Jamaican Musical Sensation Bad Bena Sets Sights on London: Rising Star Dares to Chase Her Dreams Abroad

Bad Bena

Since moving to the UK, what has life been like for you and how do you compare it to Jamaica?

It was always a dream to study in the UK. I was set up and robbed in Jamaica and migrated with only £700. I didn’t have family or friends in London. I experienced culture shock and hardship but it all strengthened my character and I was successful in the end. I am UAL: CSM’s first Jamaican graduate (class of 2020). I have a BA (Hons) Textile Design degree and also a Diploma in Professional Studies (DIPs).

Comparing the UK to Jamaica I’d say I miss authentic Jamaican food, sun, beaches, and rivers. Simultaneously, London is a fashion capital as well as one of the most luxurious cities in the world with lots of opportunities. With iconic attractions, inspiring city lights, and high-end restaurants. I guess most people come to London for career opportunities. So if you didn’t grow up here it can get lonely.

How do you find the music scene and community in the UK?

I admire the rawness of art in the UK. It often feels very soulful like there’s beauty in imperfections. When I lived in Jamaica I used to listen to Amy Winehouse often but when I moved to London in 2016 I connected with Afrobeats and drill genres more. Dance music also became a personal favourite.

As an up-and-coming artist, what challenges have you faced making music in a different environment from what you’re familiar with?

I’ve struggled with people not taking me seriously as an upcoming artist. There are so many artists trying to make it! I’m just grateful that my talent speaks for itself so that many well renown, smart and talented people co-sign Bad Bena! Music is a difficult industry though but I’m in love with the process and I believe that my journey in life has equipped me to achieve greatness.

Who are your top 5 current artists that you listen to/respect?

Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, Doja Cat, Bounty Killer and Cardi B.

Bad Bena

What are you working on musically and when can we expect to hear new material?

I’m having lots of fun writing, rapping, singing, and co-producing. I like to try new things and different genres. My latest release was a drill freestyle called “Tony Montana”. I will also be featured on “Going All In” on dancehall legend Bounty Killer’s highly anticipated album “King of Kingston”. Also, my production/ management team Hot Money and I have a lot of Bad Bena heat coming this Summer!

What are your biggest goals that you would like to achieve in music, entertainment, and fashion in the next 18 months?

I hope to maximize my potential and leave my mark in the world while staying true to myself. I have always been an inspirational trendsetter. I hope to continue inspiring others through music and art and I also hope to relaunch my textile fashion label Abenah Adelaide.

When you’re not pursuing your dreams? What are your hobbies?

I love getting fit at the gym, nights out in the city with friends, watching films, and reading educational books/ articles. I also listen to music all the time and also recently started learning pole dancing!

We noticed you are into fashion, what is your style or philosophy on fashion?

Just be yourself and have fun! Fashion is impersonal, while style is personal.

What makes Bad Bena unique? What do you bring to the table that is different from the rest?

Well, from me being Jamaican- Puerto Rican. My non-medically trained father had to deliver me and cut my umbilical cord at birth because of an emergency because the midwives were late. Also, me performing in 5-star resorts as a dancer from age 7 in a family group created by my mom. A lot of things make me unique.

I was also grown in a creative environment around all girls. Somehow I became a tomboy. My late father, Christopher Francis González, OD is a renowned Caribbean fine artist. My mom Champayne González is a dancer and fitness pro who actually wanted to be a singer. She raised my sisters and me as upcoming superstars. I have also been brave to migrate to London on my own which also built my character. My story, style, and talents make me unique.

If your house was on fire, what would you run in to save?

I would save my loved ones. Then afterward I’d probably feel sh*t if my music equipment, art, designs, and my fav outfits were left behind. Lol. But I’m a go-getter. I know how it feels to fall down and rise back up again!

Follow Bad Bena: https://www.instagram.com/badlikebena/