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Gaika turned heads in 2016 with bleak, inner-city tales and bags of menace

The Londoner's austere take on club music led to an EP on Warp Records

  • Dave Turner
  • 15 December 2016
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“Activist-type people have hit me up,” he says. “I guess what I talk about may resonate with people. It’s all connected to reality. I make music that’s real – that sounds like the world. Step outside,” he says, gesturing to the street. “It doesn’t look like tropical house, does it?”

In October he joined an esteemed club that includes Kelela, Aphex Twin and Flying Lotus when he dropped his first release on Warp, the intense and abrasive ‘Spaghetto’ EP. And he’s already looking towards the follow-up, an LP that will also drop on Warp next year, which he is describing as a “philosophical day zero”.

His rise has helped bury the self-doubt he previously struggled with, but he reckons he’s steered clear of the narcissism that can consume artists who find success.

“I think I have...” he says, wondering whether others think the same. “Making records doesn’t make you special. You can’t go through life being a shithead because you rap a bit. We are not better than anyone else because we work in music.”

He might reckon being a musician doesn’t elevate him above anyone else, but every bit of his material has been special. Surely even he can’t deny that.

Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, follow him on Twitter

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