Selected by: Naz Hamdi

Name: Mowgs

Where He’s From: Edrington, Birmingham

Genre: Road Rap

File Next To: Nines, Rimzee, Mist, Clavish

When He Started: 2017

Sounds Like: A voice for Birmingham’s unheard.

First Music That Inspired Him: “I remember being in secondary school listening to Giggs, CS, STIGS, Snap Capone, Nines and Potter Payper. I’d say they all had an impact on man.”

Mowgs’ debut single, “Erdz Boy”, released in 2017, was an insightful street chronicle depicting his reality on an instrumental that sampled 50 Cent’s iconic “P.I.M.P”. Since his introduction to the game, it has been non-stop for the Birmingham rhymer and although The Bare Necessities is the first project he’s dropped in four years, Mowgs has managed to steadily grow and build a fanbase by releasing hard-hitting singles such as “Different”, “Keep Up” and “Swerve Off”, the latter featuring fellow Erdington rap don Mist.

Mowgs is carving out a lane for himself in UK rap and championing a sound he describes as “unique and relatable,” adding that “there’s not a lot of man my age making real rap. I feel like when you’re listening to my music, I can make you reflect and feel like you’re living my life. A lot of rappers nowadays talk about who they’ve shot and what they’ve done on road, but my music isn’t like that. I touch people differently.” Mowgs is a voice for people in Birmingham who are going through the same difficulties he has been through. He tells TRENCH that the reason he began making music was because “all the rappers I listen to are in their thirties now and I wanted to be a voice for my generation. There’s a lot of people who came up like me and don’t have a voice. I might be young, but I’ve lived this life too and my songs talk about real-life situations—it’s not all glitz and glamour.”

In 2017, Mowgs performed with M Huncho on his tour, which he says was an “unforgettable experience.” It was an eye-opening time for the 24-year-old: “It was the first time I’ve ever performed and, obviously, I come from a different lifestyle, so it was all a bit mad to me. At the time, my sister was managing me and when the show ended, she gave me some money and I was so confused but she told me I had got paid. That’s when I realised I was in the wrong graft and music could actually change my life.”

Now Mowgs is back with a conceptual project, and with it an aim to prove he is just what the rap game needs. The title of the mixtape, The Bare Necessities, is a play on The Jungle Book’s theme song—Mowgs is displaying his creative side on this one, as his name is inspired by the main character in the classic children’s flick. “I remember one time I was in the trap and someone called me Mowgli,” he explains. “It must have been the hair, but it’s just stuck with me ever since. When I first signed, my label told me I could get copyrighted by Disney, so I had to switch it. But people still call me Mowgli, Mowgs.”

The 17-track set tackles many difficult topics, including poverty, abuse and road life. Mowgs begins the tape by stating: “It’s The Bare Necessities because we came up off the bare necessities.” For Mowgs, music is different now compared to when he started in 2017; he feels like “a lot more is possible” and his goals aren’t unattainable. The Bare Necessities is a deeper understanding into the rising star and his journey outside of rapping, and will go down as a solid follow-up to his 2019 debut, Roll The Dice.

TRENCH Highlight...

Posted on May 20, 2022