Bob Vylan tell us how Nina Simone, Blur, Stormzy, and more influenced new album ‘Humble as the Sun’

UK duo Bob Vylan just released their third album, Humble as the Sun, and like with their first two records, this finds them mixing a variety of genres — rap, grime, punk, reggae, ’90s electronica — into a unique blend that’s as defiant as their lyrics. You can listen to the album, and watch their video for new single “Reign,” below.

For more on Humble as the Sun, Bobby and Bobbie Vylan made us a list of 10 songs that influenced the album, including Nina Simone, Blur, Stormzy, The Coup, and more, giving very specific examples of how they fit in on the record. Check out their list below.

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Bob Vylan: 10 songs that influenced ‘Humble As The Sun’

“To Be Young, Gifted & Black” by Nina Simone:
The positive nature of the song, the self affirming nature of the song, influenced the album. I just feel like it’s a song written for me.

“You’ve Got Me” by The Roots ft. Erykah Badu, Eve and Tariq Trotter:
This song was used as a reference for the end of the album’s title track, ‘Humble As The Sun’, because the way Quest plays the drums is just amazing and that pattern has a jungle vibe to it and soulful.

“Remember Me” by Blue Boy:
Again, the drums just drew me to it. The use of the break as a continuous loop used as a backbone for a catchy song. Was going to use the vocal sample of the song but didn’t quite fit!

“Get The Money” by DJ Manny:
The footwork-juke sound of this song really inspired the end of ‘Hunger Games’.

“Woke Up This Morning” by A3:
This is a direct influence to GYAG. My mum used to listen to this all of the time. I flipped it into being a more political riff

“Fire + Water” by Stormzy:
The Gospel type of production and of course the drums, have such a nice live sounding and electronic drums.

“Song 2” by Blur:
The guitar sound! This is my favorite guitar sound ever, of any song. The force that those guitars have, has inspired so much of our work

“I Just Want To Lay Around In Bed All Day With You” by The Coup:
The soulful nature of the song – but also the extreme political nature of the song, even though it’s a song about laying in better with a lover.

“Oh Happy Day” by The Edwin Hawkins Singers:
An obvious Gospel song that has a beautiful piano and church recorded live sound. One of the songs from the album was recorded at a church.

“Ring The Alarm” by Tenor Saw:
Obvious as to where it went. The chilled, pointed delivery in his vocals. It’s a war song. I aim to be that way when I’m chattin’ someone down. Even in times of war, remaining very cool.

Bob Vylan will be in the US this fall for festivals Louder Than Life and Aftershock.