Len Bowen puts on for The Prairies with brand new EP
Winnipeg, MB – Len Bowen has been grinding for a minute to put his city of Winnipeg on the map. Originally apart of the group The Shadez he ventured out on his own with his 2010 release, Long Story Short. He recently resurfaced with a brand new EP titled Goin’ Away Party that boasts features from Rich Kidd, Grand Analog and JRDN, with mastering from Rob The Viking.
We caught up with Bowen for our most recent Prolific Profile feature. Read up on him after the jump and check out his Goin’ Away Party EP (available on Bandcamp) below.
Len Bowen: Q&A
HipHopCanada: How do you define hip-hop, and where do you feel you fit into that definition?
Len Bowen: Hip-Hop is a culture with no limits to artistic expression. When I’m creating a body of work I always make a note to self that there are no rules to this, it’s about think outside of the box.
HipHopCanada: What drives you to stay in a business that is rarely profitable and highly competitive?
Len Bowen: Honestly I just love making music, connecting with people. As long as you feel what I felt when I was writing the song my job is done. I didn’t get into the game to make money, more so to make a difference. The art form is competitive by nature; it brings out the best in what I do as an artist.
HipHopCanada: Where are you based specifically?
Len Bowen: Winnipeg!
HipHopCanada: How has living there influenced your sound?
Len Bowen: Growing up out here you heard a lot of music from the East, West coast, Midwest and the South. Depending on what you were into it influenced your flow and subject matter. I’ve always been a big fan East coast (New York) rap; it’s what I first identified with you can hear it in my flow to a certain degree.
HipHopCanada: Who is your primary fan base?
Len Bowen: People who grew up on traditional hip-hop the Golden Era, I find they gravitate to what I do the most. But I think in my new body of work there’s a little something for everyone.
HipHopCanada: What tips would you give young artists coming up or what do you wish someone would have told you when you first started out in the hip-hop industry?
Len Bowen: For artist coming up learn the business know what you’re entitled to. Try to be as self-sufficient as possible, don’t just be an rapper! Learn to produce, play instruments, sing etc. The more you can do on your own the less people are in your pockets.
HipHopCanada: In which ways do you interact with your community?
Len Bowen: Recently I’ve done volunteer work in my city for different foundations like Heart and Stroke and Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve also worked with former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Doug Brown for his kids sport football camp.
HipHopCanada: Which artists have you worked with that left an impression on you, and why?
Len Bowen: I’d have to say Grand Analog, simply because when I reached out to these guys I feel like they gave me there all, which is why they all have been very successful. We’ve been working together for years; I think it would be safe to say I’m an unofficial member of their group.
HipHopCanada: Which Canadian artist would you most like to collaborate with?
Len Bowen: It would have to be Drake, he’s such a well-rounded talented artist, he’s done so much for his city never mind the country I think our styles would complement each other, definitely would be an accomplishment.
HipHopCanada: Tell us about past and present successes, as well as future projects?
Len Bowen: I was originally part of a group called The Shadez. We did a lot for Winnipeg, and we helped bring national attention to our city’s hip-hop scene. We were one of the first rap groups out of out of the city to have a videos and perform live on MuchMusic, to tour and get distribution in the Mid 2000’s – which was a big deal back then. We charted and reached #1 on several urban and college radio stations as well. I released my first solo EP Long Story Short a few years back; I think it gives you an idea of who I am and where I’m going with my music. Recently I had the opportunity to work with Rich Kidd and JRDN (both Juno Award winners) on a record called “Tonight” on my upcoming project that will be released in October on Move Right Music.
HipHopCanada: Any last words for the HipHopCanada online community?
Len Bowen: Yes, Len Bowen is an artist you can look forward to for long time to come, I’ll be around for a while – stay tuned!
Goin’ Away Party is available on iTunes.