Berwyn — a Trinidad-born UK rapper, songwriter, and producer — overcame a lot to get to where he is today. After a rough childhood, he endured “frequent cycles of homelessness and dead end jobs,” as noted in press materials, before almost moving back to Trinidad. Instead, he took to a “sh*thole flat,” lived “on a diet of toast, weed and insomnia,” and recorded his new project, Demotape/Vega.
The album comes out at the end of the week, but ahead of that, the artist dropped a new video, for “017 Freestyle.” Over a classic-sounding soulful beat, the rapper drops a vulnerable verse over the course of two minutes, addressing his hardships and optimism for the future. Sharing the song today, Berwyn tweeted, “I wrote these songs a good while now from a mattress on the floor. Gassed to finally share it. Hope u love this one more coming friday!”
I wrote these songs a good while now from a mattress on the floor. Gassed to finally share it. Hope u love this one more coming friday !
— BERWYN (@berwynberwyn_) September 22, 2020
Berwyn made headlines earlier this year with a rendition of his song “Glory” on Later… With Jools Holland, which came around the start of the Black Lives Matter protests and was tailor-made for the moment. So much so, in fact, that he wrote a new verse for the track the day before the performance.
Watch the “017 Freestyle” video above.
Demotape/Vega is out 9/25 via Heritage.