The multifaceted South London artist explains his unique blend of electronics, challenging preconceptions of the avant-garde along the way.
Despite having been born and raised in South London, Gaika Tavares feels less connected to his hometown’s musical heritage and current scenes than to the challenging and forward-thinking stuff coming from Miami or Korea. Tapping into Chino Amobi and NON Worldwide’s notion of the African diaspora, GAIKA sees musical and political ideas as unbound from locality, and understands that those ideas are to be utilized and applied in whatever way the artist deems necessary. His own — rather ironic — concept of “ghetto futurism” is both a testament to and an expression of this mindset: The (racist) expectations of the work of artists of color who grew up in an urban environment are to be exorcized. Accordingly, GAIKA’s own music eludes easy classification into neatly defined genres such as grime or dancehall. Murky and opaque, yet at all times sharp and focused, the songs on his debut LP for Warp, Basic Volume, are an exciting display of his outstanding talent. In this engaging Fireside Chat, we dive deep into GAIKA’s creative ideas and his music-making process.