Electronic artist Gaika has released a free new mixtape, Security. The release comes ahead of tonight’s show at Boiler Room before the musician, who cut his teeth on the local grime scene, leaves for his world tour.
The Brixton-born MC uses pounding, reverberating sounds to cast the image of criminal life in a city of rising poverty, alongside the themes of hedonism and desire. Gaika describes Security as exploring “the anthropology of burner phones cast in gold, late night shebeens in the ends where everyone is drinking premium spirits in a brokedown flat”.
Such acute social observation could also be found on his debut mixtape Machine, released last November. Speaking to Dazed around its release, Gaika said that it was impossible not to make political art “when you go out of your house in London and you see two or three homeless people by a cash point, and people like me are getting killed by the police”. For all that, Gaika doesn’t want his music labelled as ‘political rap’. When that happens, “you become divorced from the street and the very people that need to hear it the most”.
Security continues to explore Gaika’s London identity. With strong Jamaican and Grenadian influences, as well as the artisty of other anthemic collaborators such as Serocee and Miss Red on the tape, the musician is reinventing the notion of what black British music is.
Along with the mixtape, Gaika will be touring internationally, with dates in Prague, Moscow, New York, Berlin and London.