Guvna B: Guvna talks music, ‘Unpopular Culture’ and justice

Read an exclusive interview with Compassion Ambassador, Guvna B.

Guvna B

Get to know Guvna B

Compassion ambassador Guvna B is an Urban Music Award-winning, record-breaking rap artist from London. He’s the first rapper in UK history to top the Official Christian and Gospel charts.

We caught up with Guvna to find out about his debut book ‘Unpopular Culture’, his success in the UK rap charts and why he cares so much about empowering kids living in poverty.

Unpopular Culture - Guvna B’s new book

Guvna, can you tell you tell us more about your new book, 'Unpopular Culture'? What inspired you to start writing?

I saw a billboard with the message, ‘money is the key to happiness’. These messages are programmed into our head, always look out for number one, attain as much as you can and make as much money as you can.

What if we challenged this?

Maybe there’s another way to live. What if we were to look out for other people, what if we were to be more compassionate and more generous with our lives? Would we feel more satisfaction and see the world become a better place?

What impact do you hope "Unpopular Culture" will have?

I hope that the book will be an inspiration, so that people can look in the mirror and know however small they might feel, they can make a difference and use their God-given potential to make the world better place.

Guvna B’s latest music

Guvna B Secret World and Scrapbook: success in the UK rap charts

History was made when you guys made me the first urban act with a number 1 album on the Official Christian Chart. Odd1Out was also number 22 on the Official R&B chart. The support was unreal so I created Scrapbook, a free downloadable mixtape to say thank you.

I called the album Secret World because I wanted to be open and honest about the issues we might face which can be swept under the carpet. I wanted to address issues like identity, suicide and loneliness and for people to know that they don’t have to keep these things secret but they can talk about what they are going through.

I’ve done lots of work with young people and I’ve seen that they find it hard to open up about their issues. If we were to have some open dialogue about these issues, then maybe the young guy or young girl who sits at the back of youth group might feel like they can talk about it and realise they are not alone.

Guvna B UK rap charts

Tell us more about your new album, Hands Are Made For Working

I’ve just released a new album called Hands Are Made For Working. It’s inspired by the recent death of my father and how it really affected me.

As a Christian it’s sometimes frowned upon to admit that you're struggling or you’re finding it tough so it’s an album that takes people through my grief process and showing that we go through some pretty difficult things in life. Pain is pain but we all feel it in different ways but there’s still hope and joy to come.

Guvna B on Christian faith and fighting injustice

How does your Christian faith shape the writing process?

My own faith gives me confidence. I’ve struggled as well so I want to be authentic and vulnerable. There’s time when it’s been hard but I’ve come through those situations, so I hope I can be a role model to younger people.

Guvna B

Guvna, why do you feel passionate about speaking up for the poor?

Jesus saw it fit to reach out to me, save me and bring me into a new life. When I accepted this and became a Christian, I realised that there are people on this earth who are in really bad situations and people don’t care. Or at least it’s not that people don’t care, I think we can just get wrapped up in our own situations and troubles.

If Jesus reached out to me and helped me, surely I can do the same for other people in the capacity that I’m able to.

Guvna B: “why my wife and I sponsor a child”

Guvna B, can you tell us why you sponsor 6-year-old Ishmeal with Compassion…

Along with my wife, I sponsor Ishmeal from Ghana. It’s cool because my parents are Ghanaian, so I feel a connection to the country. It’s great to be able to sponsor because I know if my parents hadn’t come over to the UK or if they were dealt a different hand in life, then that little boy could have been me.

I think sometimes we can see sponsorship as just a Direct Debit that simply comes out of our account and forget that it’s real people that we’re helping.

I hope I get to meet him one day. I hope as he grows up he feels valued and knows he has a purpose. I pray he grows in faith, is courageous and isn’t held back by limitations, but always dreams and believes God for more.

What would you say to someone considering sponsoring a child?

I would say you’re actually changing a person’s life. Don’t ever think you’re just ticking your “helping” box, or your “I’m being generous” box. When you get home, look at your mum or dad, you brother or sister and think, “If they were living in poverty, what would I do to change that?” You would be generous and you would give, because that’s someone you love.

As Christians, everyone is our neighbour. We are called to love everyone. One thing I do is imagine my wife or younger brother in that situation – I would do anything I could to get them out of it. That’s why I’m asking you to join me and sponsor a child.

Sponsor a child and bring them hope today

Get to know Guvna B in 1 minute

Guvna, could you tell us, at the moment what are you …

  • Reading? Book of James in the Bible. It’s one of my favourites, it’s full of powerful things.
  • Watching? This Is Us. I like that it touches on a lot of issues in society in a clever way. Worth a watch!
  • Listening to? An album by Elevation Collective, it’s pretty cool.
  • Wearing? Serge DeNimes. I love Serge DeNimes' grey tracksuit. It’s cool for comfort indoors and great to wear out too.
  • Working on? A youth festival called Ello Mate which champions clean urban music because a lot of grime music and hip-hop promotes a lot of violence, misogyny and anti-social behaviour so I’m focused on putting out an alternative message.
  • Praying for? Young people and their purpose in life and I’m also praying for a healthy fast-food restaurant because I finish my gigs late but there’s nothing but KFC etc and you feel bad for eating it!
  • Learning? About basketball (NBA) because my football team West Ham United aren’t doing so well right now and I could do without the stress!
  • Thankful for? My mum, who let me live with her for two weeks while I was waiting to move into my new home.

Guvna B tour dates: upcoming gigs and Christian concerts UK

Following on from his successful tour with Matt Redman in the US, discover the latest Guvna B gigs.

WORDS : Jennie Taylor

PHOTOS : Ella Dickinson



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