Bonzai has made a quietly confident entrance in the music scene. Starting out by supporting up-and-coming talent such as Mura Masa, the Irish/American singer and rapper is now making her mark as a solo artist. This has been met with undoubted success as her track ‘I Did’ was dubbed ‘Radio One’s World’s hottest Record’ by presenter and DJ Annie Mac
At only 19 years of age, it’s surprising that both her performances and tracks themselves evoke such maturity. However, tropes of unfiltered youth are also present. Particularly in her new EP ‘Sleepy Hungry’, which creates something of a teenage punk rebellion blended with urbanised sound. As a result, Bonzai has carved a genre of her own, many regard it as ‘Punk R&B’, a fusion mastered by the singer.
Nightclub Ministry of Sound, was a perfect venue for the singer. Providing an intimate space to allow interaction with the audience but also enough room for both Bonzai and audience to dance along to her signature production of hard-hitting beats.
Just before the set began, newly renown producer Mura Masa could be seen chilling in the venue’s garden just before the music began - a direct juxtaposition to his focused mixing an hour later. During his set Mura Masa, clearly shows his pianist origins. Showcasing his notable musicianship through his use of snapping trap drums, smooth synths and layers of instrumentation.
As a producer who is clearly used to be behind the scenes, there is an understandably lessened interaction with the audience. However, Bonzai’s unrivaled stage presence more than makes up for this by keeping the vibes high as Mura Masa keeps the beats flowing. Their individual strengths mean that together; they’re a force to be reckoned with. The probable reasoning to why they collaborate so frequently.
Bonzai with her iconic look of high waisted trousers and close-cropped box braids commanded the stage throughout the night. Songs such as ‘I Did’, ‘No Rest’ and ‘Sick ‘Em’ were particular favourites among the crowd. She also seamlessly sang in the place of the varying artists featured on Mura Masa’s highly acclaimed songs demonstrating her admirable versatility as a singer. On the lesser known tracks, Bonzai’s fiery vocals alongside the production of striking beats and thumping bass kept everyone going from start to finish.
In the past, Bonzai has been a supporting artist for Mura Masa, but tonight where the tables had turned. The singer clearly proved her worth as she held her own as a headline act - one to watch.