If you find yourself still on the search for the perfect summer anthem to lift you out of a slump, get those toes tapping, cocktails flowing and BBQ sizzling, look no further; because brand sparkly new songstress, multi-instrumentalist and BBC Introducing's Bud has provided us with all we need to while away those hazy days.
Favouring strong females as her musical role models, you can hear Amy Winehouse to Alicia Keys and Lily Allen laced into her debut sonic offering City Bird. She’s in good company and it’s safe to say we have a lot to look forward to from this feisty songwriter harking from a council estate in the Midlands.
There’s a resonant urban backdrop to her reggae beats and punchy, youthful lyrics that have taken inspiration not only from her metropolitan upbringing, but also from listening to her mum’s eclectic, reggae-themed vinyl collection growing up, from Toots and the Maytals to Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Wailers and The Skints.
This heady combination of musical styles that is captured on the catchy EP makes for quite a unique sound for this promising talent, but it doesn’t stop there.
From an early age, Bud had music pouring through her veins, so much so that her mother worked additional hours and invested her hard-earned money to pay for extra music lessons. This served to fuel her passion further as she moved on to study classical music, learning the technical basis and becoming first soprano in an all-female choir.
Once equipped with the skills, she turned her hand back to her first love: Reggae, preferring the “free, laid back and spontaneous” vibes over the “stiffness and rigidity” of her classical education.
She used this template, then injected refreshing youth, intelligent lyrics and her personal quirky style, which couldn’t be ignored by the BBC. She was featured on BBC Introducing in July with her song City Bird on the playlist as Song of The Week.
When she can be peeled away from her guitar and songwriting notebook (her goal alongside performing is to write acoustic pop tracks for other artists in the style of Ed Sheeran), she likes to spend time exploring thrift stores for unique pieces to add to her wardrobe. She loves retail therapy. “I think it's because I grew up without a lot of money and I was used to wearing hand-me-downs from my sister.” However she does it, her style only adds to the cool and all she stands for.
The homegrown debut track that gets lodged inside your head was recorded and produced with her brother – her ally and muse, at their home studio. Bud describes her sound as: “Pop reggae with ska infusion.” We describe it as the summer anthem that should be top of your playlist. The team at Candid think we will be seeing a lot more if this city bird. Download the EP on Spotify and iTunes, and check out the video below. You can also find her performing live at Spitalfield Lates with Hoxton Radio on Friday 12th August.
Words by Elspeth Pierce