The underground star talks new ep “Ecdysis”, discovering their identity and how they already has another EP ready to go.
Friday means new music, and blessing us with their dreamy debut EP is newcomer BEBELUNA with “Ecdysis”. Showcasing a collection of synth-tinged bedroom pop tunes, BEBELUNA take us an eccentric journey full of woozy guitar melodies, smooth vocals and stellar productions. Pulling inspiration from the world around them, the singer has created a body of work all about milestones and coming of age, with relatable lyricism and therapeutic moments at the forefront of this project.
Speaking on the release, the singer said, “When we’re 18 we think we have a realised perception of who we will continue to be throughout this life, but quickly realise in our 20s that this isn’t the case and we will continue to shed. In some cases, this causes people to spiral or fall into a depression, which I think is a vital and beautiful part of life. Growing pains and all.”
Born into a family of Somalian immigrants, BEBELUNA felt the pressures of a deeply religious household, leading them to leave and find refuge in the underground music scene, coming up with the likes of Lava La Rue and Taliable. With an exciting future ahead of the star, we caught up with the rising newcomer talking their debut EP, their heritage and how they already has another EP lined up.
Check out the EP below…
Hi Bebeluna, how has lockdown been treating you?
There’s a lot of layers to this, it’s been a universally traumatic time, especially for black folks. To avoid a slump I’ve been empowering my thoughts with black activist books/documentaries. The key to dismantling the systems that oppress is to educate yourself on how they came to fruition, being aware of the current state of the world as well as the past can help us fight this fight. Other than that, lockdown gave me the time, energy and fire to finish projects I started last year. I also love staying at home, avoiding human contact and gaming so it was a pretty good time.
How has it impacted your music and creativity?
It’s honestly made me more of a workaholic. It’s easy to come up with ideas and then dismiss the work that has to be done after that because of events / social gatherings. Lockdown made me sit there and finish my projects, grow internally and made me realise who I wanted to be artistically.
How has your Somalian heritage influenced you sonically?
Somali music always holds a story, and my ancestors were poets, that’s something that I will forever try to bring forth in my music. More specifically my household listened to an array of genres which exposed me to a lot of different styles at a young age. Somalis are also some of the funniest people I have ever met, which has thankfully taught me to not take myself too seriously, adding some comedy to my music.
Where are the most unusual places you pull musical inspiration from?
I honestly talk so much shit, I can be playing left 4 dead 2 with my homie and then say something in a certain way that will, later on, become a whole song. My favourite place I pulled inspiration from though, was when I was working at this restaurant where the manager was this really short, fake nice, gentrifier. This one time she asked me to get something from a high shelf bearing in mind, I’m pretty short myself. But that ego boost I received was the foundation of one of my best songs (in my opinion).
Congratulations on your EP “Ecdysis” – why is it called that and what is it inspired by?
Thank you! The word Ecdysis means the process of shedding old skin. The EP is about the inevitable realisation of change in oneself being eternal. When you’re a late teen, you think you have a realised perception of yourself, but your 20s quickly prove you wrong.
It sounds like it’s a body of work about coming of age – was it really cathartic for you to put together?
It was incredibly therapeutic. I started writing it when I was reaching the end of that journey so it was the perfect summary.
Do you have a favourite lyric – something you think will resonate deeply with your listeners?
“Dehydrated and continuous mistakes” – I feel like this is the embodiment of being in your early 20s, in the most simplest terms.“I be smoking till I’m out of it, so I don’t think about how adamant I am to change the course of life, yeah I ain’t proud of it” – Doing the ‘thing’ that’s pulling you down, to forget about you being pulled down by this ‘thing’, I think is something that isn’t spoken about often. Creating awareness around it helps me catch myself in toxic cycles and I hope it helps others to do the same.
You came up in the underground music scene – what do you think your contemporaries like Lava La Rue taught you, and how did they inspire you?
The underground scene taught me that bravado is sometimes needed as self-preservation. Walking into events by myself with no connections whatsoever, was extremely nerve racking and quite intimidating. Especially when people sometimes carry themselves in a certain way. But meeting people like Lava La Rue, and E L L E made me feel better about emerging in this scene and my identity within the space. It taught me that we as queer/femmes can rule the underground as well as the cis men. It taught me that I will fight for my right to thrive in this cultured scene, that is for anyone and everyone. Meeting emerging artists that now reign the underground like Taliable, inspires me, and makes me so proud of this silent movement of women/queer people in these spaces.
Much of your messaging is really empowering – how do you want fans to feel when they listen to your music?
I don’t want to set a guideline for how people should feel, as we all can gain different things from the same set of sounds. It’s more my intention to positively impact their life instead of sending them into a spiral, haha. If it inspires them to go create their own art, or to be more themselves, I’ve done my job.
What do you want fans to take from your music?
Stay in love with yourself and your transformations. I taught myself everything, instruments, rapping/singing, and production. Like, you can actually do anything dude, for real. You also don’t have to be one type of person to thrive, ignore those preset boxes they want us to fit in. Life is messed up, but you got this. We’re emotionally intelligent bad bitches.
What’s next for you?
I have another EP lined up, and am currently working on a whole genre-bending project that will be extremely different to what I’ve previously done. I also am writing a short horror film that I can’t wait to finish. I studied film for a while and found it hard to pick either that or music, but of course I realised I could just do both.
What are you looking forward to in 2020?
The fall of capitalism and the rise of powerful art.