RarelyAlways was always absorbed by music. His single dad was a drummer, playing mainly gospel. He would book rehearsal rooms so the pair of them could "beat the hell out of the drums" for three hours at a time: straight away music was associated with being fun and therapeutic. The services his dad played in could last six hours, though, so the commitment and sweat required in music was also clear. At home he heard Motown most of all, but also reggae, and thanks to his family's West African background lots of Fela and other Afrobeat. At school he played percussion in Samba bands and learned classical instruments, from the radio he picked up on more interesting songwriting like Gorillaz, The Streets and Estelle, as well as grime and hip hop.
All of this adds up to an artist who stands alone, and can only be assessed on his own terms. You might hear hints of great British one-offs like Tricky, Roots Manuva, even a more laid-back Dizzee Rascal. You might hear trip hop, jazz, those undercurrents of rock, J Dilla style beat science, and more - you're free to apply whatever terminology you like: as RarelyAlways says, "I don’t complain about pigeonholes, I don't mind how you talk about my music as long as you're talking about it." But above all else, what you're hearing is RarelyAlways, a talent emerging fully formed, certain of who he is, and even at this young age, ready to share important life lessons with the biggest possible audience.