Binx set to re­lease al­bum in US

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Devon Koen koend@times­me­

RUB­BING shoul­ders with the who’s who in the in­ter­na­tional mu­sic in­dus­try, Binx, the self-pro­claimed avant­garde pop mu­si­cian and model from the Eastern Cape, is re­leas­ing her al­bum in New York next month.

Binx, as she prefers to be known as, per­formed a pre-re­lease con­cert for her up­com­ing ex­tended play al­bum ti­tled The African Bee at the glitzy Rock­wood Mu­sic Hall in Man­hat­tan, New York, on Satur­day – ex­actly one month ahead of the of­fi­cial launch of her al­bum.

In­spired by David Bowie’s Ziggy Star­dust, Binx – real name Bianca Buys – adopted an al­ter ego, The African Bee, “be­cause au­di­ences iden­tify eas­ily with char­ac­ters and I wanted peo­ple to re­mem­ber me”.

Asked where the name Binx came from, she said it meant “spir­ited”.

“I took on this stage name [Binx] be­cause my brother is my big­gest in­spi­ra­tion and he called me this name grow­ing up,” she said.

Binx was born in El­liot and moved with her fam­ily to East Lon­don when she was 10 years old.

She re­gards her fa­ther, who died three weeks ago, as an­other inspiratio­nal fig­ure in her life and ca­reer.

“I be­came a mu­si­cian and a per­former be­cause of him. He in­tro­duced me to mu­sic and melo­drama and taught me ev­ery­thing I know,” she said.

Af­ter be­ing dis­cov­ered while still in high school and taken un­der the wing of a Sony Mu­sic En­ter­tain­ment con­sul­tant, Binx left South Africa and moved to Man­hat­tan in early 2012.

“Mov­ing to New York, I knew I had to be dif­fer­ent and to sep­a­rate my­self from other artists there,” she said.

Binx reg­u­larly per­forms at top mu­sic venues in New York in­clud­ing Pianos, Toshi’s Liv­ing Room and The Bit­ter End, where the likes of Lady Gaga and Bob Dy­lan have per­formed.

Speak­ing from Man­hat­tan af­ter her live per­for­mance, Binx said she adopted the name The African Bee be­cause she dresses like a bum­ble­bee on stage when she sings.

“When I was 10, I wanted to brand my­self, like The Rolling Stones and their tongue logo, so I chose a bee be­cause I was stung three times, which is my lucky num­ber, on one foot when I was lit­tle,” she said.

“When I turned 16, I sewed my very first bee out­fit on New Year’s Eve.”

Among her ac­co­lades, Binx has placed first in the RAD (Record­ing Artist De­vel­op­ment) singer-song­writer com­pe­ti­tion in New York last year and had ra­dio air­play in South Africa with her song La La Love.

She stud­ied mu­sic at the Brookevill­e cam­pus of Long Is­land Univer­sity in New York.

“Peo­ple have been very re­cep­tive to the fact that I em­brace my African roots. I even sing in Xhosa and Afrikaans in one song called African Heart.

“Ev­ery­one has al­ways said that there is no other artist who sounds like me, and to me that is one of my big­gest ac­com­plish­ments.”

AFRICAN BEE: Binx per­forms live at the Rock­wood Mu­sic Hall in Man­hat­tan, New York, on Satur­day to a packed venue

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