Every year, Red Bull Elektropedia and badman selector Lefto join forces to showcase a new batch of fresh Belgian beatmaking talent that’s ready to show the world what they have up their sleeves. On Sunday, October 7, Concertzaal Vooruit will be the scene for a night full of exciting discoveries that cross the classic boundaries. No less than 8 different artists have been selected, each of which has a different sound, a different vision and a different story. This is the part where we shine a light on some of those. To warm you up for what’s about to hit you next week, Lefto sat down with these young prodigies to talk shop. Up next: the smooth Russian alt-R&B vibes from Chibi Ichigo.
Have you heard about Made In Belgium before?
"I’ve knew about Made In Belgium because of my friends, Le 77, who performed last year. I really like the concept, because beginning artists like me have the opportunity to show what we’ve got."
Where do you live? Is this a good place to expand your creative horizons?
"Originally, I’m from Russia, but I’ve only lived there for 3 years. After that we moved to Belgium, to Stokrooie, a town near Hasselt to be precise. There’s nothing to do there. We just have a church, a bakery and a drug store. That’s it!"
When did you first start to make music? Which instruments did you use?
"My mom really pushed me to play the piano, so that’s what I started with. To be fair, piano lessons were all a little too rigid. Everything needs to follow the rules, so I didn’t feel like this was a good way to express myself. And so I looked for beats on the internet, writing my own lyrics on them. It’s only a year ago since I’ve started doing that! At first, I didn’t have the courage to show anyone what I was working on, but ever since I did, it went really fast!"
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
"Lauryn Hill was the first to make me realize you could combine rap and singing, something which I try to do myself. But as far as Russian role models go, there are virtually no women. So maybe I’m going to be the first one. I don’t really get why that is. Pharaoh is a great (male) rapper, though. He might not be famous here, but he’s huge in Russia."
Even though you have just started, would you say you already found your own sound?
"I can’t really say. For now, I don’t want to trap myself in just one box, you know? I want to be able to do lots of different things. The forthcoming EP will showcase the many different directions I’m interested in. What sets me apart are my Russian lyrics and the instrumentals I use. Those can’t be normal, they always need to have something different, so that I’m able to put my own mark on them."
What can we expect from your live show?
"I wouldn’t really know! This will be my very first show, so it will be a surprise for me too. But yeah, you can expect good vibes only."
Are you looking forward to playing your music in front of a large audience at Vooruit?
"I’m looking mighty forward and I’m really thankful. I hope this will create more chances for me to perform later!"