Bklava celebrates release of ‘Back to Then’ in our latest In Five…

Rinse FM and Patterns resident Bklava today releases her latest single, ‘Back to Then’. An infectious summer bop that marries catchy pop melodies with a dance floor blueprint, ‘Back to Then’ marks the follow-up to recent 2-step heater ‘Thinkin’ of You‘.

25-year-old Bklava is based in Brighton, and grew up in south London. The Irish-Lebanese producer, DJ, singer and songwriter counts both Amy Winehouse and MJ Cole as key influences, and you can hear those foundations in soul and garage in both her vocal and her buoyant production. With radio support from industry stalwarts like Annie Mac, Toddla T and Mistajam, and a sonic focal point that finds a home somewhere between Disclosure and Kelela, Bklava’s is a sound which she describes, fittingly, as “non-stop bops and flava”.

Bklava, a BRIT school graduate whose alias is inspired by her favourite Lebanese desert, grew up in a household soundtracked by her mum’s favourite 90s floorfillers, and her dad’s more subdued taste for classic rock and folk. As highlighted in her selections below, Bklava is informed as much by her childhood and her heritage as she is the bubbling garage scene, both in London and Brighton. She also runs Spin Suga, a support network for the promotion of women in electronic music, who are focused on erasing gender disparity in the industry.

On her In Five selections, Bklava says: “An introduction to who I am and why my heritage means so much to me. Each song on my EP comes from different experiences I’ve had growing up. I’m inspired by loads of different styles, sounds and music I’ve heard over the years including some of the ones below.”

A-Wa – Habib Galbi

A-WA are three sisters who sing like angels!! They’ve got a cool modern take on Arabic electronic pop keeping it traditional too. I love that they’re three sisters singing together with beautiful harmonies. I have two sisters and we sing together a lot. We’re lucky to all be able to sing and it’s a special thing to bond with family through music.

Fehdah – Day in Shock

I actually only discovered Fehdah during lockdown. It’s such a sick mix of soulful vocals over an electronic beat, I’ve always been a big fan of mixing contrasting styles together. She’s popping up on the Irish R&B scene so looking forward to hearing more from her!

Joy Crookes – Mother May I Sleep With Danger?

I discovered Joy Crookes through this song on the Colours page. I love how she incorporates her culture with everything she does. This is something I can relate to and think it’s important to  connect to your heritage. Also, her voice is so gorgeous and her lyrics are powerful. She’s a great artist.

Murlo – Jasmine (feat. Gemma Dunleavy) 

I love the vocals on this track from Gemma, and I’ve always been a fan of Murlo. Gemma is popping up lots on the dance scene and she’s got a lot of UKG influence as well!

Nour El Ein – Amr Diab 

A song from my childhood. A staple song from the 90s in Lebanon. There’s a video of me attempting to dance to this song when I was 3/4 years old and it remind me of my Teta because she loved this one.

Photo credit: Vicky Grout

Bklava’s ‘Back to Then’ is out today, August 14th, via Ministry of Sound Recordings.