Premiere: Meet BEXX, who makes a bold entrance with her debut single, WADE
The Perth-based musician has been a long-time figure of the city's electronic music world, but now she's stepping out with her own stuff.
If you're aligned with Perth's live music realm, then BEXX is someone you're most likely well-accustomed to already. Over the last few years, the master-of-many-trades has become somewhat of a light in Perth's electronic scene particularly, whether that be behind-the-scenes, as a major supporting force egging on those who have broken out of West Australia's isolated shackles, or as a DJ and live act soundtracking some of the city's most pivotal events; a real multi-disciplinary force somewhat synonymous with the city's 'fingers in all pies' creative culture.
Where she truly shines, however, is in her own work, and over the last twelve months or so, we've started to see this blossom into something special. Today, we're stoked to premiere her official debut single WADE, which doesn't just feel like a long time coming for a musician who has spent years refining her work into what it is today, but also for the Perth electro-pop scene in general, getting a much-needed boost from an exciting face that really encapsulates the scene's bright future held in the next generation.
WADE is a song that really captures everything that makes BEXX such an exciting force to keep an eye on. Built around a classic gospel sample, it swerves between flashes of pop and electronica, with a storming house beat thick with percussive rhythms forming the perfect underlay for her vocals, which moves alongside the production and navigates its peaks and valleys. At its most climactic moment, it almost feels like one of Disclosure's more pop-centric pieces, really showing how you can have this distinctive, sample-built house sound but mould it with a fresh, pop-focused future that feels incredibly exciting.
There's something so grand about WADE that really showcases the highs of BEXX as a blossoming artist. She's got a background in performance art and even if music isn't the best avenue for that shine explicitly - comparative to something like theatre, for example - you can hear how that background creates an edge in BEXX's work. It carries this sense of drama and playfulness, moving between parts in a similar way you'd expect a classical performance to go, instead of keeping it aggressive and in-your-face the entire way. There's something really great about having that sense of contrast through WADE, and we don't doubt it will continue to shine as she shows off the many facets to her versatile, wide-ranging sound.
BEXX is a name to get excited about - although if you're in Perth, you probably know that already - and WADE is just the start. There's a full EP on the way, expected later this year, but in the meantime, take a dive into WADE as it premieres on Pilerats below ahead of its release this Friday, and better introduce yourself to the musician as she takes her first step into the limelight with her debut single today.
Tell us about yourself?
HELLO! My name is BEXX and I’m an electronic music producer/singer/performance artist from the big bad west.
I started off my venture into the music world at the end of 2018, and have quickly fallen in LOVE. I learnt piano and saxophone as a kid but never really even knew what ‘electronic production’ was. Then a few years ago I found myself learning to DJ, LOVING IT, and then quickly that moved into me discovering audio engineering, (I can make all my own music, be every instrument all from my computer??) WOAH. Since then, I have never looked back.
What’s the ‘vibe’ music-wise?
Oooh I’ve got a few different sounds going on at the moment and some separate EPs coming out to represent that. But the upcoming stuff to be released is sort of a combination of Rufus Du Sol x Billie Eilish. So pretty spacey house music, still got a huge bass + beat, but heaps of pretty harmonies and vocal glitching which I like. And then I’ve got some different stuff coming out early next year which is more Charli XCX/Doja Cat vibes - super fun stuff.
Basically, I would say lots of big choral harmonies alongside some powerful synths and fat dance beats is the general BEXX vibe.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
It differs with every song, but generally, I always start with the bass. As of late, I’ve been smashing the 808s, and when you have a really strong bassline to start I find the rest of the song writes itself a lot easier. I will always do lyrics last, so have a finished song, then write the lyrics + melody over it as the very last step. Then I actually sometimes go back and just totally remix the song. I’ll have the finished demo I made previously, then open up a new project file, and mess around with the structure and the sounds until I’m super happy with it. Have been doing that a lot with some older tracks I’ve had sitting there for a while.
Can you tell us about your new single, Wade?
Wade came from this INCREDIBLE sample of an old school gospel choir from the 1900s. I believe it was a freedom song for African-Americans under slavery and it is honestly one of the most beautiful, painful, powerful things I have ever heard. I immediately started working with the sample, chopping it up, getting the progressions and I just wanted to bring new life to recording. I probably worked on it on and off for about a year, but am really happy with the outcome. I take so much inspiration from the Black, Indigenous and other musical cultures - so much talent, passion and emotion - and everything I listen to or create is heavily influenced by those cultures.
What does 2020 have in store for you?
My one goal is to perform a thank you concert to Mark McGowan haha. Nah but seriously, everything is obviously quite up in the air with live performances at the moment, but I am just grinding away, going to release two more singles and an EP before the year is out! So November/December are going to be huge :)
And have organised the official “launch party” of my new 6 piece band, so that show is coming up in October. BIG PARTY VIBES!
What do you want people to take away from the project?
I am super passionate about female/fem identifying representation in the electronic/production industry. I think it’s still sometimes hard to find a lot of female producer role models around, although there are more popping up all the time which is DOPE. But yeah I would love to just get through to some younger girls that if this is what they want to do, they can. They are able to make boss bitch, hard-hitting, dirty bass tracks if they want to! It’s definitely intimidating sometimes, but it is so worth it to be able to do what you love and make other people happy/inspired with your work.
Also as mentioned before, I take so much inspiration from other cultures for my music, so as always the fight for racial equality is super important and I want to use my privilege to elevate the voices of these incredibly talented musicians from all different races. So basically if someone listens to my music and likes it, I want them to then be aware and think about women’s rights, black lives and just generally equal opportunities and treatment of anyone and everyone.
ALSO I just want to make people happy, so if that’s all they get from my stuff — having a boogie with their friends, or smiling in the car whilst singing along, that would be DOPE too.