My name is sbk, and when I made “Insecure”, I was definitely aiming at creating something inspired by the Soundcloud rap era of 2016.
Artists like Trippie Redd, Mac Miller, Juice WRLD, Lil Peep, & XXXtentacion are all artists who were extremely popular at the time, but for one reason or another, I have always found myself getting into artists long after their deaths, which is a huge shame, because I would say they are some of my favourite artists now.
At the time (late 2022) I was living alone at my flat in Hackney, and I decided that I wanted to go and buy a guitar, so I went on Gumtree and bought one for £20. It was horribly out of tune, with whiskers and not in the best shape, but I didn’t care. I knew that I could make something good with it, even though I only know about four chords on the guitar.
It’s funny because I only used three chords when I recorded “Insecure”, with a few variations in how I play them every few bars. It is by far my simplest song, and I kind of liked that, even the writing process, I only wrote a chorus and decided to keep building on it with layers and layers of vocals.
I think it’s fire, and by the last chorus you have so many layers of pain that the more you listen, the more it gets to you. I could’ve added bridges and verses but I wanted to do something unconventional.
So I recorded the song in my home studio at the time (which was a pretty good setup), with just one guitar track and the rest being vocal tracks. I then sent it to my engineer, who finalises and basically polishes and gain-stages all of my records before release. I thought it would make a good intro or interlude for a project, but in the end I wanted to release it as a single.
It was my first song singing ever, and that may sound far-fetched but I am not exaggerating. I’ve done melodies and experimented before but not on anything that’s released, and not to this degree. I have grown up a Grime MC, so this was a complete 180 degrees switch to what I’m known for. I didn’t know how it would be received but I didn’t and still don’t care… I liked it. And that is what really matters.
I posted snippets on social media and the reaction I got was incredible. It was unexpected for a rapper/MC like me to make such a move, but people loved it. That reassured me that it was the right song to put out.
I always felt like when the rappers of the Soundcloud era passed away, the popularity of that type of music fleeted, and I don’t really know why, because it’s incredible. And UK music has come so far, I haven’t seen anyone from the UK try to make that kind of music, so I thought that I could be that person to bring it back to the limelight. Why not?
When I got the final of the song, I met up with Paddy Cartwright who directed the music video and hired a beautiful model, Jazz, to compliment the song. We went to Dover in Kent and filmed the video on a freezing, windy beach.
The discomfort of filming it probably added something to the video, as we were both very uncomfortable and grumpy. It came out wonderfully, and I’ll definitely experiment more with this kind of music in the future.
Watch the video for “Insecure” below and stream it everywhere else here.