2021 has been the year of PinkPantheress. A saccharine-toned, digitally-fluent teen who mesmerised millions and conquered TikTok with her short, addictive tunes.
Born in 2001 and still attending uni in London, in a year of lockdowns and postponed shows, the DIY singer and producer has successfully done what many tried to less successfully: namely, merging the sonics of past and future to create something distinctly in the present.
Sampling breakbeats and jungle hooks of the noughties, laced with unequivocally youthful and yearning lyricism, she’s been able to captivate an army of loyal Gen Z fans online whilst retaining intrigue and mystery. Initially, the clips she posted would use text to intentionally obscure her face, and though her appearance has since been revealed, facts such as her real name are still unknown to the public. Despite that, she’s been able to garner tens of millions of streams on her easily loopable sub-three minute bangers, that cover everything from slightly unhinged crushes to existential angst.
Chatting to Dazed in July this year, the enigmatic star unpacked everything from Lily Allen’s storytelling to having to record her vocals lying down in her uni room due to a broken mic. Fast forward six months and her debut mixtape is a Top 20 charting project, has had multiple Top 40 singles and accrued over one million followers on TikTok and well over half a million on Instagram too.
She’s also unsurprisingly been hotly tipped and co-signed by artists, publications and brands alike: Billie Eilish, Mura Masa, Marc Jacobs, The New York Times, and most recently Frank Ocean via his jewellery line Homer are a few that spring to mind. Just announced on the longlist for BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2022 and topping multiple end of year rankings internationally, there’s no doubt that PinkPantheress is one of the biggest breakthrough artists of recent years.
We dig deeper into the things that make up the world of PinkPantheress in an exclusive video for our series of dA-Zed guides. In classically spooky style, the young enigma takes us on a tour of Epping Forest as she waxes lyrical about everything from gothic Victorian interior design to Bree Runway, Saw, to ASDA’s diner café – “what do you know about a £1.99 pizza slice?!”
With a sense of humour as wry as ever and a knack for telling funny and relatable stories much like in her songwriting, it’s a rare and entertaining glimpse into the artist behind some of the year’s most exciting music. She explains the origins of her stage name, what Simpsons character she’d go as for Halloween, and even debunks some of the mythical lyrics in her music: “I’m really dramatic and I say that I crashed my car into a tree, never done that. I did have a car and I did back it up into a pole though. Mirror fell off, I still drove it.”