CocknBullKid

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CocknBullKid
Birth name Anita Blay
Also known as thecocknbullkid
Born 1985/1986 (age 30–31)[1]
Origin Hackney, London, England
Genres
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter
Years active 2008–present
Labels
Associated acts
  • Antony and Cleopatra
  • X&Y

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.

Early life[edit]

Blay was born in Clapton, east London to Ghanaian parents and raised in the city's Hackney area.[2][3] Her mother left the family when she was 12 years old.[1] 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.[1] 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.[1]

Career[edit]

2008–09: Early releases[edit]

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."[4] She began uploading material to her MySpace profile and networked with music producers, live promoters and managers.[5]

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.[6] She toured Germany with Vice magazine's Vice Live tour in late 2008.[7] 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.[4][6] 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.[8][9][10] 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.[11][12] 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.[13][14]

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.[15][16][17] By 2010, Blay said she had scrapped the album's original sound;[18] 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.[19][20]

2010–11: Adulthood[edit]

Blay announced the change of her stage name to CocknBullKid in June 2010 and released the song "CocknBullKid" as a free download.[21] 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.[22][23] 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.[24][25]

Blay promoted Adulthood with support slots on UK tours by Janelle Monáe (from February 2011),[26] Duran Duran (May 2011),[27] and Patrick Wolf (October and November 2011).[28] 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),[29][30] but her tracks did not make the final cut of the album.

2012–present: Antony and Cleopatra[edit]

Blay recorded "Doing It Wrong", the theme tune for the BBC Three television series Some Girls, which premiered in 2012.[31] 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.[32][33] She co-wrote girl group Neon Jungle's 2013 debut single, "Trouble", which reached the top 20 on the UK Singles Chart.[34]

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".[35][36][37] Their debut single as lead artists, "Sirens", was released in 2015, and an album is soon to follow.[38][39] 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.[40] In 2015, Blay (credited as CocknBullKid) was featured on the Boxed In track "Lo Life".[41] 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.

Artistry[edit]

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.[1][6][42] BBC 6Music DJ Lauren Laverne has described Blay as "a latter-day Morrissey—or even a British Kelis".[43] Her visual imagery has been inspired by Mexican folk art and colours prominent in South American culture,[44] and she wears a bespoke headress for her live performances adorned with fairly lights, peace symbols, and skulls.[45]

American singer Shamir has cited CocknBullKid as one of his major influences, and had himself tattooed with a lyric from "Hold On to Your Misery".[46][47]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details
Adulthood

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details
Querelle
  • Released: 4 August 2009
  • Format: CD, digital download
  • Label: Iamsound

Mixtapes[edit]

  • thecocknbullkid (2009)

Singles[edit]

as herself[edit]

List of singles
Title Year Album
"On My Own" 2008 N/A
"I'm Not Sorry" 2009 Querelle
"One Eye Closed" 2010 Adulthood
"Hold On to Your Misery" 2011
"Asthma Attack"
"Yellow"

as Antony & Cleopatra[edit]

List of singles
Title Year Album
"Sirens" 2015 TBA
"Take Me" TBA
"Love Is A Lonely Dancer" 2016 TBA

Guest appearances[edit]

Year Song Album
2009 "I'm Every Woman"
(Alessi's Ark, thecocknbullkid, Micachu, Roisin Murphy, and Sinead O'Connor)
N/A
2010 "Anywhere You Looked" (CockNBullKid remix)
(Au Revoir Simone)
Night Light
2011 "In Doubt"
(Black Devil Disco Club featuring CocknBullKid)
Circus
"Cliché"
(The Shoes featuring CocknBullKid)
Crack My Bones
"Dancing with the Devil" (Shoes remix)
(Wolf Gang featuring CocknBullKid + Mz. Bratt)
N/A
2012 "Never Let Go"
(Rowdy Superstar featuring CocknBullKid)
Battery
"Ur No Good"
(Niyi featuring CocknBullKid)
Great Britain: The Best of 2005–2012
2015 "Lo Life"
(Boxed In featuring CocknBullKid)
Boxed In

Songwriting[edit]

Title Year Artist(s) Album
"Budbäraren" 2012 Peter Morén Pyramiden
"Trouble" 2013 Neon Jungle Welcome to the Jungle
"Future X Girl" 2014
"London Rain"
"Right Beside You" The Dealer N/A
"Home" 2015 Blue Colours
"Hair" Little Mix Get Weird

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Paul Lester meets thecocknbullkid". London: Guardian.co.uk. 2 January 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  2. ^ "News, comment and reviews from the Hackney Citizen - hackneycitizen.co.uk". Hackney Citizen. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Stool Pigeon » Maintenance Mode". thestoolpigeon.co.uk. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Thecocknbullkid". Digital Spy. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  5. ^ PopCultureMonster. "The Cocknbullkid Interview". Pop Culture Monster. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c "thecocknbullkid A no nonsense pop star". London: Independent.co.uk. 1 May 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  7. ^ "Gewinnt Tickets für die Vice Live Tour". iHeartBerlin.de. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "SXSW Confirms More Bands, Some Of Them Good". magnetmagazine.com. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Album Review: thecocknbullkid - Querelle". Prefixmag. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  10. ^ Stacey Anderson, "Reviews (Albums) - thecocknbullkid - Querelle", Spin, October 2009, pg. 88.
  11. ^ "Thecocknbullkid mixtape and Esser remix". Nialler9. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "AltSounds - The Best New Music Videos In The World". AltSounds. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Rainworks Omnimedia - Transformative museum experiences that educate and inspire.". rainworksomnimedia.com. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  14. ^ BBC. "BBC - 6 Music - Roisin's charity cover". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  15. ^ BBC. "BBC - 6 Music - In the studio with...". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Eat Your Own Ears THECOCKNBULLKID - Eat Your Own Ears". eatyourownears.com. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "thecocknbullkid Single Release". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  18. ^ Michael Cragg. "A year in the life of our Buzz Graph". the Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  19. ^ Michael Cragg. "New music: festive freebies reviewed". the Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  20. ^ "Free album: CocknBullKid - Adolescence • Nialler9". Nialler9. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  21. ^ "Cocknbullkid". Digital Spy. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  22. ^ "CocknBullKid // New Single & Live Dates". The 405. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  23. ^ "CockNBullKid Announces New Single". Glasswerk.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  24. ^ "SPIN's 20 Best Pop Albums of 2011". Spin. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  25. ^ Guardian music. "Best albums of 2011: how Guardian critics voted". the Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  26. ^ "Latest Music News, Charts, Playlists and Videos". MTV UK. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  27. ^ "Duran Duran Cocknbullkid to Open for Duran Duran in the UK! - Duran Duran". Duran Duran. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  28. ^ "Patrick Wolf + CocknBullKid". Roundhouse. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  29. ^ "Superfast 4G Phones & Fibre Broadband UK - 4GEE Mobile Network - EE". EE. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  30. ^ "First & Last: Cocknbullkid / DIY". DIY. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  31. ^ "BBC Three - Some Girls, Series 1, Some Girls: "Doing it Wrong"". BBC. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  32. ^ "ROWDY SUPERST*R // 'Never Let Go' Single // Olugbenga & Barbara Panther Remixes". bangonpr.com. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  33. ^ Dazed. "Rowdy Superstar Exclusive Mix". Dazed. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  34. ^ "Neon Jungle". MTV Artists. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  35. ^ "LANCELOT FEAT. ANTONY & CLEOPATRA 'GIVIN' IT UP': "VIBRANT SLICE OF CONTEMPORARY HOUSE MUSIC"". famemagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  36. ^ "Beni: "Protect" (feat. Antony & Cleopatra) «  La.Ga.Sta.". lagasta.com. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  37. ^ "Money Time feat. Antony & Cleopatra - FOOL'S GOLD". foolsgoldrecs.com. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  38. ^ "Get To Know: Antony & Cleopatra". HUNGER TV. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  39. ^ "Antony & Cleopatra 'Sirens' - Purple Sneakers". Purple Sneakers. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  40. ^ http://www.dmpgroup.com/artist/anita-blay/
  41. ^ James Appleyard (13 January 2015). "Boxed In by Boxed In - Album Review - The Line Of Best Fit". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  42. ^ "Amelia's Magazine - An interview with CocknBullKid on the release of new album Adulthood". ameliasmagazine.com. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  43. ^ "New talent: Lauren Laverne on thecocknbullkid". Time Out London. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  44. ^ "Island Records - CocknBullKid - RE:SYSTEMS". re-systems.co.uk. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  45. ^ metrowebukmetro. "CocknBullKid: I exorcised a lot of demons making very personal songs". Metro. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  46. ^ http://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/blog/shamir-interview-2015
  47. ^ http://www.glamcult.com/#!/14784/Interview:_Shamir.html
  48. ^ "UK ALBUM RELEASE DATE | Blog | The Official CocknBullKid Website". Cocknbullkid.com. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 

External links[edit]