Photographed by Hanna Hillier
Rapper, producer and songwriter Ebenezer signed with Virgin Music earlier this year after an already having a long list of accomplishments to his name, including an Achievement Documented award for Craig Davids no1 Album. Ebenezer then featured on ‘No Good for Me’ with Jeremih & ADP, followed by releasing ‘Cliche’ written and produced by Ebz himself. In this time he has also written and produced ”Dolla Bills’ which features Lyrica Anderson & Ty Dolla Sign.
Ebz! Tell us a bit about your journey…
I was stuck in real bad traffic on the way here…. Nah I’m playing… Journey was nothing but a struggle to get here. So many obstacles, so many adversities trying to get where I am. Just this catch 22 of like… not being able to get work without already having done something worth note, but you can’t get something worth of note without getting the session… so it’s a cycle. But I managed to break it and get recognized for my work. So now I’m here…
What were some of your early influences?
Well… my sister was into R&B and my brother was into Hip Hop, they were my earliest influences… so I grew up with Nars, Kayne West, J Cole, Kendrick, grew up on Brandy, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, the greats…. Prince, MJ, the greats!
Tell us more about your creative process?
My creative process is absolutely nuts, I could start with a voice note… for example one time I was on my way home from central, I had this idea ringing in my head… my battery had died so I couldn’t record it down, so I had to keep singing it to myself so I wouldn’t forget, I was running off the stop, down to the studio, to record this idea… it was a vocal, metronome like click click click click. I just built around it, sometimes I start with drums, piano, I just do it however I feel.
What has been your most career-defining moment to date?
It would have to be working with my 3 best friends, Tre Jean-Marie, ADP, Shea Jacobs, and when No ID called my phone, which is insane, like, how the hell does No ID have my number?! Scott Storch as well, telling me they want to work with me again, I’ve worked with him more than once, so they actually do like my shit! It’s crazy.
You’re quite different from other artists around right now, how would you describe your sound, attitude and energy?
I’ve got this like…. Nocturnal r&b sound, you’re driving at night to this, you make love to this, it’s just very, not like dark but, when you listen to it you can still vibe to it but there’s a message, you can actually listen and you wont get shrouded in a lot of noise. Because I produce my own stuff I make sure I set the instrumental, I give it enough space so you can hear what I’m saying, and if you don’t need to hear what I’m saying I fill it in with a crazy drums or some heavy base line or make it instrumental driven.
Attitude… I’m determined like no other, I know there are other people that are determined but because of how I grew up and the pain and struggle I’ve been through, different adversities make people different. My adversities make me who I am. That’s the difference between our attitudes. Somebody else’s adversities may make them different to who I am. Mine just drives me to go and get it.
Energy… everyone is like ‘Eb you have too much energy’ and I don’t take drugs or drink coffee… I’m just high off life! Haha.
What do you have in store for us in 2018?
I have a mix tape dropping with ADP… which Tre and Shea are on as well. I have hella songs coming out!! I got so much music coming out, you’ll be able to enjoy it, you’ll like it. You should ask me this question in 2019! I’m just gonna wack out music, quality music, so people can enjoy it.
Kayne west, Kendrick, J Cole, Chance the rapper, but London side… Skepta & Stormzy. Stormzy is my guy though… he’s always shown me love!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I don’t see myself anywhere different… I see myself having made a legacy, a good catalogue of music where people can go to down the line and tell their children about it. ‘‘Yo! This is what I grew up on… you should grow up on it as well.’’ I don’t see myself doing anything different aside from working even harder. That’s it! I’m a hard worker.
Follow Ebenezer on instagram @longlivtheplug