Allow us to introduce Biig Piig – real name Jess Smyth – a 20-year-old former-poker dealer now found releasing dreamy, hip hop and jazz-influenced slow jams under a pseudonym inspired by the time she drunkenly misread a pizza menu. Born and raised in Cork, bar a four-year stint with her family on the Costa Del Sol, Smyth is currently based in London, where she’s graduated from local creative crew Nine8 Collective to become a bona fide solo star-in-waiting.
Minimalist Mac Wetha production ‘Crush’n’ first piqued our interest in 2017, showcasing Smyth’s part- rapped, part-sung, caramel-coated vocals over hushed hip hop beats.
That same smoky, after-hours feel continues to characterise her output, manifesting itself in the subtle skat interludes on ‘Vice City’, the sparse horn samples on ’24K’ and the drowsy piano that flickers like a candle, sporadically illuminating ‘Flirt’. Just a fistful of tracks into her career, her talent stands out, not least because it’s not often you find Ireland’s answer to Erykah Badu living above a pub in West London.
Look out for her debut EP, the enjoyably-titled Biig Fan of The Sesh, in April. It’s just the first in a trilogy of “audio-visual stories”, apparently.