|Birth name||Anita Blay|
|Also known as||thecocknbullkid|
|Born||1985/1986 (age 30–31)|
|Origin||Hackney, London, England|
Anita Blay, better 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. She has released music as part of the duo Antony and Cleopatra since 2014.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Artistry
- 4 Discography
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Blay was born in Clapton, east 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.
2008–09: Early releases
Blay 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 [sic], 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 debut 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. She toured Germany with Vice magazine's Vice Live tour in late 2008. 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. Following Blay's appearance at the American music festival SXSW, her debut 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. Also in 2009, Blay appeared alongside Alessi's Ark, Micachu, Roisin Murphy, and Sinead O'Connor on a cover of Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman", a charity single released to support ActionAid.
Blay was expected to release a full-length album in 2009, with production from Blue May, Dave McCracken, Joseph Mount (of Metronomy), and Mark-Anthony Tieku. By 2010, Blay said she had scrapped the album's original sound; in 2011, a 12-track album from the initial recording sessions titled Adolescence leaked onto the Internet, and Blay actively encouraged her fans to download it.
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. 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' solo album Cinderella's Eyes (2011), but her tracks did not make the final cut of the album.
2012–present: Antony and Cleopatra
Blay recorded "Doing It Wrong", the theme tune for the BBC Three television series Some Girls, which premiered in 2012. The same year she featured on Niyi's "Ur No Good" and the single "Never Let Go" by Rowdy Superstar, with whom she formed a side project called X&Y. She co-wrote girl group Neon Jungle's 2013 debut single, "Trouble", which reached the top 20 on the UK Singles Chart.
Blay 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 soon to follow. Another single was released afterwards entitled "Take Me". Blay has also been working on a second solo album, according to her publisher Downtown Music Publishing. In 2015, Blay (credited as CocknBullKid) was featured on the Boxed In track "Lo Life". The duo got together again to form their third single and first single of 2016, entitled "Love Is A Lonely Dancer", which was debuted on SoundCloud.
In April 2016, Blay's songwriting collaboration with Little Mix on their song "Hair", released from their 2015 album Get Weird, was released as an official single, featuring vocals from Sean Paul, and is classed as the biggest and most successful songwriting collaboration that Blay has took part in so far in her music career.
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||N/A|
|"I'm Not Sorry"||2009||Querelle|
|"One Eye Closed"||2010||Adulthood|
|"Hold On to Your Misery"||2011|
as Antony & Cleopatra
|"Love Is A Lonely Dancer"||2016||TBA|
|2009||"I'm Every Woman"
(Alessi's Ark, thecocknbullkid, Micachu, Roisin Murphy, and Sinead O'Connor)
|2010||"Anywhere You Looked" (CockNBullKid remix)
(Au Revoir Simone)
(Black Devil Disco Club featuring CocknBullKid)
(The Shoes featuring CocknBullKid)
|Crack My Bones|
|"Dancing with the Devil" (Shoes remix)
(Wolf Gang featuring CocknBullKid + Mz. Bratt)
|2012||"Never Let Go"
(Rowdy Superstar featuring CocknBullKid)
|"Ur No Good"
(Niyi featuring CocknBullKid)
|Great Britain: The Best of 2005–2012|
(Boxed In featuring CocknBullKid)
|"Trouble"||2013||Neon Jungle||Welcome to the Jungle|
|"Future X Girl"||2014|
|"Right Beside You"||The Dealer||N/A|
|"Hair"||Little Mix||Get Weird|
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