Buzzing through your ears, stinging your heart, and then stuck in your head are the bright and fun lyrics of BINX, the South African Bee. The 26-year old’s music encompasses topics of love, loss, and new beginnings. The bumblebee obsessed starlet knew music was her calling from the tender age of 2, telling MajorHiFi, “I have always known! Since the first time I sang ‘Ruby Tuesday’ by The Rolling Stones… I never stopped picking up a microphone.” BINX, a moniker coined by her brother, was stung by a bee three times in her foot – on separate occasions. Instead of considering those moments a fault in her stars, she took it as a sign of luck. She made the bee – an insect that should be physically incapable of flight due to their small wings and large bodies – her own personal mascot and reminder to follow her dreams. Inspired by the voice of Christina, talent of Britney, and the style of Brigitte Bardot, BINX is a refreshing new take on pop. Introducing BINX, the South African Bee.
MajorHiFi Music Monday: BINX
BINX stopped to chat with MajorHiFi about her new single “Shockwaves” and last album “BUZZED.”
MajorHiFi: When and how did you come to choose your moniker BINX?
BINX: It was a nick name given to me by my brother while growing up. It means ‘Spirited’ because people always tell me I have a unique energy about me.
MH: What headphones do you use when recording? Traveling?
BINX:I use Apple Headphones just to listen to music on my phone. Recording headphones vary since I use different producers!
MH: When did you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?
BINX:I have always known! Since the first time I sang ‘Ruby Tuesday’ by The Rolling Stones when I was 2. I never stopped picking up a microphone.
MH: You’ve got an interesting sound, how do you describe it and how did you come to define it?
BINX:Thank you! It’s Burlesque Pop and Glam Rock with African Influences. It’s a mix of where I’m from and where I’m going.
MH: What inspires your sound? And your lyrics?
BINX:The Sun and whenever I discover a new artist I love, I write a new catalogue of music in the vein of theirs and my own sound. Therefore my music is like giving birth to different types of artists and genres.
My lyrics endure a lot more thought than the melody which comes naturally and quickly. I like to incorporate hidden messages and be as poetic as possible. My dad always says I’m like Bob Dylan because I make use of so many words!
MH: Are there any artists in particular that influence or inspire you now?
BINX:Everyone inspires me in some way. Brigitte Bardot is one of my biggest icons and we have similar styles/looks. Christina Aguilera’s vocal abilities. Beyonce for being good at basically everything. I love artists who push boundaries and embrace their quirkiest traits.
MH: Who is your favorite artist and why?
BINX:Too many! The Rolling Stones for their longevity of passion and energy and their branding. David Bowie for his Alter Ego and theatrics. Lana Del Rey for her lyrics. Britney Spears as a pop/dancer performer. [Lady] Gaga for her fashion sense shock value. Blink 182 is my favorite Pop Punk Band of all time.
MH: What was the creative process behind your album “Buzzed” and latest single “Shockwaves?”
BINX:“Buzzed” is an extremely emotional album because the music came shortly after I experienced the worst thing anyone could go through, loss. After almost losing myself completely, the album artwork depicts me standing with a bottle pouring myself back into my art and creativity. As I almost gave music up. The album talks of grieving, romantic heart break, falling in love and friendship. It’s a roller coaster of emotions.
“Shock Waves” is about Digi Dating in a modern world.
MH: You also have a fascination with bees, tell us more about this? When did it start? Why? How does your love of bees influence your brand?
BINX:I was stung three (which is my lucky number) times in one foot when I was younger. When I was ten I wanted to brand and market myself like The Rolling Stones so I decided to use a bee as my logo because I was ten at the time. I started dressing in black and yellow striped bikinis in and around the open mic scene in New York in order to stand out from the crowds of talent and it morphed into my own on stage alter ego known as, “The African Bee.”
Bees fascinate me because they are so small, yet their role in our world is immense. Therefore I decided to donate a percentage of my physical albums sales of my album, ‘Buzzed’ to help save the bees with Environment New York.
Also, Bumblebees defy the laws of physics. They shouldn’t be able to fly but they do. They inspire me to be and do whatever I deem possible.
MH: You also have a blog on your site highlighting other women, tell us more about this. When did you start? Why?
BINX:I started my “Shine A Light” [named after the Rolling Stones’song] blog in 2018. It highlights both men and women who are chasing after their dreams. Motivational speaking is a passion of mine and I wanted to give back in another way to encourage other people to do more of what they love and I also wanted to shine a light on other people who deserve to be recognized for the courage and dedication.
MH: You’ve recently accomplished so much (US Open, The New York Marathon, Webster Hall, Soho House, The South African Traditional Music Awards), how did you come to achieve some of these amazing opportunities?
BINX:Thank you! Those were some amazing performances. This year I was lucky enough to perform at the NAMM/Grammy Showcase party in Los Angeles and I recently performed a stadium show for ten thousand people in South Africa.
It all comes from consistent persistence, networking, the right place at the right time and not understanding the word, “No.”
MH: What is currently in the works for you? New single, album, tour, etc.?
BINX:Right now I am focusing on shows and growing my following after releasing my latest single, “Shock Waves.” I am scheduled to perform at UCLA’s Prom in June and The Peppermint Club at the end of June.
MH: What is your career trajectory and what else is in the works for you?
BINX:To continue to perform in front of larger crowds, tour internationally and release new music as often as possible and inspire as many people as possible while living my own dream! I want the people around me who I love so much to never feel like they are working another day in their lives. <3
Check out BINX’s website and blog at Binxofficial.com.