Meet the Multitalented South Central Native
Barney Bones, a talented individual from South Central Los Angeles and a Grammy nominee, has demonstrated his diverse skill set in various areas such as being an artist, songwriting, directing, acting, and producing. He has written songs for renowned artists, including Giveon and several others, and has collaborated with top Asian brand 88Rising.
Currently, Barney Bones is focused on making a name for himself as a fresh face in the Los Angeles music scene after working behind the scenes as a songwriter. He is gaining attention in both the music and film industry, having acted in Netflix’s Civic and releasing his latest tracks, “Praise” and “Lifeline.”
Barney Bones – Lifeline
Meet and Get To Know Barney Bones
Kulture Vulturez: Being born and raised in South Central, what aspects and influences from growing up there have you taken into the professional world as a creator?
Barney Bones: I believe my penchant for storytelling derives directly from my childhood. Being a kid, always surrounded by adults, the dissemination of information came via performance.
Watching my uncles beg for money, or cousins fight in the street showed me early, how information controls behavior – which I find to be fascinating. I watched music do the same, songs in the air could either inspire or threaten. Over time, it’s shaped how I view the world, while using my creative mediums. The analysis of folks around me, is how in a way, I tell my own story.
Kulture Vulturez: From being involved in film and music, what was your initial introduction to both?
Barney Bones: I went to Audubon Middle School, in Leimert Park, which happened to be down the street from the Baldwin Hills Mall off of Crenshaw. Me and the homies, on minimum days (school let out at noon), we’d grab a group of our friends and go to the movies. We’d throw popcorn at the screen and roast each other, never really paying attention.
But, in high school, I got sent away to live with my aunt in Cerritos for a year. So I was bored a lot and my uncle, who worked for Sony, in their distribution center, would have box sets of all types of movies lying around the crib. It was the first time I’d ever been around someone who emphasized the quality of story, as a reason for watching something.
In the hood, nothing was really curated, I just used to like things that made me laugh, but since then I realized, I like to feel like a student when I watch a film.
As for music, that happened much earlier, because it was playing around me often. All the adults were pretty young, a lot of the men were gangbanging, so I had a steady diet of rap (Snoop, Eazy-E, Tha Eastsidaz, Dogg Pound, Daz, Kurupt, Nate Dogg, etc.) My mom played a lot of rap too, but she’d always listen to more melodic records like, Jon B, Sade, Celine Dion, Tears for Fears stuff like that. As I grew into my own musical taste, I’ve become non-discriminate about music, it’s like whatever moves me is what I f*** with.
Barney Bones – Praise
Kulture Vulturez: Wearing many creative hats, which outlet, from songwriting to acting to other endeavors, identifies with you the best or is the most meaningful to you?
Barney Bones: Well, it’s hard to say which thing fits me the best, because I feel like I gravitate towards one or the other for a specific reason. Acting allows me to dive into myself and use my body and voice as a medium, which is interesting.
Songwriting probably comes the most natural to me, out of habit. I’ve been writing raps since I was 9 so I don’t really think twice about that. There are new challenges which present themselves, within that, like making pop ideas from different perspectives, I guess, that sort of keeps shit interesting.
Kulture Vulturez: Musically, for those who are unaware, what have been some of your most highlighted moments in your career to you?
Barney Bones: Let’s see. I got to go on tour with 88rising, but at the time I was playing the role of DJ, y’know, I wasn’t tripping though, because it was either that or be a broke songwriter. I got to go all over the US, Europe and Australia off of that gig, which was cool. Also got my first gold plaque with them, which was cool too.
Wrote on a song for a Marvel movie, which was lit, ‘cause I wrote it in my kitchen during the pandemic. I was able to write on a GRAMMY-nominated album last year, which was inspiring, but I’m more so looking towards the future. Less songwriting for others and more of building my own world, which will be the ultimate highlight.
Barney Bones – Lifeline (Official Music Video) [Payday Records]
Kulture Vulturez: Can you break down the backstory on your latest single “Lifeline”?
Barney Bones: “Lifeline” is really funny, because it’s sort of this retrospective on love, I guess. In like, 2018/2019 when I was hopping off of tour and coming back into the city, one of the homies, Briggs, used to DJ this hip-hop night at this bar called Tenants of the Trees in Silverlake. All the homies were constantly in there, it was always crowded with swarms of people, it felt like a snake’s pit.
I would drink to stick around, and at the height of my drunkenness, every night, I ended up scrolling through my phone, looking for someone to ease the burdens the liquor brought with it back to the surface. Which in a way, reminded me of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” I used to watch that show while waiting for my mom to pick me up when I was little. The idea is that when one of the contestants got stuck on a question they couldn’t answer, they would use one of their lifelines to get out of trouble. I wrote it with that in mind.
Kulture Vulturez: Following this release, is there anything upcoming or you have in store that should be on the lookout for?
Barney Bones: I’m dropping an EP in April, called Escapism. It’s my first official album, so I’m hella excited. I’m also working on a music video with the homie Duckwrth for the project, which should come out around the same time.