Alex Gumuchian — a.k.a. bbno$ — just woke up and is on his way to a meeting. Cold pepperoni pizza in hand, he slides into his Uber and recounts his day. “I’ll start with last night,” he says. “Last night, I did a photoshoot for six hours and then went to my friend Yung Gravy’s house. He was getting a tattoo of his song called ‘One Thought, Two Thought.’ Then I went back to my friend’s place to sleep. I got home at about 11:00 and talked to the girl that I like for a couple of minutes, went to bed, woke up 10 and a half hours later, which is super rare for me because I don’t really sleep that much. Woke up, talked to my ex-girlfriend about my insecurities, and now I’m on a call with you and now I am at Sony Studios.”
Since we talked last summer, there have been some changes for the Canadian rapper, who — despite his funny-man, bravado-laced bbno$ persona — is actually quite down-to-earth and self-reflective. Always on the road, he’d moved back in with his close-knit family and spent the winter with his parents. “It was a good time,” he reflects. “I miss them more and more every day. It sucks, but I’m eating pizza in an Uber, so that will mend my pain. We’re fine.”
Career-wise, he’s more than fine, though refreshingly remiss in saying so. Since “Lalala,” his stratospheric 2019 single with Y2K, he’s repeatedly proven his Midas touch for runaway hits and killer collabs accompanied by hilariously silly-smart videos, including with Rich Brian, Diplo, Yung Gravy, and Connor Prince (who’s also featured in the day-in-my-life mockumentary they made for us here).
And just when you think you know what to expect, he brings us “still” — released in February — a starkly reflective, sentimental song with lines like “I miss you” and “I’ve never felt this alone.” He sings on this one, and allows it to be quiet.
“Rapping is pretty linear in a form where it’s like you can rap this fast, you can rap this, you can rap up time, you can do this. I’m not really the best singer, but I also think that that is a selling point for me because most people aren’t as good singers. As long as you’re confident in that and you inherently are trying, it’s fine.”
Though he views the song as a “departure,” he’s conditioned his audience to expect the unexpected.
“I love having a really extensive catalog for people to discover and fall into,” he says. “I find joy in what I do. Fortunately, I think I have my finger on the pulse with regards to making decent music.”
For the video, he links photos of himself and his listeners doing planks throughout daily street scenes, including a parking garage, construction site, and skyscrapers. Someone’s even got their head stuck in a toilet, feet towards the sky. “I started getting my fans to do it, and then I just took some of their photos and interlaced it into my video,” he says, showcasing their unified silliness, as well as core strength.
While he makes everything (including planks) look so easy, he’s taking serious time to work on himself.
“Everyone has their issues and things that they got to work out, but I just feel like I love making really stupid rap music,” he tells me. “It’s one of my favorite things ever. It’s just saying goofy, slimy shit. Then there’s a part of me where I’m like, I want make music that I would love to listen to and that I listen to on a regular basis, which is alternative rock and more somber-sounding sad music.” The latter, he feels, “shows a lot of dynamics” in his artistry and satisfies him creatively.
“I have found that what really makes me happy is making music and releasing it,” he says. “I love just doing voodoo shit. I love flowing a new way, sounding a new way, and doing all the new little this and a little that. It’s taking all those aspects of quantitative research and being like, what? Can I mix them together in the future and make a song that’s better?” He’ll be releasing singles steadily throughout the year, including more with Yung Gravy. “It’s going to be a good year, I think. It’s going to be a good year. I got pizza.”
Here’s a day in the life of bbno$ (on video…sort of).