When discussing artists who are in their own lane, London’s multi-hyphenate artist and creator, GAIKA, has to be brought to the forefront. Over the last few years, the Brixton-native has been carving out a path of his own, refusing to be boxed in. His sound? An amalgamation of a multitude of genres and styles that carries an unmistakable British grit.
Crashing into the soundsphere in 2015 with his debut release “Blasphemer”, GAIKA has gone on to unleash a slew of immaculately produced records such as Seguridad and War Island OST — the latter released as a collaboration between NAAFI, SVBKVLT, and GAIKA’s own label TSE, installed as an “audiovisual environment” at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts shortly after release.
Most recently, GAIKA has dropped off perhaps his most poignant work to date, Drift, an album consisting of fourteen immaculately crafted soundtracks ranging from breakbeats and funk-soul to cinematic strings and alt rock. Curated from freeform jam sessions over the course of three years, the album has received widespread critical acclaim, cementing the London-native as one of the most exciting names emanating from the capital…
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got into music?
I can’t remember not being into music, I think the very first thing I ever did was try and make beats with my Japanese friend from school one afternoon. We ended up making some kind of weird electronica, after that it was everything like DJing, putting on parties, designing flyers, then videos — I never thought it would be a career, but it all started from that.
To someone who’s just discovered you, how would you describe your overall sound/ direction?
I’d tell them to listen to my music without preconceptions and make their own minds up. That’s the point.
You have just released a wonderful new project called Drift. Tell us about the meaning behind the name?
Thanks. The music came together in a very organic and non planned way, a kind of open ended wander inwards — when you dream of just let yourself whatever feels natural towards the truth. I’m into surfing and motorsport also, so there are other meanings pertaining to those things as analogies for life in competition too.
To someone who hasn’t listened, what can they expect from the project?
Old school driving mixtape music, headphones on travelling music. Beautiful and real music.
How does Drift differ from your previous work?
It is much more varied in its instrumentation, I guess it’s got an analogue grungy sound and some jazzy bits to it as well. It is definitely about life and not death.
What can we expect from a GAIKA live show?
I’m putting together a band to play this album at the moment and make more like it.
What’s on the horizon for GAIKA in 2024?
A few different projects, some music, some film and some structural stuff. I’m tryna bust a next gear to be honest.