Behind the scenes with…Big Narstie in the new Jungle TV show where “drilling music is brought to you like art” | Ents & Arts News


With traditional channels and streaming services constantly creating new content in an effort to win over viewers, it’s rare for anything truly unique to hit our screens.

But the new Jungle series does something different – it’s a musical that uses drill and rap – think Tinie Tempah rather than Julie Andrews, and as well as sounding great it looks highly stylized, set in an almost futuristic neon London.

The cast is made up of musicians, many of whom are already well-known, like Big Narstie, who told Sky News’ Backstage podcast that the show gives rappers a platform they haven’t had before.

“This will be the first time you’ve seen exercise music presented to you as art,” he said.

“Remember that most drill artists are just raw talent compared to other genres where they have specialists behind who can turn their raw talent into art, into a real piece of material.”

Referencing his own behind-the-scenes team that helped Narstie on his path to success, he says he’s aware he’s one of the lucky ones.

“A lot of drill artists, they haven’t been half lucky to get one of the [these] kind of structural things,” he said.

“These are young, destitute children who just expressed their emotion and people listened.”

Photo: Amazon Studios
Jungle.  Photo: Amazon Studios
Photo: Amazon Studios

With Jungle available to watch on the Prime Video streaming service, the exercise is sure to reach a new audience as it will be available to viewers whether they are fans of the genre or not.

Narstie says he’s proud to be involved with the show, telling Sky News: “I’m just honored to be part of the Legacy Tree.

“Legacy is important to understand, where it comes from… and to be part of the process that goes up when this music starts to take root [to] get into the soil of life – I’m up for that.”

The show follows two young men who want to turn their lives around, but are forced to face the consequences of their actions.

Big Narstie says his role as a gang member is only small, but he loved filming it.

Jungle LR, Slim (AR), Gogo (Ezra Elliott).  Photo: Amazon Studios
Slim played by RA and Gogo played by Ezra Elliott. Photo: Amazon Studios

“We only had a short time to do it, but I couldn’t stop laughing, I just couldn’t stop laughing,” he said.

“So the producers had the right bump, but I couldn’t help but laugh at what the police characters had to say.

“So even though I was irritating everyone because I couldn’t stop laughing, you gotta promote the screenwriter, because it was so damn funny.”

This isn’t the rapper’s first acting role – he’s already appeared in Anuvahood and the latest film in the Foot Soldier franchise.

Describing himself as a “fat Wesley Snipes”, the musician admits he wants to do more, but jokes: “I have to do a really powerful romantic comedy where I can scream through a letterbox.”

Jungle is available now on Prime Video – listen to our review on the latest episode of Backstage – Sky News’ film and TV podcast.

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