South-London's BINA. speaks to us about her debut EP 'Humble Abode', her musical influences and the London R&B scene.
Introduce yourself, who is BINA.?
BINA. is a singer, songwriter and producer hailing from South London. She’s an Alternative R&B songstress.
What was the main inspiration for your EP ‘Humble Abode’?
I wrote most of the songs on Humble Abode between the ages of 17 and 18; it’s just me documenting the journeys I was going through at the time - trying to find a sense of belonging, experiencing love, getting to know myself. The whole project is a conceptual journey: from feeling trapped to feeling free, from ignorance to knowledge, from obsessive control to complete abandon.
What was the creative process like for the project?
I had a collection of beats I’d got from producers, and I just freestyled most of the songs into my phone. Then I recorded the whole project from home, in my bedroom and mixed the songs too. That whole process kinda inspired the name of the EP, too.
Is there an album that has shaped your current sound the most?
I wouldn’t say there was one specific album I was listening to at the time of creation, I was listening to so much different music. But if I could name a few albums/EPs, I’d say Analogue by ODIE , Choose Your Weapon by Hiatus Kaiyote and Hoodrich by IAMDDB.
In terms of lyrical content, which artists do you cite as an influence?
I really respect SZA , Erykah Badu , and Solange (especially in A Seat At The Table) for their lyricism, how vulnerable they allow themselves to be. But overall, I would say my lyricism is all me, it’s influenced by what I’m experiencing in life.
What do you hope people take away from your music?
I want people to feel something. Build a relationship with my music, whether that’s because they relate to the lyrics, or the beat speaks to them, I just want them to feel. I hope that my listeners can also find therapy in my music, just like I do when I’m making it.
Which song of yours do you think represents your sound the most and why?
Each of my songs represents different aspects of my Alternative R&B sound. My sound is very fluid, yet distinctive. But in terms of the sound of my current creative direction, I’d say Caged Bird with KISH!, and Stargazing (produced by dxvl), represent me best because they show me being completely vulnerable on my music, and I love the production on both these songs.
What do you think of the growing UK R&B scene?
I love the UK R&B scene right now; it’s growing and there are so many R&B artists doing cool things with their music. If we keep going with it, UK R&B can have its moment worldwide as much as it’s having a moment in the UK.
Are there any UK artists you would recommend?
Yes! So many cool artists coming out the underground, like KISH! - he just dropped his E.P.Crybaby , on all major platforms. I’ve also been loving Tiana Major9’s new E.P. Rehearsal @ Nine . Also, IAMDDB is the wave when it comes to UK R&B, specifically Alternative R&B.
A lot of current music blurs the lines of genres, is it important to you to not put too much pressure on yourself in sounding a certain way?
Yes, most definitely! I think it’s important not to squeeze your music into a certain box if it doesn’t fit. Just create your own.
If you could work with any artist, who would it be and why?
Which five artists would you recommend to your listeners?
What’s coming up for the rest of 2019?
I’m gonna be doing a lot more live shows - catch me at Global 12 Festival @ Cargo on August 31st. I’m also hoping to collaborate with a lot more artist too, so stay tuned.