At the site where indie-pop meets experimental R&B; where electronic meets alternative and where humility meets greatness, you will find UK-artist, Humble the Great, placed at the epicentre of it all.
Adeptly crafted from his bedroom floor, Humble demonstrates that you do not need fancy equipment to create unique soundscapes. With a talk box in one hand and a ‘little tiny shit speaker’ in the other, Humble showcases mastery from the comfort of his bedroom floor - his entire discography oozes grooves and sweet-toned bangers. That's always been his process and he wants to keep it that way.
At 22, Humble shows that he is a true talent, effortlessly blending his inspiration of Anderson Paak, Gorillaz and Green Day, to create a melting pot of punk, lo-fi and soul. Accompanied by great lyricism, Humble leaves us wanting more. Indeed, after much listening, I found it hard placing him in one genre.
From actor to singer, Humble has always had a knack for the arts. He went to drama school to do a BA in Acting. After dropping out after 3 months, he taught himself how to produce in January 2019 and became obsessed with it.
I strongly recommend watching his music videos - particularly the ‘BURN ME ALIVE’ visualiser. Orchestrated by school-friend-turned-best-mate, Lucas Wilson, the ‘BURN ME ALIVE’ visualiser demonstrates artistry and stunning visuals. Even though Humble mentions that ‘it was [very] cold…’ whilst shooting, it was worth it. I would have him do it all over again - Ha!
Kimberley: Humble The Great, what an interesting name… what's the story behind that?
Humble: I wish I could take credit for coming up with it, but I didn't. It was actually the idea of one of my best friends, Tim. He's a producer. I really wanted to change my name… I didn’t want to be going by my regular name and he just had a list. Humble the Great was on that list and I was immediately like, yeah, that's that's the one! So, I wish I could take credit for coming up with it… I just really like the juxtaposition of it.
Kimberley: How would you describe your sound to a first-time listener?
Humble: On a standard level, I probably have an alternative-bedroom-R&B sound, I think. I definitely try to keep it quite DIY-sounding in certain moments just because I really like the stuff that I've put out from my living room, you know? With DON’T MAKE ME GO HOME NOW, I made that under my duvet at 3:00 AM, trying not to wake my flatmate up. And, yeah, I think it's definitely important to show the kind of organic nature of the music.
Kimberley: Where do you get your inspiration come from?
Humble: I get inspiration from…
Kimberley: 2:00 AM, will you say? I think I can gather what that means.
Humble: Yeah, nah, do you know what it is? Haha. It's never really that specific of a situation… A little hook usually builds into something, as opposed to being, like, I'm gonna sit down and write a song about some woman that, you know, screamed at me in the shop yesterday. It will never be like that.
Kimberley: So, when you do have a particular person or situation in mind, does that person- or people involved - know that they’ve inspired a song?
Humble: You know, I did this song called Menthol [about an ex-relationship]. Yeah, that one was probably the most bait one that I could have written, because it was quite specific to stuff I used to roast her about. I just remember I was in Camden and all of her friends were like, ‘We heard this song…’-
Kimberley: - give us a line!
Humble: Oh God. Okay, it was like, ‘She's smokin' menthol, must be straight up tripping… and all that frizzy hair that got a boy wishing but I got her dripping?’
…Yeah, I mean, it was just because she smoked menthol cigarettes.
Kimberley: [hysterically laughing] I love it!
Candidly, Humble mentions that his debut project, BLOODSHOT, was based on the time he was trying to quit smoking weed, over a year and a half ago.
BURN ME ALIVE is ‘very much the track that embodies the feeling of being addicted to it and trying to push that impulse away in those first few nights.’
In conversation, Humble used a beautiful metaphor: ‘she (weed) is trying to get in bed with me, and I'm trying to push her away. Then the sun comes up, and I feel fine, but it happens again the next night.’
Kimberley: Do you mind if people know what your songs are about?
Humble: When I had just written the chorus, I sent it to my girlfriend and she immediately asked me, is this about weed? So, I think it's cool that she got that on her own accord… I don't think I'd ever post on my Instagram like ‘...this is what the song is about!’, you know, because it's nice for people to have their own interpretation. That can sometimes be positive and sometimes negative. So, if you enjoyed it before finding out, leave it up to your own imagination… Though, I don't really think about it that much. It doesn’t really keep me up at night wondering if people know what I'm talking about.
Kimberley: What are your goals?
Humble: Live performances. Yeah, I definitely want to get my first show with the band, for sure! They’re ready to go! I definitely want to perform live again because it's just good practice and a way of getting my name out there in a more natural way… There's no amount of Instagram ads, or anything like that, that will get that instant response that talking to people after you've played will get… And, to be honest, I think just keep collaborating ‘coz not only do I just make stuff for myself, but I also like producing for other people. That’s definitely my goal for this year, just to gain more contacts. Even if it's one new contact that's going to add value to my life. I mean, that was my New Year's resolution! Just add value this year, really…’
Be sure to stream BLOODSHOT.
I am expecting great things from you, Mr. Humble The Great.
Humble’s music recommendations: