“I make music what sounds like where I’m from. It sounds like Bradford. It sounds like burglars and council estates and people without parents…. It sounds like being let down, but making the best of it.”
26 year old Blazer Boccle is used to being a contradiction. “My whole life has been lived in between very different spaces” Blazer says. His Rastafarian mother raised him on a council estate in Bradford on a diet of Lauryn Hill, Angie Stone and Erykah Badu, all the while Rock and guitar music blasted from neighbours back gardens in the predominantly white neighbourhood.
His Asian father’s family sold drugs on the other side of town, where as a teenager Blazer would help them out at the weekend, soundtracked by old school rap and hip hop.
It is here -at the intersection of these different cultures -that Blazer’s music exists. It is the sound of a young man trying to find his place in the world.
As a teenager, Blazer was thrown out of home and spent time in prison. His father misused crack cocaine and heroin. Even during those difficult years, Blazer always made music, spitting bars at raves and building a solid local fanbase.
Becoming a father three years ago forced him to take his talent more seriously. “I don’t really care about me,” Blazer says. “My life’s been shit. I don’t care about being famous. But I’d like for my son to have a different life. I want to be successful for him. I don’t care about anything else.”
For the past couple of years Blazer has been honing a sound that reflects the wildly different genres he was exposed to growing up: the rock music listened to by the ‘geezers’ down the pub, the hip hop beats his uncles introduced him to, the smooth neo-soul and r&b played in his mothers house and the bassline/niche he raved to at illegal parties.
Blazer raps about what it’s like to live hard and dangerously, with very little to lose. His lyrics embody the spirit of Bradford, and have the perfect balance ofnorthern charm and grit.
For a while, Blazer tried to make the music he thought people wanted to hear, muting his broad Yorkshire accent and trying to emulate chart-topping Rap stars from London, before he realised he was better off being authentic.
So who exactly is the authentic Blazer Boccle?“
I want to break stereotypes. Someone who looks like me from where I’m from, I shouldn’t be making music like this. I just want to show people this is me and I can say what I want, how I want and when I want.