Now I have Spotify to thank for first introducing me to Bxks. I came across her single ‘Packed In’ in one of their personalised track radio playlists. I couldn’t tell you the original track I was listening to but I’m thankful the algorithmic stars aligned in my favour here. Initially, it was the track artwork which drew me in because, having made my way through many a Netflix anime series, I’d recently binged The Disastrous Life of Saiki K, and when I saw that reference I just knew: Bxks was a fellow woman of good taste.
A Luton-born “alternative” grime emcee, I’d consider her to be part of a new wave of fashion-conscious artists who have a strong grip on visual aesthetics. Although, I hate to simply slap the “alternative” label on an artist simply because it doesn't reflect what we see in the charts and hear on the radio consistently. We’ve seen a real shift in the way black British artists in the UK are making music. In this DIY, streaming era, I feel more musicians rely on their core fan bases as opposed to major label support. This, in turn, means they have free reign to experiment, and in Bxks’ case, creatively blend futuristic sounds with unorthodox flows.
Her second mixtape, Hack The Planet is loaded top to bottom with fire tracks. Like a Walkers multipack, there is just so much variety, and a flavour for everyone. Clocking in at 7 songs, and just under 20 minutes, the tape is short but concise. Her flair with words means not one bar goes to waste: every punchline lands.
It’s impossible to pinpoint one singular cultural sonic influence but Bxks’ half-Jamaican heritage can be clearly heard on tracks like Bones 2 Pick. My personal standout track, when I heard it was recorded in Dizzie Rascal’s studio, something clicked, and it just made sense. The energy is different. It is the perfect riddim to fling a shoulder to.
Working with multiple UK producers, such as E-Whizz, Samo and Finn Wigan, the only featured artist we see is Oscar #Worldpeace. Another artist routinely pushing boundaries, we’ve seen him, and E-Whizz previously make the coldest tracks together, and ‘321’ is no exception. Sporting more of a laid-back flow, Bxks graces the track with consummate elegance, although her voice is low, we feel every ounce of confidence ooze from her delivery which just makes the song hit.
With the levels already achieved from her mixtapes, I cannot wait to hear what Bxks delivers and where her creative juices lead us on a full-length album. The groundwork is already in place. Full Time Daydreamer was our introduction to Bxks as an artist, and on Hack The Planet, she’s given us range. There is not one skip on this tape. If grime is dead, this new grime-esque wave of sound is very much alive and kicking!