Barelyanyhook: I’d say it’s like throwing spaghetti on the wall after having eaten a lot of spaghetti over time. I’m a sucker for melody, cadence and lyrics. And ideas that are not necessarily rooted in my environment, but more in how my combined influences and self-perceive wherever I am mentally and physically. I usually never know what side of me would reveal itself on a song. I’m all about self-discovery and re-discovery. Shout out Discovery Channel.
Why rap? Got a tape loading?
Barelyanyhook: I’m actually a singer at heart. It’s what I began with. Then poetry. Rapping came after I swapped powers with a friend who did it. We rubbed off on each other and he encouraged it too. It feels like a puzzle. Like code. Anyone who can channel pieces of reality into something that makes people want to revisit it deserves some props. That’s what attracted me to it. Spoken word with sauce.
[Places hand on your shoulder]
[Presses fingers to lips]
Everything top secret!!
Is there a form to your madness?
Barelyanyhook: Rarely. The form reveals itself with time and, at this point, with just going to the pen every chance I get. I let the thoughts think, then channel them as best I can. Other times, I might know the flavour of the “madness” and it’s potential on a recipient so I let it speak its new potential to me. All super meta-sounding, but that’s how it feels. And I’m about the feeling.
What’s your musical journey been like?
Barelyanyhook : [Insert Quavo’s Versace Woo here] Choir from primary school till college (until the work was like “Dead that, son…”), Marley, Clapton, BB King and Fela on primary school morning’s with the pops and siblings, recording cassette tapes of radio with the mans and a constant search for understanding of self in a context where talking about or thinking about it makes you the weirdo. Then owning all that and running with it.
Sex? Drugs? Women? Wisdom? Life? A few of the topics you touch on.
Barelyanyhook: I guess I talk about all of that in a way. A lot of times as it relates to my particular experiences with the subject matter, other times (and more often) my reformatted realities with them. I could switch from cheesy as Wara to pained to nonchalant within 8 bars. It really all depends on the mood and what the music says to me. It’s about fun always, even through the deep stuff.
What does your music aim at saying about you when you strip away the weirdness?
Barelyanyhook: I feel. You feel too. And that’s okay. That’s it, really. I’m exploring the range of my emotions and states of mind as a person regardless of the context or location. And emotions are a lot like a colour-changing gas inside a crystal ball for me sometimes. Picture Neville Longbottom’s Remembrall after he forgets something. And we run away from that ball sometimes. But the most honest telling comes from trying to witness that gas, in all its formlessness, beauty and confusion sometimes, but especially in the irony that everyone has that capacity but rarely ever the luxury or maybe willingness to explore it. We’ve just gotta be cool with all sides of ourselves, basically.
Why do you call yourself barelyanyhook? Apart from the obvious part.
Barelyanyhook: It started as a potential title for a tape I had in mind. Way back. And at the time I thought hooks were like mad important in the song but I didn’t know if I was doing it right or not. No one around me to bounce ideas off of. Later it just stuck because it felt right.
I love this interview, Barely is one of the unique minds I’ve met and being a rapper it’s brilliant watching his mind work. He’s an artist, a thinker, a mind working around his world and narrating his views without hiding any reality. I like the ones who play against society cause say the truth to the kids, they paint a vivid picture of reality for us to place our dreams on.