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    Ed Sheeran FaceTimed Fumez The Engineer For The “Bad Habits” Remix

    Ed Sheeran FaceTimed Fumez The Engineer For The “Bad Habits” Remix

    Fumez The Engineer boasts one of the biggest platforms in the UK, and he wants Plugged In to become the biggest freestyle series in the entire world.

    Born and raised in London, real name Jahrell Bryan first came up as an audio engineer and producer before finding his footing in the content creation space. While his ability to produce mix, and master has landed him in rooms with the biggest artists out of the UK, it’s his desire to support and promote up-and-coming talent that resonates the most.

    During the pandemic, Fumez’ Plugged In freestyle series took a life of its own, as Fumez began including clips of himself reacting to the artists who would come by and spit bars — garnering an organic audience on Youtube that has since grown exponentially since its fruition. Everyone from Central Cee to Skepta has slid through, and Fumez shows no plans of slowing down.

    On the entrepreneur tip, Fumez also launched his own alcohol brand called F28, a Caribbean rum that actually tastes good — as opposed to other alcohol brands on the market.

    The Fox Magazine spoke with Fumez during Grammy week in Los Angeles, discussing his background, Plugged In taking off, working with a young Central Cee, Ed Sheeran FaceTiming him, his alcohol brand F28, and more!

    For those who don’t know, who is Fumez The Engineer?

    Fumez The Engineer is an engineer/producer. Runs a label, runs a music studio, and runs a freestyle show. As well as an alcohol company. Arguably one of the biggest platforms in the UK for UK hip hop, freestyle, and other cultures music. As a show, it’s one of the most streamed on Spotify as well. It’s got over a billion streams and half a billion YouTube views, so we’re moving in the right direction. That’s a short skeleton of who for Fumez is.

    Your voice — did you ever want to rap?

    [laughs] No, I used to rap. But I gave it up for the life I have now.

    The Fox Magazine is all about inspiration, who or what inspires you the most?

    If I have to pick one person, I’d say 50 Cent. I love his story. I love the way he transitioned. I love his audiobook, what he stands for at the moment. He’s very much a cultural mogul. Even though he went through what he went through to get to the position he’s in now, he got a lot of right, a lot of good, and a lot of smart business decisions. It shows that no matter what you go through, where you come from, and who your enemies are, you can always preserve.

    Did you get to see his Final Lap Tour in the UK? 

    Yeah, I was there when he performed. His security, everything’s diligent, I couldn’t even get near him. [laughs] It’s crazy.

    When did you fall in love with music?

    Probably 10. That’s when I started realizing who people are, flows and what I like the sound of. That was around that time. My mom was always a big music head. Every time we went anywhere, family functions, she had the music blaring. Singing the words to the songs, trying to get me to sing along. I found my footing in music, I always knew that’s what I wanted to do.

    What about favorite artists? What artists made you fall in love with music?

    When I was growing up, I used to listen to a lot of N Dubz and Dappy. They’re from the UK. Dappy was very versatile. I viewed him as the UK Drake, that never got to the pinnacle that Drake got to. I’ll go with Dappy as one of my favorite artists.

    What’s the inspiration behind your name?

    The inspiration behind my name is nothing crazy or inspiring, I just used to have a mad short temper. So they used to call me Fuming. Anytime something went wrong, I was ready to fight straight away. It was Fuming, then someone else had that name, so I shortened it to Fumez. When I did music, I just put The Engineer on the end. I went to anger management. I’m very calm now. [laughs]

    I was going to say! You seem very chill. 

    I’m very calm now. I don’t really get to that point, you know? I’m controlled. Anger management works. I swear to God, it was working.

    You took classes?

    Yeah, I had to. I was bad in school, they made me.

    Do you feel like when you got your life together, that’s when the Plugged In series started taking off?

    Other way around, Plugged In series got my life together. Plugged In is something that happened during the lockdown phase. I was kind of rebellious. When they said stay at home, I said it’s too much of an opportunity. Everyone that didn’t stay at home, made something of themselves during that time. Everyone that stayed at home and chilled, I saw a lot of people decided to renew their gym memberships. I made the right choice. It changed my life because at the time, I was really into music. I had a brand, but no one knew my face. That was the transition into putting my face out there. From that came the bills, the sponsorships, all kinds of opportunities. Acting opportunities, everything. I tried to take off as much as I could.

    Do you do it to where it shows your reaction? That’s dope.

    Yeah because in the UK, the reactors were doing a lot for the culture. It was a thing where those reactors: obviously they react to new music. They stop it, they talk and they let people know what they think. But I don’t really need to do a lot of talking. I’m a very expressional person, my face never lies. I can’t sit there and make up a reaction it’s not. I said you know what, I’ma react without saying anything. Just put some clips in there, that will help push the brand and the face. I’ll do it in a musical way where naturally I’m where I’m supposed to be, which is behind the desk.

    How did you build it to what it is today? Did an artist go viral?

    A few. We had a few go viral. We had a few that respectfully, revived a few music careers that were on their way out. It was something that the public engaged with. For me, they were very much on every episode that came out. They wanted to know who’s the next artist. As I was delivering them, engagement was flying. The interaction was great. You know what, we have something here. The labels picked it up, a lot of them believed in it. We ran with it.

    Talk about artists like Central Cee and Skepta going on there? How meaningful are those moments? 

    Central is someone I used to work with, before he became Central Cee.

    Did you engineer for him?

    Yeah, I was doing work for Central back in the days. Young, back in the days. Working with him now, I’m proud of what he’s done. He really made something of it, because I remember what it was before. He’s come a long way, I’m proud of him. He’s got a good business head on him, so that’s great. Skepta I was always a big fan of, so that was a surreal moment for me. He said, “Yo, let’s do it.” He wanted to make it happen and we made it happen.

    He reached out to you?

    Yeah, he reached out to me. I wouldn’t have even attempted to reach out to Skepta. It’s one of those moments where, why would Skepta ever want to come on my platform? It don’t make no sense to me.

    Because you have one of the biggest platforms in the UK!

    Yeah, factually. But Skepta is one of the biggest artists in the UK. My thing was, I believed in a lot of up-and-comers. I haven’t really got A-list celebrities on there, so Skepta helped bridge it. Much respect to Skepta.

    Did you always think Central Cee would be a superstar? 

    I knew it was talented. But back then, he used to sing a lot. He didn’t really rap, but he was always crazy talented.

    The “Bad Habits” remix with Ed Sheeran is still doing crazy numbers. Bring us back to that moment. 

    Yeah, that was a mad moment. I was in some van, coming back from a show or something. I’m never on FaceTime, I hate FaceTime calls. I got this FaceTime call, didn’t recognize the number. I swiped, I don’t know who this is. Swiped it, Ed Sheeran casually on my phone. He’s like, “How you doing man?” I’m like, the fuck!

    How did Ed Sheeran get your number?

    Rest in peace Jamal Edwards, they were very close friends. Jamal really helped position that song and put me in play for it. He FaceTime me like “I’d love to get your help putting together a drill remix. What kind of artists do you think would fit on it?” I said right now, I can see Central and Tion doing crazy things. He said to me: “Central and Tion?” I said yeah, he’s mad cool. “Let’s make it happen.” I said bet. We went to the studio, we made it happen. Shot a music video, put it out. Streaming went #1… grateful.

    Talk about your alcohol brand, F28. What’s the meaning? Caribbean rum, it’s a vibe!

    Caribbean rum is definitely a good vibe. For me, the number 28 stands for new beginning. If you Google, it’s a symbol of change. It’s basically a reset/restart. For sure. When I think about rum, a lot of other brands have had a cultural change. Vodkas, tequilas, champagnes, everyone’s come with a new version of it that’s now popular in the market. You got Rick Ross’ alcohol, Diddy and Ciroc, even though they’re no longer in partnership. But I haven’t heard anyone doing rum, that’s disturbing the rum market. So I wait for a gap in the market, then I try and attack it. Hopefully, this will be rum.

    You have a partnership with Hoodrich Clothing as well?

    Yeah, I had a brand sponsorship with them. We started out almost the same timing. They sponsored me, then they saw the potential with Plugged In and they sponsored Plugged In. That’s when all the artists started wearing their clothing. They’d come to my studio and I’d say put this on, put this on, put this on. They’d say “cool, sick. We can take it home and put it on?” I said yeah, take it home. Whatever. Before I knew it, I’d see people walking around in Hoodrich.

    Hold on, this is really something that we sat down and envisioned. They had to envision it, to invest in me to do that for them. It’s a surreal feeling. When I sat down, this is crazy. I played a part in small or major, one of the biggest clothing brands in the UK right now. They do crazy numbers. They’re doing good stuff. They’re trying to branch out here and do their thing. I always support Hoodrich, we started at the same time. It’s like a sparring partner. We both trying to punch our way up. I’m always looking at them like anytime they’re ready to get back in the ring and go another round, I’m here.

    What advice do you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

    It’s not what it looks, is the first thing. It’s definitely not what it looks like. There’s a lot of work in the business side people don’t see. What you see is probably 10 to 15% of what has to be done. If you’re willing to put in the work to that other 85 to 90%, then this could be a place where you could thrive. But literally, the glitz and glamour is only 10 to 15%. And the glitz and glamour comes in a whole load of other stuff that you have to overcome, to allow that to shine through.

    If you’re persistent and there’s something you’re determined to do, you’re willing to put in the right work and time — you know what it is, you got to be strong.

    You got to be able to take a few knocks. Because in this, you’ll have a lot of people giving bare, false, empty premises. Tell you: “I got you!” They don’t got you. You’ll find out, but they don’t got you. You have to be able to look at it and say “it’s cool man, I got me.” If you ain’t got you and you can’t tell yourself “I got me,” no matter what, you have to see yourself at the end of the finish line. Yeah, I made that happen.

    As soon as you start to doubt yourself, as soon as you let other people doubt you — because in my line of work, no one was really doing what I was doing. I haven’t really heard an engineer with an audio tag that’s bigger than mine. I’m not even trying to gloat. When I started it, who’s really doing it? I heard all the Americans are doing it, but I didn’t hear it on no songs. Most people that are doing it, respectfully, they’re partnered. If you think about 40 and Drake, Ali and Jay Z. They’re partnered with a super influencer, mogul, artist, business person. I’m just out here working with every and anyone, just building a brand. So for me, I’ve done it a bit different. I didn’t go the normal route, and it has its own rewards. That’s what I’d say to anyone trying to get into it: it’s not a short process.

    Do you have any goals for yourself?

    I want to establish Plugged In as the biggest freestyle platform to ever hit the industry. I also want to establish F28 as the game-changer for rum. I genuinely believe we have a rum that actually tastes good. I’m not a big alcohol fan. A lot of alcohols don’t taste good. You drink them for the effects, but they don’t taste good. You don’t drink it like mmm. You drink it like yeah, I could deal with this. If I take a dew of these, I won’t even remember the taste. We’ve got a few flavors here where put some ice in there, I could chill and take this. I don’t even need to be trying to turn up or nothing. I want to put out there and shock the world basically.

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    Ed Sheeran FaceTimed…

    by lunafix Time to read this article: 35 min