We’re back with another round of 10 Q’s, getting the lowdown on artists with some quick-fire questions. This time, we caught up with London-based rapper Jianbo.

Give us a bit of background on yourself.
I'm Jianbo, musician, rapper, filmmaker, south-east London kid with Cantonese & Vietnamese roots.

How would you describe your sound?
In some ways I'm a product of my environment - a mixture of UK rap, grime, south London jazz along with some east & south-east Asian flavour blended together with a bit of unique Jianbo seasoning.

How did you first come across Parlez?
I actually lived in Bristol for a couple years and one of my boys used to wear Parlez all the time even back then - that was like maybe 7 years ago!

Your music videos have such a high production value. How do you come up with the concepts for the visuals? What's your creative process like?
Truthfully, it usually starts off as a dumb conversation between friends over some drinks or whatever - you know the kind where you say something like “Imagine if you were attached to a giant dart board" or "Think about your head coming out of a dim sum steamer, wouldn't that be sick?" And after a while, one of those ideas sticks and we just run with it. It's almost about not overthinking it and letting yourself continue to be amused by the thought.




What’s been your favourite show to date?
I've done some great shows recently - the one in Circus Shibuya in Tokyo springs to mind, alongside an underground party I did in Saigon a few weeks ago too - but honestly, my favourite would have to be my headline show I did in November. It was intoxicating doing a show that was sold out in 48 hours of ticket release, we had some real Jianbo fans in the crowd as well as my family and friends. A special one no less and I pulled out all the stops, even getting a full live band out for some songs and then at the end getting all the mandem on stage for a big grime moment.

Which up and coming artists should be on everyone’s radar right now?
There are some real talented guys out in Asia where I last toured, but I would say if you get the chance to see Big Animal Theory play live, you've got to. The kid is an absolute talent. He's based in Tokyo, but I think he'll be worldwide before long. Also, there's a DJ / producer from Vietnam called Larria that the world needs to know about. He has the deepest knowledge of music (specifically UK music) out of anyone I've met outside of the UK and he just has a special talent and ear for the game. He's gonna be big one day and definitely the most skilled DJ and producer I met on tour.


What have you got lined up for the next year?
There's something really big for me coming in the next 12 months - I can't reveal all the details just yet, but I can say it's without doubt the best thing I've ever created by a country mile.

Name 3 things you take on tour that you couldn’t live without?
This is hard but I'd have to say my portable speaker, a mic to record demos on and my lucky necklace.

Who would you like to collab with in the future?
There's so many people! I'd love to work with more bands and artists from other genres, especially across the UK music scene. I don't want to call anyone out by name just yet because I think everything is possible at this stage. But watch this space because there's some big collabs coming out from me soon anyway!

When you’re not on tour, what’s your favourite place to eat?
This is one of those things that varies with the weather, season and just my mood, so I'll have to name some favourites - the kofte at Mangal 2 in Dalston, the pho from Cafe East, formerly in Canada Water and newly relocated to Blackheath, and finally, my fry-up order at Mary's cafe in Camberwell.


Photography | Jos Whiteman



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