Verge Meets: Not3s with Foot Locker

In the Spirit of Unity, Not3s visited a youth centre in his hometown of East London and created a mini studio for local kids. Youth centres played an important role in Not3s’ upbringing, so he felt passionately about showing love to the next generation and demonstrating the importance of not giving up. Not3s spent the day teaching aspiring young musicians his craft by helping them write lyrics and create beats and the final track will be uploaded to a music streaming platform.

Tell us a little more about this campaign, what it’s all about and why you felt it suited you? 

When Foot Locker asked me to do this campaign and showcase a value that is important to me, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to give back. I felt it suited me because I actually used to go to youth clubs when I was younger, and it felt like an escape from all the trouble that was happening in the area and gave me the chance to focus on being an artist.

How have you liked working on the campaign?

I really enjoyed working with Foot Locker on creating a mini studio for this campaign, working with the youths and giving them the encouragement to go on and become anything they want to be, from artists to actors etc. I’ve noticed recently that I really enjoy helping other people – sometimes more than I help myself.

What is next for Not3s?

What’s next for me? I’ve got a single coming out this week called “Princ3”. I wanted to finish off the year with some new music as my fans have been waiting all year. Then next year I’ll be dropping new music again consistently leading up to my debut album.

How did you come up with your stage name, and what made you choose to use a 3 instead of an e?

Notes means three things to me – money notes, music notes and take note of me. Me and my friend were coming up with a name for me, this when we were about 14. His rap name was Young Stacks and he said: “what about Young Notes?”. I was like, “nah, that’s not the one” and a couple days later I decided to throw a “3” in the “not3s” and run with it.

How much did growing up in Hackney, or just London in general, influence you as an artist?

With Hackney, it is like any other South London area. There’s different things that go on and obviously, there’s young people that are ambitious and they want to do great things. For example a lot of people want to grow up and be professional football players but they don’t really get that opportunity to, or they want to be a musician but they don’t really get that opportunity either due to so many distractions and unfortunate circumstances. But it made me grow up faster than I probably expected, because of the type of things I witnessed growing up in the area. This allowed me to be strong minded in what I wanted to do in life.

You’re a singer-songwriter, rapper and actor. Between these four art forms which do you feel helps express yourself as both an artist and a person the most?

I would say singer-songwriter because it allows me to be free and open. When creating music, sometimes I find myself opening up in some of my music as opposed to actually opening up to a person. It’s so important in life to express yourself and not keep things in.

You’ve managed to grow into such a successful artist at such a young age. What keeps you hungry to continue to grow?

My family and my past keeps me hungry and always wanting more. I still remember how hard life was before all of the fame so the fact my talent has now put myself and my family in a better and more comfortable position, I always strive to do better in order to make sure everyone around me is comfortable, especially my family. So with that kind of motivation it’s so hard not to stay hungry. It’s the way I am – I always want more and I always want to do better.

Who are 3 artists or bands that have influenced you as a creator of music yourself?

DMX, Nate Dogg and Skepta

Who’s an artist you’d say you enjoyed collaborating with the most?

AJ Tracey, I really enjoy collaborating with him because it doesn’t really feel like were working, it just feels like I’m chilling in the studio with a friend then next minute you know, we have a HIT!

What are three pieces of advice you would give to young artists who want to find success in music?

Just keep trying and keep pushing. Everybody hears that all the time but it’s the truth, I was hearing that for ages. No matter what area you’re from you can do whatever you want to do. There’s the internet you get me, it’s a big place and anyone can be discovered on the internet.

Be true to yourself at all times.

Always follow your instinct.