BIG NARSTIE IS THE BELOVED BUMBLEBEE OF UK GRIME
“I’ve always been a dreamer, I always dreamed big – they say if you dream for the universe you might get the world.”– Big Narstie on AUD’$.
Big Narstie is an author, legendary MC, talk show host, and one of the most loved people on the planet. The London-born icon has transcended music despite still being an extremely capable grime MC, as seen on his newest release ‘Groundwork’ featuring New York legend Papoose and the godfather to one of his children, Ed Sheeran.
Big Narstie has one of the most unique careers within the music industry… probably ever. He’s got hits with Craig David and Robbie Williams; he’s beaten out Skepta and Lethal Bizzle to awards, and has established himself as a huge name within the UK scene and grime genre as a whole.
Despite only being 35, Big Narstie has been around for what seems like eternity. He debuted as an artist back in 2002, alongside a grime group N Double A; but it wasn’t until 2007 when he made is solo debut. Fast forward to 2022, and his catalogue alongside countless memorable moments in his journey are nothing short of legendary. He became the face of grime comedy and has been widely recognised as the inventor of the genre.
Bringing hip-hop to UK TV was unprecedented before Big Narstie. Narstie always knew he was unique from the jump and has never been afraid to lean into what separates him from he crowd.
“I’m just a free spirit. I’m a bumblebee. By law, a bumblebee’s not supposed to be able to fly because his body’s too fat for his wings. But a bumblebee doesn’t know that, he just thinks he’s a bit bigger than the other bees – and he still gets to pollenate the plants. He just moves in a different direction; when other bees fly up and straight, bumblebees move in a circular motion through the air ’cause of their body structure.”– Big Narstie on AUD’$.
Narstie’s emergence into the television universe was groundbreaking. He’s played a huge role in shining a spotlight on Brixton, where he grew up, and has never been afraid to let his origins shine through whatever he does, whether it be Brixton or his heritage of Jamaica. And it’s something he does consistently, whether it be music or any other venture. He’s redefined the norms of an extremely traditional English media formula, and is unafraid to succumb to industry pressures – proud to be himself.
Narstie’s full legacy likely won’t come into entire fruition for many years, but make no mistake, he’s a pioneer and a visionary, and he’s himself, having fun while doing it. He single handedly filled a void on mainstream TV with hip-hop and culture, something that was always HEAVILY lacking. Songs like ‘Groundwork’ are a perfect summary of the love that Narstie receives from the industry as a whole. Being able to bring icons like Papoose and one of the biggest pop stars ever in Ed Sheeran onto the same track deserves credit. He radiates positive energy, and that positive energy and genuineness allows for a wide range of collaboration.
Check out the interview between Matthew Craig and Big Narstie below as he talks about tapping in Down Under, dreaming big and his longstanding friendship with Ed Sheeran.