Following on from their last single, the anthemic ‘Str8 Acting’, Lynks Afrikka rather aptly released their latest track ‘On Trend’ on 31st October last week. Confronting the very real fears of climate emergency, which certainly surpass any kind of Halloween-related scares, the avant-garde performance artist and musician offers astute commentary in their idiosyncratically charismatic and humorous way. We caught up with the enigmatic masked talent to find out about five influential tracks.

An amalgamation of gurgling, pulsating beats, Lynks’ distinctive, theatrical vocal delivery and a meditation interlude, ‘On Trend’ is tense throughout as Lynks Afrikka’s industrial sounds create a claustrophobic intensity that never quite reaches resolve. Yet the characteristic playfulness and darkly comedic essence are still very much entwined in the song. Speaking on the track Elliot Brett, aka the creative genius behind Lynks Afrikka, expresses “Like most other artists, I’m sure, I always use writing and comedy as a kind of therapy. This track was my way of making sense of all this unavoidable fucking existential anxiety and the lose-lose situation we’re forced to live in. It’s funny, it’s a banger, but that fear and exhaustion you hear in my voice at the end is 100% real”.

Today they release the visual accompaniment, which you can check out right here. If this is the first you’ve heard of Lynks Afrikka, then rest assured you’ll be hearing plenty more from the effervescent, industrial drag-art provocateur soon. Definitely an artist we’re keeping a close eye on, delve into the world of Lynks Afrikka with this TED talk-come-music video.

With ‘On Trend’ out now, get to know Lynks Afrikka In Five…

Flight of the Conchords – Inner City Pressure

We played Flight of the Conchords in every car journey for about two years when I was a bab. Me and my brother knew every track off by heart. Now that I’m an educated and wildly successful musician, I understand that this track is a parody of West End Girls by The Pet Shop Boys but when I was younger I hadn’t quite put that together yet. I just thought it was very funny.

Robyn – Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do

This song has such a genius concept – it’s like Radiohead’s ‘Fitter Happier’ turned into a club banger. I got very obsessed with Robyn’s Body Talk after it came out. I felt pretty embarrassed about it just because it was so poppy and pop wasn’t cool yet. Robyn played at Latitude festival when I was about 16 and I went to see her on my own while everyone else watched Damon Albarn do his shitty solo material. A very good decision.

M.I.A. – 10 Dollar

M.I.A.’s debut album ‘Arular’ is easily my favourite dance music record. It somehow manages to be political, catchy and completely original all at the same time. Where else are you going to find a Diplo-produced song about Stockholm syndrome? Nowhere. It’s 14 years old and still sounds completely fresh. If I’m ever looking for beat inspiration I go to this album. Choosing between this, ‘Bucky Done Gun’ and ‘Pull Up the People’ was a nightmare.

Shamir – Make a Scene

Shamelessly joyful and unapologetically queer. Shamir’s debut album was kinda hit-or-miss but when it hit it was so so brilliant. I think it was refreshing to see an openly queer artist making pop music that was properly new and exciting. It felt like that hadn’t happened in a while. The crunchy-ness of the synths, the wacky analog effects, Shamir’s femme rapping – it’s so strange, but so good.

Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian at Best

Is she singing? Is she rapping? Is it spoken word? I don’t know, but before I started Lynks Afrikka I’d only ever sung and I knew that straight up singing wouldn’t really make sense with the act. I was also kinda reluctant to properly rap because I didn’t wanna be some white guy in drag trying to rap – that just seemed a bit cringey. But then I listened to Courtney Barnett (and LCD Soundsystem actually, but there’s only 5 tracks) and they just speak over the song – genius! So I decided to do that, and now here we are.

Lynks Afrikka plays Peckham Audio this Saturday (9th) for CALM’s fundraiser tickets available on Dice.

They also play the George Tavern on December 3rd. 

Photo credit: Holly Whitaker