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bbno$ Finds Some Peas Of Mind With 'Eat Ya Veggies'

The cheeky YVR rapper talks yoga poses, working with Rich Brian, and what he’s learned from going viral.   

by Andrea Nazarian

It’s release day, 10 minutes before bbno$’s fifth album, eat ya veggies, is slated to drop. Alex Gumuchian—the man behind the moniker—is sitting on a toilet in Dallas, answering our questions via voice note with the lights off so the ceiling fan doesn’t interfere with the audio.

It sounds ridiculous, but it’s exactly on brand for the Vancouver-born rapper, whose music video for his latest single, “Yoga,” opens with a similar bathroom-themed image. Only this time, it’s Rebecca Black on the toilet — in bbno$ drag. 

Gumuchian’s jokester persona and don’t-overthink-it approach to music making has gained him internet fame and millions of listeners across the globe. Bombastic beats, colourful melodies, mischievous lyrics and a skips-like-hopscotch flow are classic ingredients for the rapper, who has steadily dominated playlists and sold out tours since dropping his first EP in 2017. 

It was the viral splash of 2019’s “Lalala,” produced by longtime collaborator Y2K, that really launched Gumuchian’s career to mainstream success. The track was certified double platinum, with almost 800 million streams on Spotify and 473 million views on YouTube to date. Enrique Iglesias and Carly Rae Jepsen even appeared on official remixes. 

Currently touring eat ya veggies with upcoming stops in Toronto and Calgary, Gumuchian let us know how he keeps his musical produce fresh.

What kind of music did you listen to in your household when you were growing up? 

Weirdly enough, I really didn’t listen to too much music. I was homeschooled and we played instruments at home. I played piano. I was never really good and I couldn’t read the music itself. I played an African drum and was pretty good at that. I guess I listened to jingles. Like for education when my mom taught us things to remember through learning. I don’t really know. It’s a difficult question for me because I really didn’t listen to much music growing up.  

Did you play an instrument in middle school or high school?

I played an African drum called a djembe, and maybe that’s where some of my rhythm comes from and where some of my percussive beats come from. Maybe? I don’t know! I definitely really liked the djembe. It’s a good energy release. You can just sit there and beat the drum and let it all out. I haven’t done it in a while and I gotta go back home and pick it up.

When did you realize you wanted to be a musician? 

I didn’t ever really want to be a musician. I just wanted to make music, and if that accompanied being a musician then yeah. I guess my turning point in my life where I was like, “oh maybe making music is cool” is when I made a song and I realized dang, this is the most fun I’ve had in a really long time. 

What do you attribute to having pulled you towards rap music and becoming a rapper yourself? 

I felt like the expression, the way rappers have the ability to be very expressive, is what drew me in. And people have a lot to say and I kind of have a lot to say, even though I’m not really saying anything, I always fill my songs up with a ton of lyrics. Whether or not they mean anything, for me it’s an outlet where I can get out a lot of my emotions and just throw it down on a beat and just feel neutral for a bit. I know I was listening to Tupac primarily when I first figured out that I really liked rap music. Big L, Tupac and Biggie — the classics.   

If you were making us a mixtape, who are three rappers that would definitely be on it? 

21 Savage, Kendrick Lamar, and Ski Mask the Slump God, definitely. 

“Edamame” is such a great track. How did you meet Rich Brian? 

Brian made a Tokyo Drift freestyle and I messaged him saying “this song rocks, you snapped.” And he hit me back saying, “yo you should make one too” so I made one and he’s like “yo you snapped too!” Then I made “Edamame” with Christian (Diamond Pistols) and Brian just jumped on it right away. I heard him say this in another interview and he said, “Honestly working with bbno$ was great. It was exactly how I want collaborations to be every single time.” And I agree, it just worked out. It was a really good time and he’s a good kid and I’m really glad we made a really great song and a really great music video together and we’re stoked! Someone even had a tattoo with the name of the song before it even came.

Thinking about your latest single, “Yoga” with Rebecca Black — would you consider yourself a mindful person? 

I’ve been on tour for about a week now and we’ve done yoga almost every single day. I try to get peace of mind sometimes. I definitely need space from a lot of things. I love being alone. Whether or not that’s deemed “mindful,” I’m not too sure. 

What is your favourite yoga pose?

Definitely downward dog. I feel like right at the top of your cervical spine you can just feel it from sitting down all the time. That or sphynx or cat-cow. Definitely cat-cow. 

“i remember” is such an unexpected banger. Can you tell us about the genre-bending that goes down on eat ya veggies?

I just kind of make what I want and I really like alternative rock and bedroom pop and maybe that’s the next full blown genre of an EP I make. And if that happens then let’s go! I just make what I want. 

Listening back on it, what about the new album are you most stoked about?

Probably “brainless.” It’s one of my favourite songs on the album. It’s just a really perfect depiction of how ridiculous I can get and then “i remember” is a little more serious. 

What is the last thing you bought online? 

A banana costume for Jungle Bobby on tour. 

If you had to drop a chunk of money on something impractical, what would it be?

I just genuinely would not do that shit. I’m not going to lie. There’s just no way I would do that. I’m frugal.

Has the virality of your past releases put any pressure on you to create music and art in a certain way?

Yeah, “Lalala” made me kind of jaded. I always expect my songs to do really solid and sometimes they don’t but that’s just the way it is. I can’t really do anything about that. I just want the best for my music and sometimes, with something like “Lala,” it’s like “oh you had a song that did this well” it’s like, you can do that every time. But in reality you can’t and no one can. But at least I’m aware of that and I think that’s more important. 

How do you see yourself in the broader context of the Vancouver/Canadian music community? Who are some artists in the Vancouver community that we should be paying attention to?

Boslen. Pay attention to Boslen. Jungle Bobby, Lentra – that’s the fam. Angst, Eric Reprid, Manila Grey, So Loki. Those are all the homies. As far as the context of the Canadian and the Vancouver music scene, I’m going up on Canadian radio so I’m glad Canada likes me a little bit more.

Anything else you’d like us to know about you, the new album or your music in general that we can include in our feature?
The next time I do an interview with you guys, let’s do it in person and I won’t be on the toilet. We literally have one minute until my album drops and I’m on tour right now. This is my fifth album. I spent so much time on that shit. Thanks for having me, I appreciate it.