Artists, almost by definition, are a product of their environment. The songs they hear their parents blasting in their childhood, the low bitrate bangers that soundtrack their bus journeys, or the tracks and albums they turn to in times of heartbreak, celebration or low motivation—they all feed into the psyche of an artist and, in turn, inform their own output.

For someone like Yxng Bane, however, it was a combination of his own experiences and East London environs that shaped him as an artist. “Being in love led me to R&B,” he explains. “Being in certain situations taught me how to rap, while other situations taught me how to sing. Even down to the way that I speak, lyrical content as well, East London has had a big influence.”

It’s never been more true than today that an artist is more than simply the music they make and release. Fans are now more than ever looking to artists for cues on style and fashion, which in Yxng Bane’s case is very fortunate. Describing his own style as simply “expressive”, in his younger years he too would look to the likes of Dipset, Jadakiss, D-Block and 2Pac as his fashion icons. That, of course, made him a big fan of Timberland boots. “Timberland have always been into hip-hop,” he says. “If you look at the old-school videos, they were rockin’ Timberland. The brand has always been very much involved with hip-hop and it was more of a natural thing.”

Yxng Bane isn’t just a spectator or collector within the world of fashion. His partnership with the famed boot brand has even led to him taking on a more hands-on approach to his style. “They even gave me the opportunity to design my own boot,” he adds. “It was just Timberland being Timberland that drew me.” That’s not to say his attentions have diverted away from music; that’s still his number one venture right now. Collaborations with Drake and Charlie Wilson are top of the list of his goals, as well as returning to the studio with past collaborators like Headie One, Young Adz, Kojo Funds and Team Salut.

Beyond that, the only thing on Yxng Bane’s mind for the future is progression, “to keep growing and getting better. For me, success is a journey. I have goals, of course,” he continues, “like you want to do certain stadiums one day—you always want to achieve that. You want to leave a legacy behind. I’m still young, though, so I’m just taking it by the day and focusing.”

Posted on November 20, 2018