> EP Review: BEMZ – Nova's Dad - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

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EP Review: BEMZ – Nova’s Dad

Bemz needs no introduction at this point. The Glasgow-based rapper and producer had a pretty storming year in 2022, racking up awards and accolades as the end-of-year lists rolled around. This EP is a bit of a meditation on that, almost a waymarker of looking at how far he’s come; the voice notes from friends that lace through the tracks talking frankly about his struggles with mental health, his personal growth and sense of purpose. It’s a very honest, very vulnerable piece of music: ‘We Move’ talks about loneliness and family with admirable frankness and the simplicity of the lyrics on ‘Little Lady’ feel like he’s talking directly to his daughter. Those deeply personal moments make the times when he comes out swinging feel all the more triumphant, the monstrous ‘Zidane’ popping with dance floor grime energy.

His flow as a rapper has a casual ease, but it masks some real technical skill – he’s jumping over some really complex rhythmic stuff as he trades bar with Sean Focus on ‘Raging Bull’. There’s musicality and implied melody in a lot of what he does, and a clever way with imagery. A line like ‘ride on my stubble’ has a visceral physicality to it delivered with so much confidence and cheek that it can’t help but be likeable.

This is an artist putting a stake in the ground, showing where he’s come from and where he is now. Given the drive, energy, and skill on show here, where he’s going next is wherever he wants it to be.

Nova’s Dad is out 5th April, and BEMZ is playing SWG3 28th April

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