1883 Magazine
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Meet Vibbar, a London-based collective founded by Poet consisting of Yinka, Skribz, Skitz, The Confect, Yinka, Jordy and many more. Combing music with fashion and other elements, their creativity knows no boundaries. Every member has their own personal traits and talents which is why the whole collective boasts with a never-ending energy and true uniqueness.

Already 2017 has been a highly successful year for them, from releasing their already legendary anthem ‘Sweden’ to getting signed to MistaJam’s Speakerbox label. We had a sit-down with Poet and talked about all things Sweden, Vibbar itself and their 2018 goals.

The name Vibbar is name in Swedish - what exactly do you connect with Sweden?

My girlfriend is Swedish, and my kids have Swedish passports. The whole connection came about four years ago. We met some Swedish people, went to Sweden and had a good time with our friends in Sweden. But then musically and sonically we created a next vibe from the back of our relationship so we thought it’s best to pay homage to the new music in our life. So we thought to call it ’Vibbar’ and continue the vibe. And then it started.

How did the idea of creating a collective come about, and what was the main goal behind it?

The idea came about from something we also wanted to do. We always wanted to have a creative collective but don’t just do music - also art and fashion, personalities. So this was the perfect opportunity because we felt like in creating the vibe, in creating the vibe in dynamics of different people. The only way it can be translated into music or into something proper like a business is if we made sure we kept the foundation of before. So we made sure everyone that was involved wasn’t just only music. It’s kinda similar to soundsystems from Jamaica where people do lots of things. My uncle was apart of a soundsystem, they had musicians but they had a barber in it, a jerk-chicken man. Just a collective of people coming together. Every time we want art work we go to Yinka, every time we want video shot we got everything we want within Vibbar. 

How did you guys meet?

Just in life. I met people through friends of friends, some of my cousin, some of my long-term friends I was brought up in school with. Just in various walks of life I met all these people and I brought them all together. Some of my day one friends and my cousins and friend’s friends. It’s all so crazy. And the world is such a small place because of social media. You can meet someone anywhere. 

You recently released the visuals for Sweden, how was the shoot! It looks like a lot of fun. 

I was so stressed! It was so much stress, so many arguments, everything you can imagine happened. We are all friends init, so because we are friends sometimes the aspects of friends becomes before professionalism. We all love each other essentially, there were great moments. 

Was it based in Stockholm? 

The house was just outside of Stockholm, it took us like an hour to get into the city. That was an inconvenience because when we wanted to go to the city it was too difficult but the house was so cool, and the surrounding area was so sick that we got to catch a lot of different things and then went to Stockholm as well to catch the city vibes. 

How did you get access to the mansion for only one day? 

It was AirBnB, it’s a castle. It’s mad. Sweden is full of land, there is only about 9 million people there. So parts we went to had massive castles, houses and nobody in the surrounding area. Just lakes and animals, it’s crazy. It was so cool, it was a bit scary though because the house was so big. You had to phone somebody to see if they are in the house. It was that big. 

Did you plan the scenes of the video beforehand or did it happen naturally?

What we said was, because it is the first song that got signed, we want an introduction to what we do, to be based upon what we actually are. So Yinka who does all the creative art  said ’why don’t we shoot a video based on our journey, sort of like a documentary. So we shot really crispy but got a go-pro, shots on our phones and kind of narrated the journey as a group. So we go out, get food, and so on. To me that sounds like a dope video as long as it’s captured well and the aesthetics are nice because you catch real-life reactions to things. When we got there we took a look in the house and thought to just film there, and around the area etc. It was a lot of footage! 

As you said, this is the first release on Mistajam’s Speakerbox label, how come you decided to sign at a label? 

We signed for a label because we thought it was the next organic step in order for us to upscale everything. The financial aspects in a label are good and on top of that they have been running music for a long period of time. It was organic. 

So each of you are unique in their own way, what is everyones individual contribution to the collective?

There is like 16, 17 people so within that everyone is doing their thing. So Dorian is the producer, for example. Because we are so self-sufficient that just means people are ending up doing roles as well that they do on a day-to-day basis but is never been defined as an actual role. So for example Dorian’s range of musical knowledge is sick but he has never got it to practice apart from producing. Now we got our own radio show, and we were like ’Dorian why don’t you just create the music for us and every Monday he sends a list to Radar and we play music from the station. So that’s his responsibility now as well, that’s the good thing about it - we use all our skillsets. One of our producers is our tour manager now as well. 

Where do you take all the inspiration from, music-wise as well as fashion-wise?

We are drawing it from anywhere, anywhere possible. It can be anything, anything that gets my mind ticking. Whatever I wanna do I just do. My best memories of life were when I was young and that’s when you’re carefree. The older you get the more responsibilities you get and the harder life becomes. So I’m always trying to go back to a time where life was easier. 

Do you have any musical idols?

I don’t really idolise people, I proper admire people’s work and draw inspiration from it. FKJ is a massive inspiration for me, sonically. He’s an artist from France and uses his voice from instruments as well. Erykah Badu, she is just a legend. And then Grime producers, Crazy Titch is a massive inspiration. The Wileys, the Ghetts’, the Wretchs, everyone from the foundation of this country is mad important. 

You guys have worked together with the likes of JME, Wiley and more, what has been your favourite collaboration so far?

All the collabs are just people that I know, they are all just my friends. It’s mad convenient. I think the best collaboration I would say is the one with Merks, just because how we’ve worked with it. I phoned him and said ’I got this beat, I think you’d be so dope on it, I can hear you back to back.’ So he came to the studio at 11.30 pm even though he was supposed to come at 9 pm, and I wanted to finish at 1. We ended up staying until 5 am but it was all worth it. When we started we just played the beat and the energy was just right. Before you know it we had a first draft which was so good, we just needed to revocal it. Also, JME - sick to work with! I prefer an artist to come to the studio and feel our vibes rather then sending vocals. We just try to take it back to why we love music. 

What can listeners expect from your Radar Radio show? 

Just a lot of fun and high energy from a group of friends that want to have a conversation about anything that they find interesting, for an hour with the marriage of good music. In this year I want to change a little bit but for now I’m just like ’have fun, just have fun with it.’. Just finding out what works well organically. Everything that’s worked well we are trying to implement into the show this year. Structure, guests, introducing. I got a good feeling about the radio show. 

You guys are active with quite a few other things next to Vibbar, like your football podcast . How can you combine it? 

There are 24 hours in the day, I sleep four. I got 20 hours to look after my kids, be a good boyfriend, and working on my dreams. Everybody is making up excuses for not being able to do things but there is hours in the day where people say they can’t do anything. But that’s cool, you can do what you want. If you have a high ambition, a high drive and you want to make something in life, you will find the time for things that are important to you. More time, you are not even looking for the time because it’s there. It’s just what you choose to do with it. Some people just sit down and do nothing. Some people like to delegate and say ’why don’t you do it’. Me, I’m a man when I have something to do, I do it. I don’t care who does it, as long as it’s getting done. That’s all I care about to a high quality. For me to say to somebody to do it, and it’s me who wants it done I just can’t do it. Cause if the person flops it a part of me wants to blame them but I have to blame myself because I gave responsibility of something I can do myself. I just want to fail on my own terms. 

If you had to think of your moments as a collective in 2017 last year, what are they?

It’s kinda hard to pin it down to one in particular. The best thing is to know that we are all still together. That is the best moment for me. I see so many collectives come and go, I see so many groups come and go. At least I can say, from a Vibbar standpoint, we are all still fucking with each other and that is the most important thing. Because without that there is nothing. It is testament to our hard work. 

So what are your goals for this year?

2018 my main goals are kinda difficult because it’s not really within my control. It’s for people to understand what a privilege it is to be a part of Vibbar. I say that because if you left Vibbar you can’t just go to another Vibbar. You can go to another school, you can quit your job and find another one. What we have is something so special that every moment within it, every single second should be cherished. And you should do so good to cater to its growth. If you do anything I consider negative and it doesn’t help us progress forward then I question it. I’m like ’why can’t we just have good energy and push it forward’. 2018 is just about building on what we have right now and the moments that we share with each other are so important. Be happy to be a Vibbar! I’m very privileged and happy to be a part of it, so I want everyone to have that type of mentality. 

For the latest on Vibbar head to www.facebook.com/vibbarmusic

Interview Antonia Künzel
@whatantoniadid

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