Nowadays Records presents BRNFKD – ‘Sixteen’ (feat. Camille Michelle Gray) – EP – 22.04
Listen to ‘Sixteen’ feat. Camille Michelle Gray: https://soundcloud.com/nowadays-records/brnfkd-sixteen-feat-camille-michelle-gray-1?in=nowadays-records/sets/brnfkd-1
Listen on Spotify, Deezer, Apple: http://nowadays.lnk.to/BRNFKD
1. REMINISCE, 2. SIXTEEN (FEAT. CAMILLE MICHELLE GRAY), 3. ONLY MINE (FEAT. DENITIA), 4. MILLIONS (FEAT. AWIR LEON), 5. SHINNING (FEAT. ELI SOSTRE), 6. DUPLICATION
Nowadays Records, the visionary label synonymous with the new wave of French electronic artists, are pleased to present the eponymous debut EP from BRNFKD, due for release on 22nd April.
Behind those six special letters (pronounced ‘brain fucked’) lurk two rising talents of the French scene: heavy trap range artist Ikaz Boi and prolific producer Monk, whose creative focus lies in more delicate soundscapes. Together, the two producers play with the codes of electronic and hip-hop music; merging aggressive percussion, deep bass, sharp kicks and ethereal synthesizers to craft an atmosphere that is all at once sensual, melancholic and powerful.
Whereas instrumental EP opener ‘Reminisce’ sees complex layers of fuzzy synths and glitchy production combine, lead singles ‘Sixteen’ and ‘Only Mine’ feature the vocal talents of two up-and-coming U.S. female artists. A 23-year-old singer-songwriter who released her first EP ‘Street Cinema’ in March 2014, Camille Michelle Gray first gained attention for her 2011 feature on Def Jam signee Logic’s ‘Mind of Logic’ and continues to make waves on YouTube for her acoustic covers of renowned hip-hop acts such as Kendrick Lamar and Kid Cudi. On ‘Sixteen’, she lends her effortlessly soulful register to a woozy beat, which is followed on the EP by Denitia’s silky timbre on the alt-R&B inflected ‘Only Mine’.
Standout track ‘Millions’ features soft marimba patterns combined with crunchy percussive crashes and Awir Leon’s hauntingly distorted voice, whilst Eli Sostre’s hazy R&B vocals on ‘Shinning’ perfectly complement the deep, downtempo, trap-influenced vibes to transition fluidly into the spacey electronics and blissed-out beats of instrumental finale ‘Duplication’.
Having performed in the past alongside hip-hop heavyweight Just Blaze, Ikaz Boi has collaborated with Amine Edge and DANCE on the Radio 1-playlisted ‘Came Around’ as well as remixing and producing a plethora of rappers such as Vic Mensa and Leather Corduroys’ hit ‘Have U Eva’. With Monk also having seen success with a track release on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Electric 4, BRNFKD presents the perfect platform to see their talents amplified.
The EP is accompanied by animated visuals created by Clarita Luzian, who also designed the artwork for the EP, and whose past work includes an incredible list of some of the biggest names in the music industry, from Kanye West, Rihanna and Frank Ocean to Miley Cyrus, M.I.A. and A-Trak. Clarita explains that “the song was very inspiring for me and speaks about love, about being IN love. I took the immense sense of that word-monument and dived into its waters…there is no gender or other distinction that can separate us from love’s magnetic fields.” The CG animated video features what Clarita refers to as her ‘genderless mates’, in order to remove any distinction: “the intention is to see the pure action, without veils, without conditions, without differentiations.”
Though their name may indicate confusion or trouble, BRNFKD’s debut EP only reflects their moniker in the most positive sense: its profound ability to blur genres, textures and emotions, manifested in a cohesive body of work which is both raw and surprising.