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Barney Artist is used to a note of surprise in peoples voices when they meet him for the first time. Lowkey and introspective, his rapping style stands in sharp relief to his exuberant personality, which fills a room with laughter on arrival. “Some people will meet me and ask, ‘how come your music is so downbeat when you’re so bubbly and outgoing?’” he says, grinning. “I think some people think you have to be one or the other.” Really though, his smile shouldn’t come as a shock. After years of graft, the world is finally waking up to the 27-year-old rapper who, alongside a crew of his peers, is one of the most exciting young musicians in London right now.