Some have already obtained some small successes, spending years in the shadows, waiting for the right moment and others have barely left their bedroom studios. Some aim for headlining festival stages, others aim for nothing in particular – but all of them have developed a sound with the potential to turn a lot of heads. With this feature we shine a light on some of the most interesting new talents that our tiny country has to offer.
Artists in The Netherlands and France already know the damage you can do in the top 40 charts with Caribbean influenced hip hop and R&B. You’d be hard-pressed to find an urban radio station or nightclub that isn’t banging out dancehall or Latin-minded hits on the regular. Few Belgian artists have embraced this vibe quite like Bryan MG did. The 22-year-old Bryan Mumvudi Gazambo is clearly a fan of this sound and fluently raps in three languages – often on the same track - an impressive feat to say the least. His debut album ‘MGSEASON’, with hits like ‘Bouge Ton Derrière’, ‘Waard Bent’, ‘Balançoire’ or ‘Avec Moi’, easily found its way to many DJ crates across the country. Frankly, the time was right to ask this Ghent-based multilinguist rapper what he’s up to.
Hi Bryan! To be fair, you seemed to come out of nowhere. Have you been making music for a long time already?
Well, I threw some stuff on Soundcloud a while ago, but listening back to this I feel like I have developed and grown so much further as an artist. I dropped ‘Brand New Vibe’, ‘Voorbij’ and ‘OMG’ on my own, after which Striker Recordings got in touch with me. They helped me release MGSEASON to the world and that’s where we are now.
How were the reactions on your album so far?
Great! There has been a lot of positive feedback from all different angles. Thank you for the love, everyone!
It’s not common to see hip hop artists rap so effortlessly between Dutch, French and English. How come you’re so fluent?
These days, communication is everything and I’m lucky to come from a multilingual household. Additionally, I’m a firm believer in the saying ‘practice makes perfect’!
Our Dutch and French neighbours have clearly understood how dancehall and Latin vibes can have a lasting effect on the charts. For now, Belgium seems to lag behind with that sound, with only a few exceptions like you. Why do you think that’s the case?
I’m not sure that’s Belgium’s fault. Artists in other countries just found their thing and ran with it. Maybe I just haven’t made the right track to convince people out here! I guess only time will tell…
So how is the Belgian hip hop scene doing right now according to you?
It’s as strong as ever. There is so much talent around at the moment. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before many of these break through on a higher level.
Which local (or international) rappers inspire you the most then?
To be fair, I don’t really look up to others in that way. Sure, I like and respect guys like Chris Brown or Ty Dolla $ign, but your own identity should always be the bottom line. My music is a reflection of myself and I don’t want to taint it too much with external influences.
What are your favourite subjects to rap about?
Romantic relations and things that real life stories basically.
You recently performed ‘Waard Bent’ in a live session with a full band. Is that something you want to be doing more in the future?
Yeah, most definitely. I can’t wait until I’m able to perform live with my own band! It has been such a great experience so far.
What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?
Many things, but music comes first: working on my next EP, dropping new stuff and basically spending as much time in the studio as possible. I’m sure the good times will roll!