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by Alex Brzezicka

Meet the enchanting new artist you need to know.

This season, every hour is a witching hour. There’s nobody better to walk us through the night path than Bambie Thug, East London’s baddest witch bitch, grit pop’s powerhouse and our new favourite obsession. Straight from the shadows into our novelty-thirsty speakers. Whatever spell they’d cast, you won’t want to break it off.

Born in Ireland, Bambie came to London to sweep us off our feet with their Peaches-like sharp lyrics and an explosive hyperpop meets trap mix. They’re not afraid of talking about darkest desires and deeply personal matters. No matter if it’s about dysmorphia, mental health issues or occult symbolism, Bambie always goes hundred per cent in. On their new three-tracks EP High Romancy co-produced by Tylr Rydr (Cassyette, Girli) and Dimitri Tikovoï (Charli XCX, Becky Hill), they make a bold statement, preaching about pussy, money and power in ‘P.M.P’ and giving us a taste of love potion in ‘NECROMANCY’. The pounding synth spiced up with piercing vocals work like crazy and we’re ready to join their cult.

Enchanted by their charisma and desperate to get to know a secret recipe for a killer single, we caught Bambie in their den on a tarot card poster backdrop and among potions and jars. Despite all the supernatural chattery, the most magical experience was to get to know the person behind the witch. Bambie Thug’s real mission is to give you a lesson of self-love, mastering the mind and breaking free from any social constraints. Listen up.

You’ve just released High Romancy, what’s the concept behind this project?

The title of it is a fusion between ‘HIEROPHANT’ and ‘NECROMANCY’ which are two of the tracks on the EP. ‘High Romancy’ is the world I want to live in. ‘P.M.P’ is very much like the person I am and want to be more of. Very sex positive. Very confident. ‘HIEROPHANT’ would be the relationship that I’d love. I want a sugar daddy. I want someone to spoil me. I want to treat me like a queen but I’m in charge. Then ‘NECROMANCY’ is actually like a spell and it’s rekindling a failed romance. It did work but I think love magic is very dangerous to do and it never ends the way you want it. You usually get the person back for like a second and then it’s chaos which is what happened with this. Also, on the day I was writing it, I found this little blue dragonfly in the cemetery that was injured. I was holding it in my hand and I was like ‘if you want to be alive, I’ll keep you here until you survive and if you don’t I put you in the spell’. It died so I put it in a spell jar. I was collecting loads of stuff from the graveyard as well. I was putting this into the jar. I was listening to ‘Send It Up’ by Kanye West and when he said ‘Yeezus just rose again’, the spider appeared in the jar and I was like ‘this is a powerful spell’. I brought something back to life, maybe. The spell, it’s actually here.

It looks so lovely.

It’s growing mould here. I haven’t opened it. Probably it smells so bad. The dragonfly was dead and I caught the spider in the jar which was alive. Then the spider ate the dragonfly and then died.

A lot of your songs and aesthetics are very much about witchcraft and spells. How did you start getting into that and what’s your connection with it?

I’ve always been into witchcraft. As a kid, I would do spells and I wouldn’t know they’re really spells. I’ve always been into spirits. My nana used to see people in her house. I always had an imaginary friend that I could actually see as a kid. It was weird. I felt it for a little while and then moved to London. I moved to Muswell Hill which is Queen’s Wood which is where witches used to meet in London. My house, when I used to live in Muswell Hill, was at some ley lines and I met all my friends in Muswell Hill who were older women who were all witches. It got me back into it. Since I’ve met them, I’ve been manifesting, doing a lot of shadow work on myself, making spells and potions. My main magic is sigil magic where you write a poem or spell or a word and make a symbol out of it, getting rid of the vowels and the repeated letters so you’re just left with a few letters to make a symbol. The point is that you’ll always remember the intention behind the symbol but you won’t remember the exact words.

Do you ever use this kind of process and spells when creating your music?

I have a song called ‘Doomsday’ that isn’t out yet. I spoke tongues under the beat or we all speak backwards in songs or just hide spells in songs, using occult language as well. Or even like the ‘NECROMANCY’ song, that came from a spell. The intention was in it. Most of my songs and lyrics all have occult-based lyrics too. It definitely plays a massive part too. I don’t think that anyone is really using much occult terminology and that’s sick because I want to do it all.

It’s amazing and you’re doing this while not being not afraid to talk about heavy personal topics on your tracks like dysmorphia or mental health issues. Is being open about it difficult for you?

No. I actually think it’s easier for me to talk about mental health issues or any problem in music more than it is for me to speak openly like this about my issues. Music for me has always been like a form of therapy. Therapy is expensive. Music is free. Anytime I have a mental breakdown or something terrible happens, I’ll write about it and then it gets better. It’s really sick. It’s like I’m my own free therapy. Free healing. I don’t have any issues talking about it or voicing it in whatever way. It’s easy to voice it because I think that trauma and disorders and everything need to be acknowledged for them to be healed. If you want to become an artist with a platform which, hopefully I do, I would like to be able to help people see that they can heal some stuff as well.  There’s definitely more that I need to write about in my songs. There’s been crazy, hectic, horrible stuff happening and I feel them all myself. It’s important for us to realise that we are very powerful and that we are masters of our minds and master them and then you’ll be healed.

You’re also very open about sexuality and self-love on tracks like ‘P.M.P.’ or ‘Ritual’, how do these two topics correspond with each other in your work?

They’re completely intertwined. I definitely I’m writing now more openly and fluidly because I have developed this self-love myself which has made me more accepting of my own sexuality and more confident with it. How are you going to be happy with your sexuality or parade your sexuality if you don’t love yourself? You’re not going to feel confident.

Can you tell us about your mega single ‘Psilocyber’, what does its title mean to you?

When we created the tree tracks for the project, I was with my best friend. We were trying to think of words for the whole project/ I don’t know where ‘Psilocyber’ came out of but we were drawing this weird robot person that was sitting at a computer. ‘Psilocyber’ just came out and they were like ‘sick that’s the name’. Psilocyber is a psychedelic entity that comes to your computer as a virus. We were basically thinking that Psilocyber pops up on your screen, a virus that makes you want to do psychedelics and then tricks you into getting into the psychedelic world and away from the cyber world.

This way of creating and experimenting with abstract concepts in making music is a great way to find out new things about yourself through expression. What has been the most shocking/interesting thing that you have found out?

Growing up, I was always told that I was dyslexic which is learning difficulties and not managing spelling or writing or reading. I always had this voice in my head that would always second guess myself on everything I write, sometimes it comes back in. I think the most interesting thing I found from working is actually that, that is a load of B. I’m not in that box and even if I’m in the box that box is labelled incorrectly because I’m sick at writing. The most interesting thing I found is that I trust myself and that I’m actually really powerful with words. I can go into a vortex. Writing music is very weird for me because I completely channel. I just go somewhere else for ages and then just come out with the song. I sometimes don’t even remember writing something. I have this one track that I wrote years ago and it’s one of my favourite tracks lyrically. I can’t remember writing it.

It’s like a trance.

I don’t know where I was. I was somewhere else. I think I’m still discovering through music.

Are there any topics you want to explore more in the near future?

A lot more spiritual themes. I love anything that makes people question their sanity or the world we live in. Definitely want to talk more about the occult and get people more familiar with it and make people stop being so judgy about witchcraft. My goal in life is to make everybody leave all the other religions and join witchcraft.

We’re in. Said that, how would you describe a modern witch?

Anyone can be a witch because witchcraft is the only religion where there’s no rules. You decide absolutely everything. It’s a religion worshipping yourself. Even spells and stuff are about focusing energy into something. It’s not like ‘OK I’m going to do this and then it’s going to explode’. It’s like more powerful manifesting because you’re actually implementing it, like into all these like potions or then sigils. A modern witch is probably somebody who doesn’t adhere to society’s rules but works in light magic and is just focused on making themselves the best version possible and spreading good energy. All the witches I know are probably the purest people. We get a bad rep because people just don’t understand it.

You’re such a free, open-minded person so did you ever feel the pressure to fit into the music industry’s boxes?

Maybe at the very start I was doing more like poppy, ballady stuff but if anybody tried to put me in a box now, I would say I was doing a bad job. I would be like ‘get out of the box’. It’s important not to put ourselves in any boxes to be honest. Things are changing so much now. Everyone is more acceptable to be more genre-fluid. I’m also an LGBT which I find very strange because as a community that doesn’t want to put ourselves in too many boxes, we label ourselves so much too. I think that anything that labels you, constraints you. It’s the same when you’re diagnosed with an eating disorder or a mental health disorder or even in AA where you’re continuously saying ‘I am an addict’. It’s like a constant affirmation of self which I think just keeps you somewhere. I hate that. Even as a non-binary person having saying non-binary is putting me in the box.  How do we get out of them? It’s tricky.

People perceive everything through definitions anyway because otherwise it’d be impossible to make a sense of the world. It’s difficult to overcome.

There’s this thing that I try to do sometimes and I’d like to do more. It was on Oprah Winfrey’s ‘Super Soul’ conversations. It’s actually from a book called A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. He’s a spiritual guy. He said to try and go out into the garden or anywhere once a day and just look at things without labelling them. instead of saying ‘that’s flower, that’s a tree’ don’t even put a label on it. Just like try and experience it as itself without anything on it and see what that does for you. It’s really nice.

It’s like looking through the eyes of a child.

Yeah, because I think we definitely, as adults, forget the art of play. We judge too quickly. If we tried to actively reinforce the child in us then maybe things would be better.

Is there any ultimate message you’d want your fans to take away from your music?

Agency, liberation, self-love, infatuation, mystery, medication, melody and good vibrations.

Press play on Bambie Thug’s HIGH ROMANCY below now.

Katy Cummings
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