Binx set to release album in US
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