Super sweet and full of flava, the South London-born, Brighton-based artist Bklava has only just scratched the surface. After recently signing with Ministry of Sound, the multi-talented musician is making her presence known in the industry. Despite only breaking through in 2019, the 26-year-old has already proved herself as one to watch on the UK dance music circuit. 2-stepping onto the scene, whether it’s singing, songwriting, producing, or DJing; Bklava has proved she can do it all.
After a year of quarantine and isolation, Bklava’s groovy garage and feel-good funk, is bound to be a beacon of light to lift anyone’s mood. Struggling herself with the back and forth, highs and lows of mental health, Bklava has taken the time to focus on reflection and appreci tion. Instead of writing about new experiences, she has had to think back to poignant moments in her life, delving even deeper into her feelings. Channeling her emotions, Bklava has consciously turned her pain to passion and heartache to harmonies, all while adapting to Boris’ work from home mantra.
“I’ve been back and forth with my mental health and just managing to get through this weird year.
Despite that, this year has brought many highs in my career.”
Recently signing to the legendary electronic music label, Ministry of Sound Records, Bklava cites this as a monumental achievement to date. The latest milestone in Bklava’s career not only marked the start of an exciting era of garage greats and club classics, but it also held much sentimental value with Bklava attending the London club on her first outing as an 18-year-old.
“It felt incredible, I was actually in disbelief and I am only just starting to believe it. It’s such a big thing for me. Ministry of Sound was actually the first club I went to on my 18th birthday so there’s a lot of connections in my past, it’s quite sentimental for me to sign with them.”
Bklava’s multi-disciplinary talents offer a sense of artistry more commonly seen in established industry veterans. After breaking into the interview mere months ago, Bklava has enjoyed a whirlwind of success.
Paramount in the youth-led new wave, Bklava creates feel-good music with an underlying honesty and rawness. Embracing her half Lebanese-half Irish heritage, Bklava pays homage to her roots. Not only taking the name of a delicious Middle Eastern dessert -Bklava- but also through her music. With the pandemic permitting, she hopes to travel to Lebanon to garner further musical inspiration.
“Representation is very important to me. One day I would love to go back to Lebanon and record lots of instruments to put into my music.”
Music has always played a vital role in Bklava’s life. Growing up surrounded by a symphony of sounds circulating around her South London home, Bklava was writing her own music from a young age. With a guitar playing Father and dancing Mother, she was encouraged to be creative, taking up singing, dancing, and music theatre. Exposure to a wide range of musical styles has shaped and formed Bklava’s sound you
hear today. Inspired by big diva vocalists, Bklava has long honoured fierce females. Listening to legendary artists, Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse, Imogen Heap, and Erykah Badu; Baklava is not letting anything hold her back.
“I’ve been singing my whole life, probably from the moment I could speak.”
A musician with a mission, Bklava has also expressed her desire to diversify the predominantly male electronic industry. An advocate for gender equality, she founded the platform ‘Spin Suga’, aiding other females and non-binary musicians in their journey through the music scene in Brighton and beyond.
Discussing her own experiences within the industry, Bklava has herself borne witness to the misogyny and sexism that comes with being a female DJ. Often mistaken for a girlfriend or clubber, Bklava has noted a subtle but positive change.
“Sometimes when I am booked to DJ, I don’t know if it’s because I am liked or if it is because I am a woman – just to make the lineup look good. Obviously, there is still such a long way to go with the imbalance, but it has got a lot better since I started out.”
Bklava’s perseverance and patience have certainly paid off. Since the release of her self-titled EP, Bklava has extended her radio presence to become a regular figure on Rinse FM, as well as receiving praise and airplay from stations such as Radio 1 and Capital Xtra. With elements of garage and electro beats, a slew of sonic hues cultivates various points in Bklava’s life. Encompassed in a feel-good track, her honest lyrics and relatable references have ensured the rising star offers a captivating, cross-genre appeal.
“I have written most of these songs in the last few years, it has all been quite recent events. They all mean a lot to me and have gotten me through some good and bad times. I have a nice relationship with my EP, it is very personal. It is scary releasing such personal music, but it is important to have music that people can relate to and connect with on a deeper level. That is something I look for when listening to music; something that makes me feel good or lets me be in my feelings.”
Following the success of her “vibey and in your feels” EP, Bklava is gracefully taking each step in her stride. Raising important issues of mental health and gender equality, Bklava is more than just a musician. On a mission to change the landscape of the male dominated industry, she is certainly ticking off her career goal list one by one. As the tumultuous year of 2020 reaches its end, we are eager to hear what 2021 has in store (and we are delighted to confirm this involves EP 2 and an exciting remix for a big artist!!)