A RAPPER from Ayr has made his mark on the music scene by being declared BBC Introducing’s Scottish act of the Year.

Nigerian-born rapper Bemz, real name Bujemi Iyiku, was crowned as Scotland’s hottest new artist last week at an awards ceremony featuring the other finalists hosted by Phoebe Inglis-Holmes and Shereen Cutkelvin.

Bemz, 28, made it through the 500-strong shortlist to appear in the final, where he was chosen by a judging panel that included some of the most influential figures in music to be the number one Scottish act this year

He beat the likes of Dictator, Lizzie Reid, and Vanives to the accolade.

Bemz told the Advertiser: “It feels amazing it feels like all the years of hard work have been worth something. It feels amazing to be Scottish Act of the Year. Not a lot of rappers are representing Ayr, nevermind being named Scottish artist of the year, so yeah, it feels great.”

Whilst acknowledging that Ayr is not exactly buzzing when it comes to Hip-Hop,Bemz says that without the town, and the people therein, he would not be in the position he is in today without it/them.

“Even though I didn’t really feel like there was much of a scene in Ayr, the people in Ayr really had my back, and without a lot of the people from Ayr, I don’t think Glasgow would have taken me as seriously. To turn up to shows knowing that I’ve got like 30 or 40 people coming with me was amazing.”

And his love for the town runs deep.

“There hasn’t been a lot of places I’ve really felt like home, if there is any place in Scotland that feels more like home, it would definitely be Ayr.”

However, he has no shows planned for the area in the near future, joking: “I’m just waiting for somebody in Ayr to book me!”

Bemz told the Advertiser how he first got into rapping 12 years ago: “I’ve always wanted to make music, words and constructing sentences has been something that’s always interested me, I even wanted to be an English teacher. I started off in Stranraer before moving to Ayr.”

And now Bemz is seeking to build a career out of it.

“I’m trying to take this as far as I can possibly take it.

“There’s no glass ceilings on this for me.

“I’ve realised that I just need to put in as much time and effort into it and just pray to god that I’m able to take it as far as I possibly can.”

Bemz released his debut EP Saint of Lost Causes in 2020 and last year, he released his highly anticipated EP M4, which made the shortlist for The Weekender’s EP of the Year Award in 2021.

He’s looking ahead to a massive 2022 schedule with a King Tut’s show on May 19, as well as festival slots at The Great Escape, Riverside and TRNSMT.