From the unexpected viral success of their hit song, ‘Don’t Rush’, made popular by an unplanned social media challenge, to a sequence of recognition in and around their home base of Nottingham, the talented music duo, Young T and Bugsey are slowly commanding a global fanbase that is consuming their music at record pace.
Like the saying goes, lightning never strikes in the same place twice. But one well-placed lightning strike is more than enough to make its presence memorable. The UK-based music duo of Young T and Bugsey know this fact only too well, with their sudden rise to the global stage due to the viral #DontRushChallenge that they neither created nor engineered.
“Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of challenges happen in the UK that never go global and so it was kind of weird seeing that it was our song and also that it went global,” Young T offered.
Bugsey, on the other hand, admitted to a clear status change since the intervention that made them visible to a more global audience.
“The main thing that we would say has changed since our song went global is that more people now know of us and we have a more global fan base. More people know the name Young T & Bugsey, now which is sick.”
The talented music duo have been making music magic long before the viral challenge plunged them into the global spotlight. With songs like ‘Strike a pose’, ‘Glistenin’,’ which spread awareness of their name and Belly Squad’s feature of ‘Banana remix,’ Young T and Bugsey are doubling down on their musical domination.
Their peculiar Afro-tinged sound, coupled with their years of hard work has not gone completely unnoticed, with a BET International award nomination and some other nominations trailing their growing career.
Their penchant for Afrobeat is as a result of their African-based roots in Nigeria and the Caribbeans and it is no surprise that their future plans include some continent hopping to the Motherland.
“Most definitely – shout out to our fans in the Motherland. We get shown a lot of love all over Africa so we’d love to do a tour as soon as we can. Once we are able to do so and it’s safe, we’ll be there!” Promised Bugsey
As regards upcoming projects that we should be expecting, Young T laid out their plans.
“Right now we are just working on keeping the hits coming, but 2021 we will have something special for you guys. Another fire Young T & Bugsey project so stayed tuned.”
The mechanics of working as a duo is sometimes complex with different mindsets as regards issues like artiste features, album titles and songwriting. We probed into how the duo creatively work out the rough edges, if any, and they both had some input on the matter.
Young T explained saying, “We work very collaboratively, everything we do, we tend to discuss between ourselves and then come to a decision on what we want to do or who we want to work with. Bugsey and I are quite similar in terms of who we like to listen to, so when it comes to things like choosing features, everything is always smooth.”
Bugsey on the other hand, reveals that how they tackle creative issues depends on their individual strengths. “With the creative side of things, we usually lean on our strong points. So for example, I’d say I am good when it comes to ideas for videos or visual things, whereas T is quite good with Photoshop and them things, so we use his expertise when we need to pick artwork and stuff like that – so it works well because we trust each other’s strong points.”
With a music genre and messaging so eclectic, Young T and Bugsey have had to fashion a unique category for their sound and style. “I’d say our sound can be described as a melodic rap – we have a fusion of Afro and Caribbean sounds too. The base of it is Rap, but we incorporate a lot of different sounds from our heritage and other sounds that we have grown up on,” Bugsey explains.
The global pandemic, having downplayed every angle of creative engagement is somewhat responsible for the duo’s newfound global relevance, because the viral #DontRushChallenge created off Young T and Bugsey’s song, ‘Don’t Rush’ successfully kicked off during the lockdown period of the pandemic. Young T tries to explain its effect on them as a group.
“It has affected us just as much as everyone else in our position, but because of the success of ‘Don’t Rush’, it hasn’t been too negative. The main thing at the beginning of lockdown was that we weren’t able to go to the studio at first. But as the restrictions started to ease up, we managed to get back to work and get back in the swing of things.”
On how they have been able to remain creative during the pandemic, Bugsey takes over and throws some light. “It was a little difficult because no one is really going out, so before we were always going to shows, meeting new people, doing promo runs, going abroad etc. we would always find bits of random inspiration during our travels, but at the moment that is not happening. But all that meant is that we have had to adapt and sponge up everything that is going on around us right now and just try to get some inspiration however we can, which we’ve been doing.”
True fans of the Motherland, the duo handpicks their international collaboration to include star boy, Wizkid and African giant, Burna Boy and also a local collaboration with the artiste, J Hus.
With a measure of hard work and eyes strategically set for bigger things, the coming year will definitely morph this creative duo into one of the hottest brands to come out of the UK.
This article was written by Henri ‘Yire; connect on Instagram with him here