Gaika (musician)

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GAIKA at Somerset House, August 2018
GAIKA at Somerset House, August 2018
Background information
Birth nameGaika Tavares
BornBrixton, London, England
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • rapper

Gaika Tavares, better known simply as GAIKA, is a British artist and writer from South London. His debut album, Basic Volume, was released in July 2018 by Warp Records, who describe the sound as "gothic dancehall and industrial electronics".[2]

Early life[edit]

Gaika's parents came from Grenada and Jamaica, and he grew up in Brixton, South London. He was previously a part of Manchester rap crew Murkage.[3]

Music career[edit]

Following the mixtapes Machine and Security, Gaika released the EP Spaghetto in 2016.[4][5] The Guardian described his music as blending "Caribbean dancehall tradition and London grime but also nod to R&B, trip-hop, grunge and Prince."[3] Dazed have described him as "electronic music's answer to Basquiat",[6] while US magazine Interview described the sound as "experimental R&B".[7] GAIKA himself has described his sound using the word "Ghettofuturism".[8]

GAIKA's debut album Basic Volume was released in July 2018. The Guardian praised the album as "a terrifically impressive and populist debut".[9] The album also received positive reviews from the Financial Times,[10]The Independent,[11] Noisey[12] and Music OMH.[13]

In August 2018, Gaika exhibited SYSTEM, a collaboration with Boiler Room and Somerset House Studios, "a sculpture which fills the middle portion of the Lancaster Room at Somerset House."[14][15] He told the Evening Standard that "Carnival and sound system culture is about space, and holding space. It’s about literally drawing a line in the sand and saying: ‘This is who we are and we’re here to stay. You can’t turn us off’."[14]

Personal life[edit]

Writing for Dazed magazine in June 2018, GAIKA criticised the Metropolitan Police's decision to crack down on Drill music, saying: "Drill is the product of a looted world that wasn’t designed with us in mind, the result of much more than just a few angry kids on estates, it’s the result of centuries of reality."[16] GAIKA has also discussed the ways in which the Notting Hill Carnival is presented by the press, while its cultural significance is overlooked.[17]

Gaika has also written fiction for Dazed.[18]


  1. ^ "Gaika: Basic Volume review – downbeat articulacy". The Guardian. July 29, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  2. ^ "Gaika announces debut album, Basic Volume, for Warp". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  3. ^ a b Considine, Clare (2016-03-11). "Gaika: 'If you're a black guy you're supposed to make grime, reggae or coffee-table music'". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  4. ^ "GAIKA surprise-releases SPAGHETTO EP on Warp". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  5. ^ "Warp turns the gothic dancehall knob to 11, announces debut album by Gaika, Basic Volume". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  6. ^ Dazed (2015-11-16). "Meet Gaika, electronic music's answer to Basquiat". Dazed. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  7. ^ "GAIKA's U.S. Debut - Interview Magazine". Interview Magazine. 2016-05-31. Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  8. ^ "GAIKA announces debut album, shares "Crown & Key" video". The FADER. Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  9. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (2018-07-27). "Gaika: Basic Volume review – gripping new voice of British rap". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  10. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  11. ^ "Album reviews this week: Gaika, Daughtry, Israel Nash and more". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  12. ^ "GAIKA's Revolutionary Music Could Change Everything". Noisey. 2018-08-16. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  13. ^ "Gaika - Basic Volume | Albums | musicOMH". musicOMH. 2018-07-25. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  14. ^ a b "GAIKA says Met Commissioner Cressida Dick 'can do one'". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  15. ^ "These Artists Are Battling the Dilution of Caribbean Sound System Culture". Noisey. 2018-08-21. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  16. ^ Dazed (2018-06-18). "It's no surprise that drill reflects young black men's reality". Dazed. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  17. ^ "The political significance of Carnival, according to GAIKA". The FADER. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  18. ^ Dazed (2017-09-28). "The Spectacular Empire – a future imagined by GAIKA". Dazed. Retrieved 2018-06-22.