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Rapper Carter the Bandit: ‘I want be a global sensation and a voice for the LGBTQIA+ community’

Exclusive: The upcoming queer rap star's new track 'CARRY ON' is out now

By Dale Fox

Composite of Carter the Bandit standing against a wall and Carter and MC TABOO shirtless wearing snoods
Carter the Bandit and MC TABOO's new track 'Carry On' is out now (Image: Bernice Mulenga)

London-based rapper Carter the Bandit is a man on a mission. Since the Peckham native started writing his own tracks in his bedroom 2019, he’s been plugging away at the industry ever since, with a goal to blend the predominantly straight rap scene with queer culture.

To mark the launch of his new single ‘CARRY ON’, Attitude sat down with the self-proclaimed “baddest b%#% on the block” to discuss the process behind his music, how his career is on the rise, and his plans for global megastardom.

Describe yourself in 3 words

Sexy, crazy, shy.

Tell us about your new track, ‘CARRY ON’

‘CARRY ON’ ft MC TABOO is an electrifying, powerhouse track that pays tribute to the dynamic and captivating underground UK rap and ballroom scene. It’s a bold, unapologetic anthem that will have you bouncing to its infectious beats. Get ready to embrace the confident energy and let it propel you forward a true authentic bounce, Jersey club anthem.

When we came up with the idea to create the track, we shared a snippet on TikTok. Little did we know, it would become an overnight viral sensation with 25,000 views.

Will we see a music video?

There’ll be a visual for ‘CARRY ON’ this summer. MC TABOO and I have a lot of planning to do, as we’re both to creative minds, so we want to make sure we hit every angle and concept to give the best version for everyone to enjoy. Expect a lot of dancers and fun.

Tell us how and when you got into the music industry

I started rapping in 2019. I started writing in my friend’s bedroom one day and decided to post a freestyle on my Instagram as I had a big following already, then everyone really liked it so I started writing more and more. The more I posted, the more co-signs I got from artists all over the world. I went viral with my drill freestyle I did where I referred to my self as “the baddest b%#% on the block” – things blew up for me from there!

What changes have you seen your career take?

Carter the Bandit stands against a concrete wall wearing a grey waistjacket and white T-shirt
“I’ve seen my career go from low to high in a quick pace” (Image: Bernice Mulenga)

In the last four years, I’ve seen my career go from low to high in a quick pace due to my consistency, connections I’ve made in the industry, and the support I’ve had all over social media and even rooms I’ve never been in. I’ve even opened shows for mainstream artists and met artists I used to sit at home and listen to.

I never thought I’d be appreciated in this space, but the love I’ve felt and gained is very heart-warming, especially being Black and gay doing rap music in such a predominantly straight scene. I even get love from some of the guys in the industry that look past sexuality and focus on musicality.

Do you have any live shows planned?

I’ll be performing at Bootylicious on 27 January in Vauxhall. I’ll have more to announce this summer, as I’ll be going to connect the dots in New York – stay tuned in.

What’s your process for creating music?

MC TABOO (left) and Carter the Bandit’s new track ‘CARRY ON’ is out now (Image: Bernice Mulenga)

In 2023, I didn’t release for the whole year, as I needed to really find my sound and focus on my mental health and just learn myself more. It’s been very much a process to connect with my music again. I’ve also been watching the music scene online, trying to see what’s missing from our collective, so the creating process depends on my mood.

I can write better when I’m in the studio – it takes me probably an hour to two hours to find that perfect flow with just me and my engineer, then I start writing and recording from there. By the end of the session, I have two solid tracks and a few demos for features or singles. It’s quite fun.

What’s the best piece of advice you’d had about your career?

“Keep being yourself,”; ‘You’re gonna be big,”; “Don’t give up,”.

What’s your career goal for the next 5 years?

Well, in the next few years, I see myself back and forth from different countries, performing out of London more, and creating a creative space for my community to feel comfortable and meet new people. I want be a global sensation and a voice for the LGBTQIA+ community

And 10 years?

Worldwide tours and I would love to be able to purchase my first house and move out of the area and move my family into their own big house too , start up a few businesses I have in mind and just give back to everyone who helped me – the soft life.

‘CARRY ON’ is available to stream now by clicking here. Carter the Bandit’s full track catalogue is available on Spotify.