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PinkPantheress
PinkPantheress in 2022
PinkPantheress in 2022
Background information
Birth nameVictoria Beverley Walker
Born (2001-04-18) 18 April 2001 (age 23)
Bath, Somerset, England
OriginKent, England
Genres
Occupations
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active2019–present
Labels
Websitepantheress.pink

Victoria Beverley Walker (born 18 April 2001), known professionally as PinkPantheress, is an English singer, songwriter, and record producer. Her songs, which are frequently short in length and include samples of music from the 1990s and 2000s, span a number of genres, including bedroom pop, drum and bass, alt-pop, and 2-step garage.

In 2021, while attending university in London, she posted several songs to TikTok that went viral, including "Break It Off", and she subsequently signed to Parlophone and Elektra Records. Her singles "Just for Me" and "Pain" from her debut mixtape To Hell with It (2021) peaked in the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart and were certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). She won BBC's Sound of 2022 poll and her 2022 single "Boy's a Liar" reached number two in the UK, while its 2023 remix with American rapper Ice Spice became her first entry on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number three. She released her debut album, Heaven Knows, in 2023.

Early life[edit]

Victoria Beverley Walker[1] was born on 18 April 2001[2] in Bath, Somerset,[3] to a Kenyan Luo mother from Kisumu,[4] who works as a carer, and an English father, who works as a statistics professor.[5][6][7] She has one older brother, who works as an audio engineer.[7] When she was five years old, her family moved from Bath to Canterbury, Kent, where she grew up.[7][8] Her father moved to the United States to work at a university in Austin, Texas, when she was 12 years old, while she and her mother stayed in England.[7]

Walker took piano lessons as a child, and, at age 12, sang "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King at a school talent show. When she was 14 years old, she became the lead singer in a rock band, which covered songs by My Chemical Romance, Paramore, and Green Day, and performed with them for the first time at a school fête.[5][8][9]

She studied film at the University of the Arts London until 2022, when she dropped out.[10][11]

Career[edit]

2019–2021: Career Beginnings and To Hell with It[edit]

Walker started writing music in high school to help a friend before eventually writing music on her own.[3] At age 17, she began using GarageBand to produce instrumentals for her friend, fellow singer Mazz, and she later used GarageBand to record many of her early songs while lying down in her university hall late at night.[10][12][13] She started uploading original songs of hers to SoundCloud as PinkPantheress, where they received little attention. After a video posted to her personal TikTok account in December 2020 received over 500,000 likes, she posted a snippet of her song "Just a Waste" as PinkPantheress later that month in the hopes of reaching a wider audience; the snippet soon went viral on the platform.[6][9][14]

PinkPantheress's songs "Break It Off" and "Pain" went viral on TikTok in early 2021, with the latter peaking at number 35 on the UK Singles Chart in August of that year.[10][15][16] She was signed to Parlophone in April 2021. In June 2021, she was featured on GoldLink's song "Evian" from his studio album Haram! and signed to Elektra Records.[17][18][19] After a snippet of her song "Just for Me" gained attention on TikTok, she released it in August 2021, along with a music video co-directed by her released the following month.[20] On the UK Singles Chart, Beginnings number 27, making it her highest entry on the UK Singles Chart at the time.[21][22] It earned PinkPantheress nominations for an iHeartRadio Music Award, an Ivor Novello Award, and two NME Awards.[23][24][25] In early October 2021, she announced the release date and title of her debut mixtape, To Hell with It, which was released on 15 October 2021 through Parlophone and Elektra Records and debuted at number 20 on the UK Albums Chart.[26][27] The mixtape was preceded by "Pain", "Break It Off", and "Just for Me" as singles, as well as "Passion", released in February 2021, and "I Must Apologise", released in October 2021.[28][29][30] PinkPantheress performed live for the first time in October and November 2021 in London.[31][32]

2022–present: Breakthrough and Heaven Knows[edit]

PinkPantheress standing with her hand on her hip while wearing a cropped black shirt and black
PinkPantheress at (Le) Poisson Rouge in 2022

In January 2022, PinkPantheress was announced as the winner of BBC's Sound of 2022 poll.[33] That same month, she released a remix album for To Hell with It.[34] She was nominated for the Brit Award for Song of the Year at the 42nd Brit Awards for "Obsessed With You" by Central Cee, which sampled her song "Just for Me", and gave a virtual performance on Roblox for the Brit Awards.[35][36][37] She appeared on the song "Bbycakes" with Mura Masa, Lil Uzi Vert, and Shygirl in February 2022, and released her song "Where You Are" featuring Willow in April 2022.[38][39] That same month, PinkPantheress went on a European tour in support of To Hell with It.[40] She was featured on "Tinkerbell is Overrated", a song from Beabadoobee's second album, Beatopia, released in July 2022.[41] She performed as an opening act on Halsey's Love and Power Tour throughout the spring of 2022 on the American leg.[42] In June 2022, she cancelled her scheduled appearance at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona due to hearing loss.[43]

PinkPantheress performing on the Capable of Love Tour in 2024

She released the single "Picture in My Mind" featuring Sam Gellaitry in August 2022.[44] Her extended play Take Me Home was released in December 2022, featuring the singles "Boy's a Liar" and "Do You Miss Me", both released a month prior, and the title track.[45][46][47] "Way Back", her collaborative single with Skrillex and Trippie Redd, was released in January 2023 and included on Skrillex's album Don't Get Too Close the following month.[48][49] In February 2023, she released a remix of "Boy's a Liar", "Boy's a Liar Pt. 2", with American rapper Ice Spice.[50] After becoming popular on TikTok, the remix debuted at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking her debut on the chart, and later peaked at number three.[51] It also peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart, where it became her highest-charting single.[43][52] It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), marking her first RIAA certification, and was nominated for two BET Awards, an MTV EMA, and a Streamy Award.[53][54][55][56][57] "Angel", her addition to the soundtrack for the Greta Gerwig–directed 2023 film Barbie, was released as a single in June 2023.[58] Her collaborative single "Turn Your Phone Off" with Destroy Lonely was released in July 2023, and she was featured alongside Hyunjin of the K-pop group Stray Kids on a remix of the Troye Sivan song "Rush" in August 2023.[59][60]

In October 2023, PinkPantheress announced her debut album, Heaven Knows, which was released on 10 November 2023.[61] The lead single from the album, "Mosquito", was released on 29 September, followed by the second single "Capable of Love" on 12 October.[62] That same month, she announced the Capable of Love Tour for the United Kingdom and Europe, spanning from February–April 2024,[63][64] with North American dates added later on in November. The North American leg, produced by Live Nation, will feature the American rappers and singers Bktherula and Kanii as openers at select cities.[65][66] She is scheduled to perform as an opener on Olivia Rodrigo's Guts World Tour in the summer of 2024.[67]

Artistry[edit]

Influences[edit]

PinkPantheress has called Paramore lead vocalist Hayley Williams (pictured) a "big influence" on her music and stated that she is "doing music because of [Williams]"

PinkPantheress's stage name was taken from her TikTok account of the same name, which was inspired by a question from the game show The Chase that asked "What is a female panther called?" and by The Pink Panther film series.[10][3] PinkPantheress has listed My Chemical Romance, Lily Allen, Just Jack, Michael Jackson,[68][69] Kaytranada,[8] Imogen Heap, Frank Ocean,[6] as inspirations, also citing K-pop songs, Blink-182, Good Charlotte, Green Day, early Panic! at the Disco, Linkin Park, and Frou Frou as inspirations for her melodies and beat choices.[12] She has called Hayley Williams a "big influence" on her as a performer and said that she first wanted to become a professional musician when she was 14 years old after seeing Williams perform as part of Paramore during Reading Festival and that she is "doing music because of [Williams]".[10][70][71][72] She has also stated that she was inspired by an interview with Doja Cat to pursue music as a career, and was inspired to post her songs on TikTok by Lil Nas X.[8]

Musical style[edit]

PinkPantheress's music has been described as pop,[73] bedroom pop,[74][28] dance,[29] alt-pop,[75][76] drum and bass,[19] 2-step,[77] jungle, and hyperpop,[10] and often uses samples of other songs, such as dance music from the 1990s and 2000s and jungle, funk, UK garage, and pop songs.[70][78][79] PinkPantheress uses topline writing to write her songs, which are frequently self-produced and short in length.[17][80] She has described her own music as alt-pop and "a form of D'n'B that's acceptable to listen to at home",[7] and has stated that she writes "sadder", "dark" lyrics to "appeal to the youth",[81] often to contrast them with her "happy instrumentals".[82] PinkPantheress has said that her lyrics are usually not based on personal experiences, stating, "A lot of it just comes because I really like storytelling."[9]

NPR's Vanessa Handy called breakbeat loops a "signature of [PinkPantheress's] work",[83] while Kieran Press-Reynolds of Insider also wrote that her songs regularly have "fast-paced breakbeats" and "ASMR-like refrains".[84] Rolling Stone's Keegan Brady described PinkPantheress's music as "alt-girl rap" and wrote that she uses "confessional, almost treacly rap-singing" and "dated production technology" in her songs which "tap[s] into a deeply nostalgic sound that conjures the height of Nineties U.K. culture".[79] DIY's Georgia Evans called her "DIY aesthetic that started as GarageBand experimentation" a signature of her music.[69]

The Guardian's Michael Cragg described PinkPantheress's vocals as "sweet but unsettling",[73] while Jon Caramanica of The New York Times wrote that she "sounds like she's flirting and aching all at once."[85] Cat Zhang of Pitchfork called PinkPantheress's voice "angelic", "girlish", and "slight" and wrote that she was "one of the rare TikTok artists whose internet fame seems proportional to their potential".[78] Felicity Martin of Dazed called her lyrics "sad" and "wistful".[12] Writing for Nylon, Steffanee Wang called her music "a collage of sounds that fell [sic] simultaneously dated and contemporary", adding that listening to it "feels like being on the internet before social media was a thing".[86] Insider's Kieran Press-Reynolds wrote that PinkPantheress gave up-tempo electronic music genres like drum and bass an "introspective, romantic bedroom sound" with her "hushed" vocals.[84]

Personal life[edit]

Walker has discussed experiencing body dysmorphia from a young age.[45] She also suffers from gradual hearing loss from exposure to loud music and microphone feedback. She reported being 80% deaf in her right ear in 2022.[43][87] Walker revealed her medical condition while appearing on The Louis Theroux Podcast. Walker's hearing has been altered: "[V]oices now sound mostly like bass ... due to the damage."[88] She states that the damage began with early noticeable signs of tinnitus, or the sensation of ringing sounds in the ear.[88]

As a producer, Walker is not stopped by the condition, though it has made her role as someone who listens to and crafts sound-as-music more difficult. "To state the obvious, making music has gotten harder ... But I honestly did all my mourning already."[43]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

Mixtapes

Awards and nominations[edit]

List of awards and nominations, with award, year, category, nominated work, result, and reference shown
Award Year Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
BBC Sound of... 2022 BBC Sound of 2022 Herself Won [71]
BET Awards 2023 Best Collaboration "Boy's a Liar Pt. 2" (with Ice Spice) Nominated [89]
BET Her Award Nominated
Billboard Women in Music 2024 Producer of the Year Herself Won [90]
Brit Awards 2022 Song of the Year "Obsessed With You" Nominated [35][36]
2024 "Boy's a Liar" Nominated [91]
Best New Artist Herself Nominated
Gold Derby Music Awards 2024 Album of the Year Barbie: The Album Nominated [92]
Best Pop Album Nominated
Best New Artist Herself Nominated
Best Collaboration "Boy's a Liar Pt. 2" (with Ice Spice) Nominated
Ivor Novello Awards 2022 Rising Star Award Herself Nominated [93]
Best Contemporary Song "Just for Me"
iHeartRadio Music Awards 2022 TikTok Bop of the Year [94]
2024 "Boy's a Liar Pt. 2" (with Ice Spice) Nominated [95]
Best Collaboration Nominated
MOBO Awards 2022 Best Female Act Herself Won [96]
2023 Nominated [97]
Best Electronic/Dance Act Nominated
Song of the Year "Boy's a Liar Pt. 2" (with Ice Spice) Nominated
MTV Europe Music Awards 2023 Best Collaboration Nominated [56]
Best New Act Herself Nominated
Best UK & Ireland Act Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards 2023 Best New Artist Nominated [98]
NME Awards 2022 Best Song in the World "Just for Me" Nominated [99]
Best Song by a UK Artist
Best Mixtape To Hell with It
Streamy Awards 2023 Sound of the Year "Boy's a Liar Pt. 2" (with Ice Spice) Nominated [57]
Soul Train Music Awards 2023 Video of the Year Nominated [100]

Tours[edit]

Headlining

  • United Kingdom & E.U. Tour (2022)
  • Pink Across America Tour (2022)
  • PinkPantheress Down Under Tour (2023)
  • The Capable of Love Tour (2024)

Opening act

References[edit]

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