Words by Husam Elgenied
Photography by Karan Teli
I sat down with Compton artist Buddy during his trip to UK where he performed at the Shacklewell Arms and opened for Wiz Khalifa at London’s Roundhouse. The first I heard of Buddy was when his break out hit “Shine” came out since then I have been following his progress. Signed to Mr Pharrell Williams himself I had high expectations and so far, he has dropped 3 singles from his up and coming album ‘Harlan and Alondra’ out on July 20th with one featuring Ty Dolla $ign and the other Asap Ferg I was more than looking forward to finding out what’s to come next.
Born Simmie Sims III however known by all as Buddy, a nickname his sister gave to him the 24-year-old Compton rapper was excited to be in London and see what the people had to offer. Buddy was in Musicals at the age of 7 and when asked about being on Dreamgirls he answered
“I was Jimmy Early, at 7! I had sparkly overall’s, I had background singers and a cap. I was hella extra”
“I jumped of the stage and got in trouble because there was somebody’s grandmamma at the front so I picked her hand up and she looked like she was into it so I pulled her in she was singing the songs, to be honest I thought it was a good part of the plan! Like break the 4th wall FUCK IT! But they pressed me after like wow don’t ever do that again and keep your ass on stage!”
After seeing him perform in London I could tell his excitement to perform had only increased “I be trying to get them a better understanding of me in my performances especially in the 10-15 seconds between songs” I have seen a lot of people live and not many have the energy Buddy portrays I was interested in knowing his influences when it comes to his performances. “School Boy Q hard! I really like Anderson Paak he be playing the drums on stage and overall super talented…. BEYONCE, she is so tight live, Beyoncé is so tight live have you seen her live show? Beyoncé live show inspires me hard”
Buddy is going on tour next month as an opening act. “I’m about to start tour next month with Asap Ferg! Hes hard, hes actually a really nice person too, really good friend of mine.’
I’ve only seen Ferg live once! And he was dope, on the other leg of the tour they had Daniel Ceaser but I think hes busy so they picked me up! I gotta fill out the energy of the crowd.”
In my opinion Buddy is in an extremely versatile genre where anything is possible his music has a message whether he is rapping, singing or just generally giving a good vibe. I wanted to find out who he listened to growing up and what different genres stimulate his thought. “Biggie, Tupac, Andre is alive and tight.” “In the UK, I fuck with Jorja smith, Skepta hard and Mahalia she tight” “yeah, I be listening to dancehall and reggae like Burna boy, Wizkid, DJ Tunes I’m always like wow this shit is turnt”
On to the album, why the name Harlan and Alondra and who can we expect on the album?
“Harlan & Alondra, it’s a cross streets to my parents’ house in Compton, yeah just bringing everyone to the streets. My whole family is on there my mum my dad sister, super family oriented they on the cover we had the shoot right there on Harlan.”
“I’m always trying to show off Compton in my videos, because I feel like there’s so many parts of the city that people don’t show, everyone knows the hood, where the niggas hang out but like they never seen like the Compton airport and I used to live down the street from there! I used to take pilot lessons learn how to fly down there all this shit that people don’t want to talk about. The song I got with Ty Dolla sign we went to the fucking airport and fly a helicopter and I flew the helicopter around the city, on some like bad boys 3 shit.”
“I worked with a lot of cool people on this album, Snoop Dogg, Khalid, Ty Dolla sign, Asap Ferg a lot more” “Maybe Pharrell, we was working I was trying get some beats from him for this album coming next month haven’t got anything back but we still working that nigga is a busy man, and I feel like he’s so confident in his own ideas however I’m more of a perfectionist I’l be in my head when I’m working with him because he so next level and his beats so tight…we will squeeze something out soon.”
Buddy, still 24 represented a hard-working artist trying to make an impact in a tough industry yet he enjoys it and has a lot of fun along the way. “The homie Ciesay did his little 5-year anniversary for Places and Faces, we got so drunk it was hella fun. I’m at this part of my life where im at a party analysing the music and pick up different frequencies”
What’s next for Buddy? “make money, buy a car, buy a crib, get a dog, learn how to cook more recipes, have a bunch of sex. Music wise do another album, tour yeah.”