Bklava is a babe on the rise, and we couldn’t be more here for it. She is a genre defying DJ, producer and vocalist, making serious waves in her field. We chatted to her about her debut single Cntrl, favourite clothing and career highlights.
Growing up in South London, she’s had a serious love for music from a young age. From there, she attended the iconic Brit School and developed her own unique sound.
You may have caught her playing with the likes of Annie Mac, M.O.A.D, Conducta, Roska and Matt Jam Lamont. She has also supported El-B, Dan Shake, Zed Bias, Kurupt FM, Annie Mac and High Focus Records.
We chatted to Bklava about all things music, nights out and downtime.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound I want to say is soulful, dance-y and funky. Lyrically I write a lot about being happy to be myself, being my own lady. Some of my music that is not out yet is about preaching empowerment to women. Cntrl is about embracing being single and not needing to be tied down to someone. “I don’t need to be controlled” is written because I don’t like being told what to do, specifically in a relationship.
If you see me out in a club I am a bit of hybrid DJ, I like to play, house, garage, UK funky, disco and even played jungle, basically anywhere between 128 and 160 bpm. I also pick up the mic and sing along, especially to my own tracks.
What does a day in the life look like for Bklava?
I am always busy no matter what. Even on my days off, I’m writing, creating and learning how to grow as a musician. I actually love being on my own, have some me-time and give myself a pamper! Evenings with a good old face mask and bubble bath catching some Netflix!
If I’m not in the studio I’m working on my DJ set, every day I look for new artists, new producers and new sounds. I love finding really un-known people who sometimes have the best music but are not getting any credit for it. It also means no one else is playing them in their set – which is a bonus!
How did you music career begin?
All my life all I’ve ever wanted to do was sing and perform. From the age of 3, I used to sing to my parents and perform shows with my younger sisters.
I was always going between musical theatre or singing because I love them both equally. I’ve tried doing other jobs and they all suck – they brought out a version of myself that I didn’t recognise. But with music I can be myself.
Before I got decks (when I was 19/20), I spent a lot of my time at friends’ houses, getting them to teach me how to mix, beat match and where to find the music. I did my first night when I was 20, it was a bit rough but it was good to just get out and do it. I didn’t want to be a bedroom DJ so I just thought I’ll get myself out there, and it paid off! I never in a million years thought I would have the privilege to say I have released a song and it’s available for the world to hear. I’m so happy with where I am right now!
Who were your favourite artists growing up?
- Queen must go in here as they have been fundamental – a mixture of everything I love about musical theatre, big songs and big vocals.
- Bring me the Horizon and Paramore were a favourite in my teens and still now!
- Chaka Khan is literally an idol
- Kate Bush because she was one of the first women electronic producers
- Imogen Heap is an actual genius. If you watch her recent tiny desk concert you will see why.
What do you do in your downtime?
I like to go to live shows and the cinema (either with friends or on my own, I don’t mind!). I also go to dance classes, I especially love pole and heels class! Basically fabulous vogueing with heels!
What has been your favourite ever night out?
It has to be when I went to see Bombay Bicycle Club at Earls Court. It was the last gig at that venue because it shut down soon after, and David Gilmour came on stage as a surprise. It was honestly the best thing ever! It was also one of the first things I did on my own and gave me some satisfaction to know that I can be independent and do things solo!
What’s your career highlight so far?
Top of the list is hearing my song being played on BBC Radio 1 Xtra. I had the whole family gathered on the sofa ready and waiting to hear my name. Every time Target said my name we got up and screamed and then when the song actually came on we were all screaming and dancing. It was a special moment for me. Also playing with Annie Mac because I’ve been a big fan of hers for a long time .
Quickfire Questions with Bklava
One item of clothing you can’t live without? – A trusty pair of Air Force 1’s – just recently got Air Force 1 Shadow in the pastel colour way and they are soooooo dreamy.
What Insta account are you loving RN? @RickeyThompson, because he just gives me life and has such a good energy!
What’s your favourite snack? Gotta be a Snickers or a brownie
What are you watching on Netflix atm? Glow season 3
What song do you have on repeat right now? Gia Ford “Girl”. It’s a vibe.
Who’s your style inspiration? @SitaBellan, she’s a model and a DJ and very cool lady with the best style.
What’s on the agenda for 2020?
Over the next few months I’m going to be writing and gigging before the next release in early 2020. I want to have an EP ready by the end of 2020. Its something I’ve always wanted, so that’s top of my list. I’m exited for you guys to hear what’s to come! I want to work on my live show as well, so it feels like you’re not just going to a club night but also to a gig. I want to do more singing as I DJ. I’m off to Paris in a couple weeks, I love the food culture and fashion there. Hoping to go back for PFW next year too!
Listen to Bklava’s new single Cntrl below..
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