BINX is an artist who is based in New York and has such a positive attitude that is seriously contagious. Her new album, Buzzed, launched in September 2017 and 3% of the album’s sales is going towards Environment New York to help save the bees. I got to chat with BINX about what got her into music, her new album Buzzed, and more.
TYF: How did you get into music? Was there a particular moment in your life when you decided you wanted to pursue music?
BINX: I’ve always wanted to pursue music, no one ever asked me – we just knew! The first song I ever sang was “Ruby Tuesday” by The Rolling Stones when I was two with few teeth and from then on, I was entering every singing competition I could get my hands on and writing music from the age of seven.
TYF: I read that you grew up in South Africa. What was your upbringing like and was your family supportive when you told them you wanted to pursue music?
BINX: I had the most amazing childhood. It included capturing and releasing bees, play dates on farms, and weekly parties with family and friends to entertain ourselves in our small, simple snowy hometown.
South Africa and my ambitious family really shaped who I am today. Everyone supported me and believed in me ever since I saw Britney Spears’ music video for “Hit Me Baby One More Time” when I told them I was going to do exactly what she’s doing.
TYF: That’s awesome to hear! I also later read that you were discovered by a Sony Music scout. What was the story behind this? How did they discover you?
BINX: We had connected online when I was still in South Africa and then met up in New York. He loved my music and image and took me under his wing and helped connect me to different people, record new music and advise me on the music industry.
TYF: After you were discovered, you then packed your bags and moved to New York. Why did you decide to move to New York and not to a city like Los Angeles?
BINX: The plan was always Los Angeles, but I was au pairing in New York and I fell in love with the city and stayed longer than I thought. I fit well with the fast-paced, and colorful lifestyle of NY but I am now moving to Los Angeles in January 2018!
TYF: Did you experience any culture shock when you moved from South Africa to New York? Has the move and those collective experiences transpired into your music in any way?
BINX: Yes, I definitely felt culture shock, including the food, the way people are raised etc. However, because we are so Americanized in South Africa, I was almost more familiar with the United States because of TV and the media.
New York and LA are competitive cities and people often lose themselves and their dreams. It only makes me want to hold onto my dreams longer and to also represent what South Africa has to offer in the U.S.
TYF: Before we jump into your new music, let’s rewind for a minute. Tell us a little bit about what it was like putting together your debut EP, The African Bee?
BINX: “The African Bee” was my alter ego debut. A wide-eyed, feel-good album about pursuing dreams, falling in love and being African. I have always wanted to put out an album. I got to co-write with Kinetics on “Headlights” and my song, “Radiohead” went to Number 1 on a South African radio chart. I loved working with my producer for this album, he really understood my sound and I finally had something tangible for people to listen to.
TYF: Why did you decide to title it, The African Bee?
BINX: “The African Bee” is my alter ego; it represents that I am from South Africa and my spirit animal, The Bee. I dressed like a bumblebee around New York City to brand and market myself to get audiences to pay attention to those lengthy open mics. People started to recognize me and therefore ended up calling me “That South African Bee.”
TYF: Do you ever look back and listen to your old music and want to change something? Whether it be how you put together a song or a song’s lyrics, etc.
BINX: Usually, when I write a song, the lyrics will constantly keep changing up until the day I record them, even if it’s just one word or an entire line or verse. But once it’s recorded I have never really thought to change anything. It’s a masterpiece in my eyes; flaws and all.
TYF: Now let’s bring it to current day. You released a new album in September titled, Buzzed. How does the tone differ in this album in comparison to your EP?
BINX: The tone of Buzzed is exceptionally emotional. Both albums are empowering. But Buzzed speaks about much heartbreak. Both romantically and mourning a loss. It also sings about friendship and being Best Dressed when in love.
TYF: Has your writing process changed at all when you were writing the songs for the album versus when you were writing the songs in your EP?
BINX: The process is generally the same, where I get the melody first and then focus on really poetic writing with hidden meanings. However, the emotional state I was in while writing most of Buzzed was very different.
TYF: What will fans hear off of the new album that they never heard before?
BINX: They will hear a more vulnerable, open side to me. Hearing me when I was most troubled.
TYF: What was the last song that made it on the album and can you tell us the story behind that track?
BINX: “Paradise” was only supposed to be released as a single and not included on the album. The only reason I included it was because a friend of mine wanted to have all of my songs on one disk to play in their car!
TYF: What inspired you to have 3% of your album sales go towards Environment New York to help save the bees?
BINX: Since bees are a massive part of my life and my good omen, I wanted to give back and help save our Earth. My dad and I had been discussing doing it for quite some time. Plus if the bees don’t exist, neither would we!
TYF: Within the first week of the release of “Feels So Good,” the song was on the Itunes U.S Top 100 and the American Top 40 charts playlist on Spotify. In addition, your song “Paradise” has even gone viral on Soundcloud overnight. What was your reaction when you heard the news?
BINX: Overjoyed that the song was so well received! Waking up to find a song of yours reach thousands of plays overnight is beyond exciting. It’s so unexpected and heartwarming.
TYF: Lastly, with the new year upon us, what is next for you? Will you be going on tour anytime soon?
BINX: At the start of the new year, I will be moving from New York to Los Angeles and I am planning on releasing music as soon as possible in February.
You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @binxofficial and you can visit her website here.