On The Radar: Mist

On The Radar: Mist

Mist floats high above the Kenyan grass in a hot air balloon. “Yeah, yeah, you see me on the telly”, he raps, before we see him cruising on a yacht, reclining poolside with a spliff and standing proudly on the roof of a jeep. The video for the Birmingham MC’s Game Changer single is pure fantasy. Released at the end of last month, it topped the two million mark on YouTube and Spotify within a week. Lifted from his new Diamond In The Dirt EP, it also became his first Top 40 hit.

As you might expect from a man able to execute ideas such as parking a gleaming white Bentley in the Kenyan jungle and spitting bars, topless, next to it, Mist is all smiles. “We’ve done what we wanted with the song - changed the game,” he begins. “You’d never imagine a UK hip-hop artist would be in a hot air balloon. I’d never have been to these places if it wasn’t for music, I’ve gone from a freestyle in a car park to Kenya.”

Mist, who grew up in Birmingham’s Erdington district inspired by 50 Cent’s lavish videos, has come a long way since that freestyle for online platform P110 in 2015. His debut UK tour sold out in 30 minutes, he starred on J Hus’ Fisherman alongside Mostack, and won a MOBO for his Hot Property video (filmed in Iceland, it saw him sledging with huskies and sitting on a fire-damaged plane). His autobiographical lyrics strike a chord, too. What’s more, he’s signed himself and his Sick Made imprint to Warner Bros. “The deal means I can start opening doors for other people and Sick Made can build as a brand,” he says. “I want it to get to where Warners is, I don’t just want Mist to be signed to a label, I want my brand to be up there.”

Mist, who is planning to unveil Sick Made Publishing soon, is building an empire. “It’s the start of something great. I want to be signing and publishing artists. I’m not the same as the rappers who just come and go. I’m here to stay. I want longevity, to be a legendary name.” He’s also proudly drawing from the Punjabi culture he grew up surrounded by in Birmingham, while helping decimate any stigma around the city’s music scene. “When I was trying to break into London, people still weren’t accepting Birmingham, going ‘Umm and ahh’ about the accent, but it’s past that now,” he says. “I use a lot of Punjabi in my bars and have a large Asian fanbase, that has opened my culture widely. It’s not just white or black, it’s worldwide, man.”

As he prepares for another tour next month and a 2018 full of big-budget capers, Mist agrees things are looking rosy right now. “The future is looking very, very colourful, very clear and very nice man...”

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