Lanardo “smashing it” as he raps his way onto the Stevenage music scene

Lanardo Smith, who performs under the name S.B.K, is hoping to make it as a professional artist in t

Lanardo Smith, who performs under the name S.B.K, is hoping to make it as a professional artist in the music industry. - Credit: Archant

A Stevenage schoolboy has set his sights on making a name for himself on the rap music scene after he started writing his own songs aged just 12.

Lanardo Smith – who performs his grime style tracks under the moniker, S.B.K or the Supreme Beat King, became serious about his music when he moved in with his dad two years ago.

He said: “Growing up I wasn’t really interested in making music and preferred art but my dad inspired me to change my career choice and music took over.”

Lanardo’s venture into muisic was also inspired by artists including Skepta, Jme, Bossman Birdie and Eminem.

“I didn’t really start with grime music, I used to listen to hip-hop and stuff. It’s even harder for me as a young person to break into this style of music because it’s not really what people my age listen to.”


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Proud dad Mark, who is better known as professional artist DJ Lantan, has 10 years experience in the music business and has been on hand to offer advice to his son as he begins to carve out his own career in the industry.

Mark said: “He writes his own lyrics and his own beats, if he needs me to I’ll fine tune it, but he’s working hard on his songs.

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“He doesn’t go out to play like other kids, he spends most of his time on his music.”

Lanardo’s first big performance was at the Flava club in Stevenage, rapping alongside urban artist Geko, who himself was signed to a record label when he was just 13.

About the performance, Lanardo said: “I wasn’t nervous really, I rap all the time whether it’s in the school halls or on stage, it’s natural for me.”

Lanardo’s friends and teachers at Barnwell School in Stevenage have also been a big support to the young rapper, especially music teacher Edward Brown.

He said: “Mr Brown motivates me a lot, he has seen me grow since I was in Year 7. It was really good because some people are just ignorant to music they don’t know, Because he is a music teacher, he has supported me and offered constructive criticism which has been a big help.”

“Even if my friends don’t like the genre of music they still support me no matter what.” The 14-year-old – who is self taught in piano and guitar – has just recorded his first music video for his track ‘Smashing it’ which has had nearly 4,000 views on Youtube and featured a cameo from brother Kenzie, 11. His sisters Laneeka, 15, and nine-year-old Kelis are also very proud of what their brother has achieved.

Dad Mark said: “Lanardo was excited and nervous to shoot the video, but with the second one for song ‘Stay in your Lane’ to be shot very soon, he is ready to build on that experience and has asked all his friends to be involved.

“Because of his age, people don’t take him seriously, I’m very proud of him, I think that his age makes him all the more impressive, I don’t know of any eighteen-year-olds who have the drive to do what he does.”

Lanardo is hoping to get more gigs at clubs and events in Stevenage and North Hertfordshire and would like to perform at Stevenage Day, Rhythms Of The World and Christmas light switch-ons. He is in the final stages of completing his first EP of four tracks in the hopes of getting signed to a record label. For more on Lanardo’s music go to ‘soundcloud.com/lanardieproductions’ or follow him on Twitter via @realsbk.

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