was completely produced by someone else, which was Kamil Ademola and that was with ‘INTERSTELLA’. ‘BELIEVE ME’ was co-produced with Abiiogenesis. He sent me the beat originally and I told him to send me the stems and let me mess around with it; the beat changed quite a lot, but it still had that stem flare that Abiiogenesis brought to the table. Aside from that, there’s 10 tracks that were produced by me and this EP is only four tracks. I’ve been producing for myself for the past however many years. So nothing’s really changed. In my mind, I have a plan to make a project and drop it end of this year or beginning of next year where it’s all other producers and I’m just rapping/singing. I feel like that’ll be the big difference. For now, me and producing [are] interlinked. I feel more comfortable producing than I do rapping or singing anyway.

Photography by Abiiogenesis

What inspired the lead single BLEED, both sonically and lyrically as it seems like you’re experimenting with a bit of a different sound while getting deep into your feels.

bib sama. : Sonically you can hear the synths, you can hear the chord progressions. Everyone knows how much I love video games. Whenever I say I love video games, it’s not a conscious thing, it’s just more so that’s what I grew up on. So that just, no pun intended, bleeds into my production. I was listening to Obongjayar‘s song, ‘I Wish It Was Me’ but I misheard it and thought he was saying, “I wish you were me,” – I kind of just explored that. I literally opened up my notes, wrote that down and wrote the hook last August. I just kept it in my notes for a minute and I really loved how fun and emo it was. I was exploring topics that I’d explored on PLATINUS ✧, on tracks like ‘THINK OF ME’, but just in a different direction, a more emotional, wearing my heart on my sleeve direction. That track came together very naturally, it was a very natural trade.

What are your thoughts on the emerging hyper rap scene in the UK?

bib sama. : Hyper rap is such an interesting label. It’s funny because even terms like Hyperpop is a funny term. I feel like the name Hyperpop came before Hyperpop even existed. I feel like Spotify, the media etc. made that as a name and people kept on leaning into that. I feel like the name came first then sonically it fully filled that role. When I first heard about Hyperpop and was meeting Hyperpop artists from America, they were all doing different things. They all stayed [in] the same element but doing different things so it was easy to label them just because it was a whole new genre of internet music. Specifically relating to the UK in terms of hyper rap, I think it’s interesting. I was speaking to some of my Chinese friends yesterday and I was warning them like, “Yo, the scene that you’re seeing right now, all of the people that you’re talking to – me included – within the next two [or] three years, you’re going to see us blow into a different kind of proportion. Something that you’ve never seen with UK artists before, just because of the people that have already paved the way.     

We’re all making such amazing music, it’s almost inevitable that the world is looking at us. Not only music, but fashion, art, poetry, films – we’re just doing amazing stuff and this bubble that’s being blown up is just going keep on expanding and this all still feels very much like the beginning. Even at the beginning right now, we’re doing amazing things. So I’m just so optimistic about how everything’s going. 

Who’s your music for and why should people tap in? 

bib sama. : I’ll be so real with you, my music is for me. I don’t have a target audience. I feel like that’s the reason why people say, “Your music is so different”. I’ll be so real with you, I’m not making music for you, I’m making it for me. At the end of the day, I enjoy making music so much, so everything I make is something that I want to hear. When it comes to making music or anything, the main thing is taste. That real talent is taste, anything after that can be learned. That’s the main reason I started making music, because I knew inside that I could tell what good music is. I might not [have been] able to make good music at the time, but I knew I could tell what good music is and I just kept on believing in and growing that. At the end of the day, I know before I release a track, I genuinely like it. I’m not even trying, I’m just being authentically me. I feel like a lot of other people can resonate with that. I’m being authentically me in my tracks. Not only lyrically, but production wise, taste wise, the way I’m blending stuff altogether. A lot of people can resonate with that, which I’m grateful for. So, at the end of the day people just say, “Just be yourself and everything that’s meant for you will come to you.” That’s essentially what it just comes down to me. 

Photography by Abiiogenesis

Do you have any plans for another headline show? 

bib sama. : Most definitely. It’s definitely gonna be an annual thing – every year, a headline show. I’m still debating how I want to market it, how I want to lay it out, all of that kind of stuff. But whether it’s called the XCHRA experience or whatever, like a follow up to PLATINUS ✧ or just something completely different, at the end of the day, it’s always going to be an experience and I just love performing anyway. Especially at my own shows, so if I could, I’d be doing my own headline show every other month, but obviously that ain’t feasible. But 100% definitely another headline show. I’m so excited. 

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