Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

10. Plan BThe Defamation Of Strickland Banks

Plan B has an incredible singing voice. I think this album is really clever in the way that he’s telling a coherent story throughout – the Strickland Banks character is really believable.

I know that Plan B had a tough upbringing and sometimes it takes people like that to be able to write stuff like this album. Certain artists become that way because they have so much shit going on in their head that they struggle to let it out – and they have to let it out. Being creative is similar to why people get addicted to drugs or alcohol. If you don’t let it out it can be like being imprisoned in your own thoughts and your head feels like it is going to explode. I know how it feels – if all these creative thoughts are going on in your head, spinning round all of the time.

He was also incredibly brave to make this album after making a rap album for his debut. You have to admire someone doing that – to have the courage of their own convictions, to think ‘fuck it, this is what I want to do and I am going to do it.’ I think that when you make music – or anything that’s creative – you shouldn’t make it for anyone other than yourself first and only then think about other people. The only reason why you want to do music in the first place is because you really, really love it. There is no point in doing it if you think it is shit – you may as well get a job in Sainsbury’s. So, I applaud Plan B – although I get the impression he doesn’t give a shit what people would think anyway and good on him.

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