Next Wave #1164: brazy

In association with Bed Head for Issue 127 of CLASH...

Halfway through breakout single, ‘Attends’, the beat gives way and brazy lists off a few languages. “English… Yoruba… Francais” she says before finishing the song in fluent Mandarin. brazy, the latest It girl on the alté scene, isn’t just flexing her linguistic skills but capturing a feeling. “A lot of the time what I’m trying to achieve can’t be done in English, I can’t unlock that bounce,” she tells CLASH. 

brazy, 22, grew up in Nigeria but has lived in the UK since she was 11. She’s animated when she speaks about the early Nigerian R&B and rap that inspired her, like Sasha P (“she was just that girl”) and Yoruba rapper Da Grin. “He’s the one who taught me how to use language to unlock different sounds,” she says. brazy’s early music consisted of freestyles over her friends’ songs, often recorded from her bed. She caught the attention of alté royalty Cruel Santino who asked for a vocal assist on ‘Matilda’. A collab with buzzy London rapper Len followed, as did shout outs from Amaarae. It was then that brazy started thinking: “You know what, I’m pretty good at this, why don’t I give it an actual try and take complete creative control.” 

‘Attends’ is the sound of an artist finding her sound in real time. Whilst her early songs were breezy internet rap, you can also hear the influence of Caribbean Bouyon in the delirious pounding 145 BPM beat. Filled with nonchalant quotables, the song demands to be played loud and on repeat. The secret formula? Stripping the process down to pure vibes: “There was no overthinking to it. I played it back and it was just me.”

brazy followed ‘Attends’ with a string of excellent singles all made with the same intuitive process: “If nothing comes to my head in the first ten minutes, I’m like, let’s do something else.” The singles ‘omg’, ‘brazy skank’ and ‘daddy’, are a whirlwind of attitude, contemporary African sounds, and her signature multi-lingual vocals which are often contorted, pitched up and dripping in autotune – like mercury mixed with honey. brazy is going places but don’t just take it from us. Kelela recently tapped the Nigerian for her ‘RAVE:N’ remix album, possibly the coolest co-sign available. 

What to expect next? “More music, more collaborations and definitely more visuals,” says brazy, smiling widely. 

WHAT: Pan-diasporic pop she dubs “afro-sexy”
WHERE: UK, but raised in Nigeria
3 SONGS: ‘omg’, ‘Brazy Skank’, ‘Daddy’

FACT: brazy has a Biomedical Engineering degree

Words: Harry Thorfinn-George
Photography: Bella Howard
Styling: Felicia Brown
Stylist Assistant: Idyllyn Frimpong
Creative Direction: Rob Meyers

Jacket and skirt by Horde Studio; tank by Loewe via mrporter.com; boots by New Rock via schuh.co.uk; jewellery by SEOL + GOLD.

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