Niko B is a phenomenon, an internet sensation who is turning his unique, fun-loving, and completely independent approach into a Top 40 success.
Debut single 'Mary Berry' found the songwriter - real name Tom Austin - saluting the British Bake Off icon, and the playful track swamped the internet.
Ratcheting up more than four million views (!) his next move could become Niko B's breakout moment.
'Who’s That? What’s That?' is gate-crashing the Top 40, up-ending expectations, smashing through barriers, and supplying a much-needed dose of care-free positivity for this lockdown summer.
Clash spoke to Niko B, who broke down 10 things you really need to know about his wild ride (so far...)
- - -
- - -
My first time performing was on a Nationwide tour with superstars NSG...
They noticed me after I mentioned them in my first track, 'Mary Berry' and then got to interview them at Reading festival. It was sick, I got to spend the week with them and shared a dressing room with KO and V9, they are the best guys.
I threw up before every show and my music cut out in the first show so I sang happy birthday to a girl in the front row until it came back on.
I started my own clothing line when I was 16...
I wanted a Supreme t-shirt but it was too expensive so I just made my own and called it Crowd and then released it because friends asked me to. Before that I would draw on clothes and have that iron transfer paper when I was 13/14 and customize all my old clothes.
I hail from Milton Keynes...
I live in a town called Newport Pagnell. It’s the home of Aston Martin, is one of the most haunted towns in all of the UK and it’s got the oldest iron bridge still in use in the whole world. I saw someone canoeing under it once, that was sick.
I drive around in a 2005 Plate Seat Ibiza...
I bought it on Valentine’s day 2018 but I failed both my theory and driving test the first time. I did pass the second time though.
I charted in the Top 40 with my second ever song...
I charted, WTF. I got a Top 40 hit on my second ever song in the first week with 'Who’s That? What’s That?'. That’s a good story to tell my grandkids one day. I honestly would've been so happy for my name to be at 98 just to get a screenshot as proof so people would believe me.
- - -
- - -
Video Games influence a lot of what I do...
When I was five or six, my dad would make beats on the Playstation and that’s when I first saw music being made. When I was older I waited a year after asking and convinced my parents to get me GTA4.
The main character was called Niko Bellic and the radio on GTA was amazing with loads of awesome 90s rap, which helped me to hear more types of good music. The same thing was true of Skate 2 but the first time I got it I was grounded and couldn't play it for a week, I’d just stare at the box in my draw all day. Then when I got to play it, I was mad for it, especially the clothes. It really influenced my style.
There was a bit of space behind my nan’s sofa and I would sit down behind it and play all my video games and write down all the cheat codes. Also big shout out to Tony Hawk's Project 8.
I used to want to be a WWE Star & Street dancer...
I loved 'Step Up To The Streets' and used to have it recorded on my nan’s Sky Box. I’d watch it over and over again. I’d perform street dances for my family and get really annoyed if they talked through it. And of course 'Bounce' by Timbaland was my tune!
I broke my shoulder in PE playing rounders...
We were playing rounders, someone hit it really far and I was looking up and couldn’t see where I was running and tumbled. My teacher at the time was this old military type guy who I really annoyed. I used to squirt water at his bald head in the changing room. He thought it was super funny, and sent me to the hospital and then my mum got me and took me home, it was really sick and I had to wear a sling.
I was born in 2000...
That will never happen for another Millennium. That’s so sick and is so cool. I even have a tattoo to brag about it.
I love Mary Berry and named my first song after her...
My family loves Bake Off, so I made a song about the amazing lady that is Mary Berry. She’s an absolute classic and I love her. She is a boss.
I always knew about Bake Off but had never watched it. My girlfriend made me watch it and after one episode I was obsessed. I used to watch Big Brother with my mum and it’s really just like Big Brother but with baking.
- - -
- - -
Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.