Hailing from East Ham originally, Barney spent his formative years living in Forest Gate, having moved there when he was 14. While he admits it wasn’t the easiest place to grow up, he has a great deal of fondness for his old neighbourhood. With Wanstead Flats in one direction and the lights of London in the other, he describes it as a place that contains many of the city’s identities: different cultures, middle and lower classes, green grass and suburban terraces. Barney’s mum moved to the UK from Uganda when she was pregnant with him and raised him single-handed. He credits her with his creativity—although not specifically his career as a rapper. “She wasn’t playing Erykah Badu or Common in the house,” he explains, laughing. “It was more that she was very big on expression. ‘You’re trying that? Okay cool.’”
After the release of his revelatory debut album, ‘Home is Where the Art Is’, he’s sold-out a UK tour, supported his friend Tom Misch around Europe, played Glastonbury and earned a FIFA sync.
Barney followed that up with a very busy 2021 releasing a new, highly acclaimed collaborative album with Mr Jukes (Jack Steadman from Bombay Bicycle Club).
Next up is a new Barney Artist album which he’s been feverishly working on this year.