Niko B on tasty sarnies, falling over and rapping in front of Dave

100%: The Milton Keynes rapper and internet funny guy is gearing up for his debut album Dog Eat Dog Food World.

Tom Austin, aka Niko B, is settling into his sofa after tucking into a delicious sandwich. Chicken escalope, cheese, hot sauce, lettuce, onion, salt and vinegar Walkers and a Diet Coke,” he says proudly, Zooming in from his flat in Hammersmith, West London, wearing an electric blue Always Do What You Should Do hoodie. I’ve only gone and treated myself!”

The 23-year-old’s been living in London full-time for just over a year, moving from the small town of Newport Pagnell, in Milton Keynes, where he grew up. I was coming down here every week, to be fair, because there’s no nightlife where I’m from.”

Niko’s location has never mattered much anyway – at least not when it comes to his career. He released his first single in 2020, the tongue-in-cheek Mary Berry, which introduced his playful persona to the masses. Then came the viral hit Who’s That What’s That, which is currently sitting at almost 45 million Spotify streams.

Characterised by its heavy use of British slang and general mischievous energy, the track established Niko as a musician who isn’t afraid to take the piss out of himself: Bought 50p of Bitcoin /​Made two pound of profit (I’m rich), he raps casually over a catchy beat, before lamenting his ex-girlfriend stealing his cat, burning down his flat and stealing all his hard-earned cash.

I’ve always been super into music, but I never thought I’d be able to make it myself,” he says, shrugging. I sort of dabbled in everything and then thought, well, I might as well just try and make a song. People really liked it and things have spiralled from there.”

His early success was mostly only apparent on the internet, though. Things became more tangible when Niko got involved with pioneering rap radio station Victory Lap, after its co-founder and Niko’s good pal Joe McDermott invited him to come down and freestyle about Love Island. I didn’t upload that until about seven months later and it did really well,” Niko says of the footage, which was inexplicably shared by Drake on Instagram. Then, when Dave and Central Cee were doing promo for their joint EP, a few of us came down, too.”

What Niko’s referring to here, of course, is Dave and Cench’s now-legendary Victory Lap freestyle, which saw them trot down to Balamii radio’s tiny studio in Peckham to jump on the mic and tease Sprinter last summer. It was a really funny dynamic in the room,” Niko says. I was so nervous – I wasn’t gonna rap at all. I was losing my mind that I was even there, surrounded by talented people.

Me and Dave didn’t speak the whole time, then he was like, Niko, why aren’t you rapping? What kind of beat do you want?’ I asked for a pretty beat, but he said no, only dark ones around here. So I did an anxious little rap over a Dave beat!”

Dave lapped it up – you can see him in videos standing in the corner, smiling. Maybe they viewed me as a little cousin,” Niko continues. Like when you give them the PlayStation remote and they’re kind of alright at the game.”

Bolstered by the co-sign and with plenty of ideas up his sleeve, Niko’s now gearing up for the May release of his debut album, Dog Eat Dog Food World. Its first single, Trespass Coat, is a bouncy tune that reflects on the idiosyncrasies of small town life. Typically, it’s unselfconscious and full of good craic, setting the tone for what’s to come.

I just want people to feel dancey and a bit rebellious when they listen to my music,” Niko says. Stand on a table, maybe, have a bit of fun. Have a nice sandwich after. Just enjoy yourself!”


What kinds of emotions and experiences influence your music?

Optimism, excitement and a bit of sadness.


Dog Eat Dog Food World. What’s that title all about?

It’s how I view myself, basically. A lot of people are driven by wanting to be the best, which is great. That’s not me. I love it when people are better than me at what they do. So instead of that dog eat dog, eat before you get eaten type mentality, I’m in a dog eat dog food world. I’m enjoying my dog food. I don’t want anyone else’s. It’s music I like and that I’d want on my playlist – if someone else feels the same, that’s sick. If someone doesn’t like it, that’s also sick.


If you were cooking to impress someone, what would you make?

I love cooking, you know. I made a really good fish curry the other day. A Jamaican, spicy cod curry. Very saucy. I love rice so much – they’ll be impressed with how good it is because I’ve got a rice cooker. That’s how I get it so fluffy.


When’s the last time you laughed so hard you cried?

If I meet someone new, I always get them to tell me a joke. Sometimes it goes on a tangent for 45 minutes and we’re going back to back. Them 45 minute segments are the best. My friend Tyler also did a really good Mike Tyson impression the other day on the PlayStation. Nothing beats a good Mike Tyson impression.


You rule the world for a day. What goes down?

I think I’d have a panic attack. I’d cure world hunger. Then everyone gets a pot of hair gel and they have to use the whole thing on their hair, even babies. Then I’d hire photographers in every single city to take pictures of it all, to make a book out of it. I’d burn down every library ever and fill them all with this picture book. In the future, when we’re all dead and new people are born, they’ll look at that and think the generation before them all had spiky hair. It’ll be like the next [version of the] pyramids. I want to rewrite history, basically.


What’s your trick to get out of a boring conversation at a party?

I don’t have one and I wish I did. I feel too bad to leave a conversation early. No matter how horrible it is, I stick it out until the end. If it gets to a certain point, I’ll go get another drink. That’s my go-to. But it’s a last resort.


Love, like, hate?

I love iPod docking stations. My dad used to have one – I’d put songs on and break dance in the living room. I like it when my trousers sit nice on my shoes. I hate wind. When it’s really windy and you’re trying to walk, it’s the worst, especially if you’ve got a fringe. And if it’s a little bit rainy. Do you know what’s even worse than that? If you’ve got a puffer jacket on and a tote bag – that’s slipping off your arm, you’ve got wind hitting you in the face, bits of water, you’re pulling up this bag… oh my God. I’d rather get beaten up.


Favourite song of all time?

It’s not my favourite song, but right now I’m loving Who’s That Chick by Rihanna and David Guetta. I love My Number by Foals, I’ve been listening to that a lot. And 40 by EvilGiane, Xaviersobased and Nettspend. It’s really good.


When’s the last time you fell over?

I literally asked someone this the other day! I actually don’t remember. A little trip, yeah. But not falling over properly. Maybe while skateboarding.


What can artists do to help save the world?

Stop judging and recycle. Hell yeah.

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