From Hayes, West London we meet talented MC, poet and producer Brisk Timos. Brisky intertwines his kid-hood on the streets of Nepal growing up in the ghetto, where his uncles introduced him to HipHop, with his experience of growing up in the UK after migrating in very early age, struggling with mental health, learning to speak English and navigating the British education system.
A close mate of the late passed legend YamaBuddha, Brisk carries the Nepali mic on with his cheeky, sensitive and grounded personality. Brisk aims to amplify the voice of the Nepali diaspora in UK through his carefully crafted tracks with a view to reconnect and build the scene in Nepal.
Hi Brisk, can you describe your journey into HipHop?
- I got into HipHop cus of the surroundings in Nepal. I grew up with older people - I’m from a very good family - I grew up in a ghetto basically. I loved the streets, a couple of my uncles used to be in a gang, they’d listen to hiphop. I never took it seriously until I came to this country…I didn’t have any friends or anybody to speak to - HipHop helped me to write all of my things that I had inside my head, my heart.
Reminds me of Biggie’s track ‘hold ya head’, he says, ‘I never thought suicide would be on my mind’.
- Biggie is one of my biggest inspirations.
I’ve been listening to Mo’ Money Mo’ problems, written in ’97 when Tupac and Biggie were assassinated, stripped back version - released earlier this year, it samples Diana Ross, her iconic gay tune, ‘I’m coming out.’ Are there any Nepali Hiphop movies?
- There’s no HipHop movies in Nepal, there’s a lot of rappers who like to move out of the boundary - poverty kicks in and everything like that. In Nepal, you wouldn’t have to be on script or anything cus you can see everybody around the corner just spitting bars everyday.
Yeh that’s nice, natural. How long have you been working on ‘KINA’?
- ‘KINA’ was meant to be out 2 years ago, but we had to go to different producers and remix. I went to Prasil and said you do your part in the UK and I’ll do my part in Nepal.
Did you film the KINA Music Video in Katmandu?
- Yeh, August, I was meant to be there for a month and 10 days but ended up staying. Lockdown from March til around June was so strict people were not even going outside their houses. Police would be hitting you with sticks and putting you to jail. There was no food to buy, everything was shut, I didn’t eat meat for a month. In that period I wrote about 15 songs. ‘JOGBANI’ was one of them.
I don’t know what the Covid rate in Nepal is, but I know in Vietnam they have like no cases and they’re a Communist state as well…
- As soon as I came to Nepal the cases were around 200,000, the health system and everything is so messed up. The government doesn’t look after people. There’s been cases where people will go to the hospital with their broken hand and then end up dead and then they take the organs and bury their body so that no-one will know. A couple of my mates work in the hospital, they told me.
Are there many female R&B artists in Nepal?
- There’s a few singers and a few FeMCs, they dope, I don’t know why they don’t wanna showcase their talent. I think they are insecure about how the community will see them. In Nepal even guys aren’t accepted as a rapper, if you do HipHop they start calling you a druggy…now it’s getting a bit better.
You’ve spoken on the ‘HipHop Diaries’ about experiencing Anxiety and Depression, what’re your coping mechanisms other than music.
- My depression kicked in, before YamaBuddha passed away - you can’t see it…I used to have hella mood swings, I used to switch onto people…I felt like I need to stop smoking, drinking, everything. I self meditated for a few months. YamaBuddha passed away. As soon as I heard that, I had to take a trip to Nepal. There were days when I was writing and my tears were dropping and it vanished all of the inks. Apart from music I think maybe my closest friends that I vibe with. And smoking marijuana some times. You can’t do music all the time.
There’s this quote from MIA where she says the press labelled her as a ‘Problematic Popstar’, she says if I wasn’t this way ‘I’d overdose on something or I’d take loads of drugs, I have to be me.’
- Everybody’s got Anxiety in them. Depression - you are the only person who can take you out. I used to be a heavy weed smoker, ounces and ounces a day, I used to feel paranoid, have a lot of mood swings. The weed smoking in London, it’s not weed, it’s skunk, it’s not natural. It was hitting my brain different, I used to have suicidal thoughts, bug out a lot, be heavy all the time. As soon as I stopped smoking weed I was on a come down period for about a week or two, but after that I become so clean…I thought about life in a different way, I started working in calm circles, focussing on music and watched a lot of inspiring videos.
Like the Trap music scene came out of areas of literal drug traps.
- I think that’s why everybody these days do drugs, like 17,18 year olds popping pills and doing lean and everything it's all cus of the music. One of them things, they won’t know what it is, but they will be so curious as they’re so young they would want to try. I’ve never taken any thing more than weed. Everything’s got limits, like if you over do it even sugar’s gunna be…I just want to tell them to keep their head up and try to become positive with their thoughts. Life isn’t about stress and pain, there’s other side to it too. You need to control yourself because nobody else can control you and how your brain functions. You should be able to overcome with things and do not panic with little stuffs, that will make it more worse.. mental health isn’t taken seriously by everyone around you, but what you need to think deep down is that you’re the strongest person to be fighting such disease and listen to motivational speeches and inspiring music to feel better!
Have you got anything coming for us after ‘KINA’?
- I’ll probably drop another music video called ‘JINDAGIMA’ which means LIFE. I talk about life as a street kid, when I was little I’d stress about going to school, refused to study. My dad and mum would struggle and paid money for me to study. The police used to be after me everyday and come and knock on my door and stuff like that so basically I’m dedicating it to my mum. I’m saying I’m sorry to my mum. We’ll start shooting that around January.
Prasil on ‘KINA’
‘Everyone goes through a dark place at some point in their lives that may seem to offer no hope, help and is full of overwhelming self doubt and endless negative thoughts. The song is an excerpt of a sort of the phase but also a reminder to one's fighting their inner demons that they are not alone and there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Mental health shouldn't be a taboo or a sign of incompetence and weakness regardless of gender or nationality. It is prevalent now than more than ever and it is a very sensitive matter and should be treated as such. Life might seem like a dark place that doesn't offer hope, help and overwhelm you self doubt and endless negative thoughts if you suffer from one. This song is an excerpt of a sort of that phase but also a reminder to one's fighting their inner demons that they are not alone in this fight and that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
We as human beings by law of life stumble upon a phase that sucks every light, hope, life out of you and is full of self doubt and endless thoughts. Hence its called dark phase. The song is an attempt to describe emotional spectrum that one goes through. But it is also a reminder that they are not alone in this fight and there is light at the end of the tunnel.’
‘KINA’ by Brisk ft. Prasil Music Video will be released on 7th January 2021.
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