An Ayrshire rapper has been crowned BBC Introducing’s Scottish Act of the Year.
Jubemi Iyiku, who performs under the name Bemz, performed alongside three other finalists on Wednesday — from a longlist of nearly 500 acts — before being awarded the coveted title.
The awards ceremony, which was hosted by BBC Introducing Scotland’s Phoebe Inglis-Holmes and Shereen Cutkelvin, saw Bemz perform his 2021 single ‘26’, a song he wrote about navigating his 26th year, from the anxieties of a global lockdown to the joy of becoming a new father.
The judging panel featured influential figures in the industry including CHVRCHES’ Lauren Mayberry, Twin Atlantic’s Sam McTrusty, The Snuts’ Callum Wilson and BBC Radio 1’s Gemma Bradley.
The Ayrshire Live app is available to download now.
Get all the local news in your area – plus features, football news and the latest on the coronavirus crisis – at your fingertips 24/7.
The free download features the latest breaking news and exclusive stories while you can customise your page with the sections that matter to you.
Bemz, who grew up in Ayr before launching his career in Glasgow, said: “I’m so buzzing to — not only be affiliated with — but to have achieved the title of Act of the Year.
“To have walked away with a win is nothing less than amazing and it means so much to myself, my friends, my family and to everyone who has supported my music for the longest time.
“To be able to bring this home for the scene feels incredible.
“Thank you so much to the BBC, the judges and to everyone who has supported me in reaching such a brilliant achievement. Thank you.”
The dad-of-one also ecstatically announced the news on his socials, saying: “Big love to every single person who’s streamed/ downloaded and just been there and supported the music. I am grateful.”
He later added on Twitter: “Just a boy who came from Stranraer to Ayr and to Glasgow.”
Since the release of his debut EP Saint of Lost Causes in 2020, and his highly anticipated ep M4 last year, Bemz has taken Scotland’s hip-hop scene by storm.
The hip-hop artist is looking forward to a busy festival season playing Glasgow’s Riverside and TRNSMT festivals in June and July, as well as several gigs throughout April and May.
Don’t miss the latest Ayrshire headlines –sign up to our free daily newsletter here