Following the release of his most recent single, Wrong, Olivia Declerck had a chat with YBR- about how he got into music, his journey so far and his influences.
Confident and ambitious 21-year-old Reekesh Bissessur began rapping in September of 2019 as a fun way to kill time. 85,000 Spotify streams later, this casual past time has blossomed into something bigger.
Can you tell me about yourself?
My artist name is YBR, which are actually my initials. I started SoundCloud under the name Ghostninne, where I posted music I made while being dumb and playing around with my friends in high school. Those tracks are similar to 21 Savage’s music style.
YBR is my main name; the one I have on Spotify. YBR has more growth – it is a growth thing – and crosses more genres.
I actually have a mixtape idea for this year  which will be made up of four to six tracks for each musical persona called Ghostninne v. YBR. The Ghostninne story is how it all started and the YBR story is how I have evolved. I hinted at this idea in the music video for my song Humble.
What got you into the rap game and into music?
A group of my mates were at my friend’s house, he’s a producer so he just played a beat. We were messing around and freestyling. I jumped in for, like, two minutes straight just saying random stuff. Afterwards, I went home, I played the beat and I just started to write.
Between September 2019 when I started and maybe around March last year, my lyrical growth has been crazy. Before, I was just stuck in a box because creativity is hard sometimes. Now my strategy is to just write a lot and if I wanted to finish a song tonight I would go to a park – I don’t stay at home – I would go to a park, I would play the beat and I would just write and write and get it done. I don’t use everything I write, but I still keep it all on my notes.
Can you describe your musical journey so far?
I only started [in 2019] pretty much, and after I dropped ‘Immaculate’ with Muranji it was like, cool, maybe this is going somewhere. I started getting people hitting me up – before it was just friends’ support – but when it got to the point where it was people, I don’t know it was like, “Right cool, this could become something more”.
Muranji and I play random beats on the speaker (at work) and sometimes we freestyle to customers. We actually recorded ‘Immaculate’ in the work fridge – we stayed back after hours and we were like, “Okay let’s get this thing done”.
The goal for 2020 was to begin making a name for myself and I know the recognition is slowly building up.
I know you’re a big fan of Lil Baby, what about him inspires and influences you?
Literally everything. Everyone knows Lil Baby and if you play any track from him, I’ll know it. I started listening to his music about three years ago, his friends told him to get into music and he started liking it; basically how I was. Then he just slowly started getting into it and he just got better and better. You only get better with time; you can’t just sit there and pray you will get better. Every album, every song he drops, he just gets better and better.
It’s the whole him walking on a beat, the way he can go on any song. That’s what I want to be. His whole style and personality as well. There’s just something about him. He always helps his friends and promotes their music. He doesn’t have to do that, he’s got money, he’s got millions.
His thought process was I can do this, and he just went ahead with it and that’s how you’ve got to be. A lot of people stop, they take a pause and just hope it’s going to work, but it’s not. You’ve got to keep going. Consistency!
You also have to break out of your comfort zone. If you’re going to stay in a box, if you’re going to be shy, you’re not going to go anywhere.
Marketing yourself and promoting yourself is an important thing. You have to promote your stuff because if you don’t promote it, who’s going to see it? Sometimes you have to post funny things too on social media.
In my opinion, you can’t just give the followers music, you need to give them other stuff too, specifically stuff they can relate to. People are in love with trends. If you go along with the trends, people will go along with you.
Top 3 Artists (following Lil Baby)
Big Sean – Especially his old stuff.
Gunna – His flow is crazy.
Polo G – Die A Legend inspired me a lot. I loved every song on that album. I made songs to pretty much half the beats on that album.
Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?
One thing I really want is to hit 1 million streams on Spotify for 2021. Numbers are not a good thing to focus on, but I think reaching that goal will motivate me. Then it’s about growing my fanbase; having a name and people being able to recognise my music like “Yo, this is YBR!”
I want to drop two songs every week. Do more shows, I want to have done at least 10. Music videos – I have a lot of crazy music video ideas. More collabs for sure. Not even just with artists from this city, but artists from other cities, but my whole goal is to get my city up, to work with Perth artists to get them up.
The first thing I want to do if I’m successful in music is to help my family: my mum and my dad. I want to help them because I do this for them.
I would love to have a creative circle of friends in the industry – people who believe in the same values as me, a group all about being humble and showing love.
Stream his track below!