|Birth name||Anita Blay|
|Also known as||thecocknbullkid|
|Born||1985/1986 (age 29–30)|
|Origin||Hackney, London, United Kingdom|
|Genres||Pop, electropop, deep house|
|Labels||Moshi Moshi, Island, Iamsound|
|Associated acts||Antony and Cleopatra|
Anita Blay, best known by her stage name CocknBullKid (previously thecocknbullkid), is an English singer and songwriter. She released her debut single in 2008 and her debut album, Adulthood, in 2011.
Blay was born in Clapton[disambiguation needed], London to Ghanaian parents and raised in the city's Hackney area. Her mother left the family when she was 12 years old. She cultivated an interest in music as a teenager, songwriting with rapper Plan B at a youth placement scheme when she was 16. She completed A-levels in English, sociology and theology. Blay took a series of day jobs in her late teens, including one at Southwark Council, but found full-time employment incompatible with her lifestyle and decided to pursue music professionally. She adopted the stage name thecocknbullkid, explaining: "Initially I just liked the way it sounded—it gave me aural satisfaction. Then I liked the idea of calling myself a bulls**tter, it's all a bit tongue-in-cheek." She began uploading material to her MySpace profile and networked with music producers, live promoters and managers.
Blay released her début single, "On My Own", in April 2008, followed by performances at the Glastonbury Festival and on the TV programme Later... with Jools Holland later in the year. Her second single, "I'm Not Sorry" was released in March 2009, and by May 2009, she had signed to Moshi Moshi through Island Records. Blay's first EP, Querelle, was released in the US via Iamsound Records in August 2009 to positive reviews from Prefix and Spin magazines. To mark the EP's release, Blay issued a free mixtape featuring her own tracks alongside songs by artists including Late of the Pier and Diana Ross.
Blay announced the change of her stage name to CocknBullKid in June 2010 and released the song "CocknBullKid" as a free download. Her first single with Moshi Moshi/Island, "One Eye Closed", was released in November 2010, and she opened for Marina and the Diamonds and Kele on their respective tours in October and November. The follow-up single, "Hold On to Your Misery", was released in January 2011, and third single "Asthma Attack" followed in April 2011. These releases preceded her debut album, Adulthood, which was recorded in London, Paris and Stockholm with production from Liam Howe, and includes contributions from Gonzales, Peter Morén (of Peter Bjorn and John), and Joseph Mount (of Metronomy). It was released in April 2011, and a fourth and final single, "Yellow", was issued in August 2011. Spin magazine and The Guardian 's Michael Cragg named Adulthood one of the best albums of the year.
Blay promoted Adulthood with support slots on UK tours by Janelle Monáe (from February 2011), Duran Duran (May 2011), and Patrick Wolf (October and November 2011). She collaborated with several other artists during 2011; featuring on the track "In Doubt" by Black Devil Disco Club, and on The Shoes' song "Cliché" (from their album Crack My Bones) and their remix of Wolf Gang's "Dancing with the Devil" (alongside Mz. Bratt). Blay co-wrote material for Nicola Roberts' album Cinderella's Eyes (released in September 2011), but her tracks did not make the final cut of the album. In December 2011, Blay actively encouraged her fans to download Adolescence, the original incarnation of her own debut album that had leaked onto the internet.
Blay recorded "Doing It Wrong", the theme tune for the BBC Three television series Some Girls, which premiered in 2012. She co-wrote girl group Neon Jungle's 2013 debut single, "Trouble", which reached the top 20 on the UK Singles Chart. She and Alex Burnett (of Australian band Arkadia) formed a deep house duo called Antony and Cleopatra, who featured on three singles in 2014: Lancelot's "Givin' It Up", Beni's "Protect", and Sammy Bananas' "Money Time". Their debut single as lead artists, "Sirens", was released in 2015, and an album is to follow later in the year. Blay has also been working on a second solo album, according to her publisher Downtown Music Publishing.
Blay's work encompasses a number of influences including such disparate talents as Björk, Celine Dion, Morrissey and synthpop acts, including The Human League and The Knife. BBC 6Music DJ Lauren Laverne has described Blay as "a latter-day Morrissey—or even a British Kelis". Her visual imagery has been inspired by Mexican folk art and colours prominent in South American culture, and she wears a bespoke headress for her live performances adorned with fairly lights, peace symbols, and skulls.
- thecocknbullkid (2009)
|"On My Own"||2008||Single-only release|
|"I'm Not Sorry"||2009||Querelle|
|"One Eye Closed"||2010||Adulthood|
|"Hold On to Your Misery"||2011|
- "Paul Lester meets thecocknbullkid". London: Guardian.co.uk. 2 January 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "thecocknbullkid A no nonsense pop star". London: Independent.co.uk. 1 May 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- Stacey Anderson, "Reviews (Albums) - thecocknbullkid - Querelle", Spin, October 2009, pg. 88.
- "CockNBullKid Announces New Single". Glasswerk.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "UK ALBUM RELEASE DATE | Blog | The Official CocknBullKid Website". Cocknbullkid.com. Retrieved 2011-12-31.