“Vibrate” is a playful introduction to the world Jukes (Jack Steadman) and Barney have created, built on a mutual love of A Tribe Called Quest and J Dilla, alongside contemporary heavyweights like Kendrick Lamar, Kano and Ghostpoet. Its breezy, laid back energy is purpose-built for summer listening and soundtracking moments as the world reopens.
Speaking about the track, Barney explains: “Vibrate was the very last song we made for the album. It really summarises mine and Jack’s relationship which is great vibes with a meaningful message.” The Locket features ten tracks cut from sessions that span over eighteen months. It’s sunshine-dappled, psych-tinged, hip-hop flavoured, leftfield pop. Beats, bars and a unique sort of retro futurism that zips from sepia-tinged to full technicolour almost as fast as Barney’s flow. Its title track refers to memories of happier times:“we fill a locket with memories we protect, and don’t forget to keep it round your neck.” It’s a reminder to focus on positivity in the face of adversity. A collaborative project designed to be enjoyed together. A celebration of music, unity and looking ahead. “The aim is to bring hope to people after the maddest year,” Barney says. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
During a period of prolonged inactivity, Jack Steadman scratched an itch to do something new. He went by the moniker of Mr Jukes and released an album, God First, in 2017. We say ‘by himself’ but it was very much an open-door policy, resulting in a collaborative record that brought contributions by legends such as Charles Bradley, De La Soul, Horace Andy, Lianne La Havas, BJ The Chicago Kid and Lalah Hathaway. The project also features a contribution from Barney Artist, who Jack had quite simply stumbled upon on a Spotify playlist and never forgotten.
Barney’s music takes the vibrance of jazz infused hip-hop but with a London feel. Growing up in Forest Gate, East London, Barney touches on conscious themes by way of lively, dynamic delivery to create something instantly likeable, like the artist. He’s a larger than life presence, fun to be around and a searing, peerless talent too. A collaborator by nature, Barney grew up around Tiana Major9 and Jay Prince and has made music with Tom Misch, Alfa Mist and Jordan Rakei.