Who’s your favorite vegan or vegetarian singer? Apart from, say, Miley Cyrus or Billie Eilish, can you really name that many more? Because veganism isn’t as mainstream as it could be, you might struggle to find veg*n representation in mainstream media, whether it’s music, film, television, etc. But if you look elsewhere, you just might find it.
Enter Hyphen. The alternative hip-hop artist has been creating quite a stir in the music scene as of late, having secured a slot at Reading and Leeds Festival in addition to performing on BBC Introducing. His live shows are becoming something of legend, as he performs alongside a six-piece live jazz band, something very unique in the hip-hop/rap world.
He’s also unapologetic about his decision to leave meat off his plate, considering himself 90% vegan, consuming the occasional dairy product. Finding so many issues with the consumption of meat – to the negative environmental impacts to just how unethical it all is – he made the switch and hasn’t looked back.
Want to know more about Hyphen? Check out the Q&A below to learn more about his thoughts on veganism and music.
How did you become vegan? What prompted the decision?
For full transparency, I would describe myself as 100% vegetarian, and 90% vegan. I would be lying if I said I don’t have a drunken, cheese-based late night snack.
Eating meat is awful for the environment, and it’s done in an incredibly unethical way. I think people have known that for a long time but because of willful ignorance and ‘mmm bacon’ people ignore that. When I was 17, I just decided one day that there’s really no excuse if I know the problems associated with eating meat.
How has being vegan impacted your life?
Other than having to explain why I don’t eat meat throughout university, not too much. Being a city dweller it’s pretty easy! However when travelling it definitely becomes a lot more difficult.
Does your veganism ever influence your music?
Not directly, though I do have some vegan-based raps in the works…
What challenges, if any, does veganism present as someone who tours? Have you ever found yourself without any options when going from gig to gig?
A few years ago it was definitely more of a problem than it is now. It’s great to see how much more popular being vegan/vegetarian has become.
What’s your go-to vegan snack when touring or in the studio?
Carrot + hummus = yeaaaahhhhhh
You’re open about your veganism – have you ever felt pressured to speak about it less? Or has being open helped you, as there are plenty of vegans who actively want to support other vegans?
A few years ago it was a lot more of an awkward topic to bring up. However as anecdotal evidence of how much more popular veganism has become, by house mate who used to eat meat a lot, has massively reduced his meat consumptions. It’s not a ‘perfect’ change, but it’s meaningful and I think a lot of ‘imperfect’ changes is a great first step.
How do you respond to critics or skeptics of the vegan lifestyle?
I tend to start with the more objective points e.g. How meat consumption impacts the environment. It’s a lot harder to convince someone about animal rights if they don’t already believe in them. Environmental issues are something which most sane people buy into, so it’s a lot easier to trojan-horse veganism through that.
Do you have any shoutouts or plugs? What projects are you working on currently?
I’ve got lots of new music on the way – my song “Celebrate” was out end of March and I have a new song end of April!
I’ve also got a pro-vegan rap on the way…stay tuned!
Want to stay updated on Hyphen and his upcoming projects? Follow him on Instagram!
Psst…are you a vegan brand/business? Are you in need of a writer who can capture your brand’s voice and create content sure to resonate with your audience? If you answered “yes,” let’s talk! I’ll help you reach your ideal audience through the power of words.