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Described by tastemakers Dazed as "electronic music’s answer to Basquiat," rising Brixton-based producer Gaika combines the UK tropes of grime and garage with dancehall, hip-hop, and R&B.
Gaika identified first as a visual artist, but some off-the-cuff experiments with freestyling and production resulted in his debut single, "Blasphemer," and subsequent mixtape, Machine. "A lot of the inspiration for this record is how humanity is being digitalised," he told Dazed. "I like the idea of putting these organic sounds into a weird, mechanical space. So it’s a nod to this machine fetish, a nod to the streets, and a nod to the fact I rebuilt myself and made this in about two weeks, like Robocop." Musically, tracks on the mixtape took their cues from as diverse influences as grunge band The Melvins and the contortionist neo-pop of FKA Twigs, but were also inspired by the police violence and stark inequality of life in London, as well as the syrupy romanticism of R&B. Gaika showcased his personal aesthetic — gothic and fetish gear crossed with streetwear — on a recently released video for "Heco," and he also raps a verse on resident Fade to Mind vocalist Kelela's 2015 EP, Hallucinogen.