Back in 2010, when I was in year 7, I heard Eminem’s album recovery, and as they say…the rest was history! The songs on the album brought out a side of me which I never even knew existed: the side of me that didn’t care what teachers or other people thought of me, the side that used my strongest emotions from within and turned them into something artistic. I guess that was when Hamza turned into Inumz. I was writing rhymes for years and I would skip school assemblies to freestyle with a group of close friends. We’d always talk about how one day people would realise and respect the passion we have for rap.
I’ve always been a kid with a dream, but when I recorded my first professional track in a studio, that was when the dream became more of a vision for me. My first ever song was for my dad (which I gave to him as a fathers’ day gift), which was fitting because if it wasn’t for the support my dad has shown me with my music, I probably wouldn’t be rapping today! I had years worth of verses scribbled down, and it was time to take it to the next level. Studio sessions were booked, songs were released, and I started to get some recognition and respect among my peers for what I was doing.
As a Muslim it was initially pretty hard, as music (especially rap) isn’t looked at as a particularly pleasant thing, however as soon as people started listening to the lyrics that I was writing, I was starting to win them over. That’s when I decided to make a soundcloud and upload my songs there, where I got a few thousand views. After this I released a video for one of my songs, ‘Til the Day, which has so far been received well by listeners. And that’s where I am now: a young rapper with a vision and the determination to turn it to reality.
In music when it comes to inspiration, I would have to say the main artists for me are Eminem, Lowkey, and Akala. Eminem because in some of his music he brings out his pain, while in other songs he brought the fight out in me. Lowkey because I admired his lyrical ability in competition, as well as his crazy ability to talk about current world issues and help us to empathise with people all over the globe. I never really knew about Akala until I heard his first fire in the booth, and that’s when I knew that for me he is one of the best in the UK to ever rap. He maintains skills while still addressing sensitive and controversial topics, not to mention the countless talks and debates he has done where he has shown that your history and upbringing does not determine your intellect.
In a way, music can be therapeutic for me. When talking about life experiences through music it can be a massive help to feel better about who I am today, and to remember that I’m always aiming to improve as a person. I also like to inspire and help others, so for people who lack self esteem, I’d like to bring out that motivation in them and give them that fighting spirit, the same way listening to other rappers’ music did to me.
There are many things people can take away from my music. I’d love for someone who listened to my song ‘Better Man’ to take away the fact that nobody is perfect and the whole aim of our lives is to improve ourselves and not judge others, because we have no idea about what other people are going through. That’s a more fundamental message, but I also want to make people think. I’m currently working on a song called ‘Revolution 2 Rap’ in which I talk about the way in which our media has let us down by allowing the younger generation to believe that violence and gang wars are cool, and I also talk about the fact that we as humans have no idea about our maximum potential, and that with hard work, we’ll succeed far greater than we ever could’ve hoped regardless of our backgrounds or class status.
No one can say they know what the future holds, but right now I’m concentrating on building my future, and I’m not talking the usual way of building a future. I see myself a few years down the line being able to use my music to help the youth of today and influence them to make changes for the best. For me there’s just something so amazing about picking up a pen and a pad, playing a beat and telling a story. When I saw rappers do this, it made me want to tell my story in a way that everyone can understand and I finally had a passion that defined me through and through. Who knows, maybe one day in the future I’ll influence someone to break out of their shell and become the next Inumz!
– Follow Inumz on Instagram @thatyuteinumz and check out more of his music on Soundcloud www.soundcloud.com/inumz