For Nottingham-based rapper Bru-C, music has always been a point of fascination and expression. “[Music] has been around me from a super, super young age,” he tells me. Born Josh Bruce, Bru-C was first raised in the suburbs of Derbyshire in Long Eaton, and was encouraged to explore the artform and all that it could offer instantaneously. “I can remember having a keyboard in my bedroom. My sister and I would run back and forth between the bedrooms, playing with various keys and sound effects, but also rapping along to those beats later on,” he recalls. At four years old, he felt the flair that music and rhythm could offer, but also the communal impacts of it too.
More formally, Bru-C’s palette was first anointed with rap and R&B classics broadcasting from MTV Base’s syndication — he references Lauryn Hill’s ‘Ex Factor’ as a pivotal song. Beyond television, his wider household would bond over Motown and soul staples. “Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’ was constantly downstairs,” he laughs. Beyond his British nationality, Bru-C’s Vincentian ancestry — on his dad’s side — entered the fore. “I went to Saint Vincent when I was 10 and came back with a lot of tapes.” He eagerly cites Junior Kelly, Beenie Man, Movado, and Jamesy P as formative West Indian guards in his rotation at the time. “It was a special experience going over so young,” he emphasises.
Adjacent to his global musical history, was a more informal understanding of the contemporary UK-space and all of the sounds that had come prior, all thanks to his older sister’s immersion in secondary school. “She would show me Heartless Crew and a lot of other garage tunes, and then grime and bassline. I quickly became the guy that you’d go to for new tunes on Infrared or Bluetooth,” the passion and national pride lurking behind Bru-C’s pupils as he explains his awe for the various British creations. “That’s where my real love for music was formed.”