Shape-shifting Brixton artist GAIKA not only straddles disciplines with his future-forward fashion, dystopian A/V sculptures and dissident writings. Since 2015, this emotionally wrenching producer and MC has also delivered a steady stream of expansive industrial electronics. Fiercely loyal to the place he calls home, the ideas underpinning his work draw attention to gun violence, modern masculinity and the immigrant experience, while his gothic Afro-swing soundtracks the underground resistance.
Born to Jamaican and Grenadian parents in South London, Tavares readily soaked up the cross-cultural sonic influences of his immediate surroundings, from London’s garage and grime scenes to the blues parties his father would take him to. Prior to dropping Machine, his no-holds-barred debut mixtape, in 2015, Tavares was already attracting attention as part of Manchester arts collective/rap crew Murkage. As evidenced by follow–up mixtape Security and a stream of EPs, his darkly magnetic sound playfully straddles disparate settings. The same applies to his Armour in Heaven fashion line, with its translucent fabrics and cutting-edge tech, featured at London Fashion Week Men last year. Basic Volume (2018), his debut LP for Warp, is a terrific industrial gothic tribute to his late father and the latter’s experiences as a scientist and immigrant in the UK.
Rooted in an anti-establishment ethos, Gaika’s glazed musical markers stretch across borders, gliding effortlessly between glistening dancehall and narcotized trip-hop. Come see for yourself why this musical outsider is the real, multi-disciplinary deal when he makes his festival debut.