Vancouver’s Pritpaul Bains has always known he wanted to be a performer, he just didn’t know if it would be music, stand-up comedy, or pro-wrestling. 

The rapper, who goes by “BAINS.” has been writing raps since he was 14-years-old, with his passion for music starting at a young age while growing up with a father who also loved rap music.

BAINS sat down with 5X Press to talk about his journey with music, his inspirations, and what he’s been working on.

He said he realized he wanted to pursue music as a career when he was 17.

“I don’t think I knew I wanted to do it as a career until I was probably 17, that’s when I went to audio school and I started entertaining it as an idea,” he said.

“I still thought I was probably just going to be a producer, I didn’t think I would actually take my vocals seriously, but I ended up on this path and then I never looked back.”

Bains said had initially gotten accepted to LA Recording School, but chose to study locally to avoid placing the financial burden on his family. He attended Harbourside Institute of Technology, now known as the SAE Institute in Vancouver.

Whether it was his choice to pursue music, or to attend audio school, he said his parents have always been supportive of his choices.

“My mom provided an insane amount of support, she always really pushed me even though she doesn’t get it at all,” he said.

“She really supports it, the fact that I’m trying to do something that I want to do.”

The rapper also said he related to the quintessential brown kid experience, where your parents are proud of you, but just don’t tell you that.

“Of course my dad being a rap fan, he would never say it but he’s probably stoked that I’m a rapper,” he laughed.

With musical influences including Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, and System of a Down, BAINS. says he sees music as a form of therapy, and he hopes he can provide that same solace for others. 

“My music is therapy for me, [and] I hope it can be for other people. I try to be honest in my music and talk about stuff that’s actually going on,” he added.

When it comes to representation, BAINS. says he loves to see so many brown creatives coming together and to see more local representation growing.

“When I started it felt like it was just me, and I’m pretty sure we all have that feeling. We just [felt] like it was just us, so I think we’re all coming together now,” he said.

“There is a lack of broader representation, and I think we’re all trying to change that.”

The music industry is always dynamic and changing, and he said that while he has faced a number of challenges, he wants other young artists to know to keep their head up even in the face of adversity.

“Don’t get too down on yourself. It’s definitely going to be a difficult thing to find community but eventually you will find it,” he said.

“You’ll find the people that you need to be around and it gets easier.”

BAINS. said he’s been working on an album that’s coming out “very soon,” and recently released a collaboration with Teon Gibbs, called “Stone Cold.”

He said the pair made the track the same day they first met,  after speaking for only 30 minutes beforehand.

“The album is coming out real soon, I’ve been working on that release, it’s been done for a while, [I’m] just trying to get momentum to put it out. I’ll probably do one or two more singles before putting it out,” he said.

When asked where he wants to go with his music and his career, Bains put it simply.

“I want to take this as far as I can take it. I want to go as big as I can go, why put limits on yourself?”

We can’t wait to see what this rising star comes up with next.

About the author

Rumneek Johal

Rumneek is a journalist, host and speaker. She is currently the BC Reporter at Press Progress where she focuses on systemic inequality, workers and communities, as well as racism and far-right extremism. Her previous work centers on asking tough questions within her community, starting conversation and chipping away at the status quo. Other focus areas for her work include the South Asian community, arts and culture, pop culture, and more. She is a proud Punjabi woman from Surrey, BC.

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