Gaika (musician)

Gaika Tavares, better known simply as Gaika, is a British artist and writer from South London. His debut album, Basic Volume, was released in July 2018 by Warp Records, who describe the sound as "gothic dancehall and industrial electronics".[3]

GAIKA performing at Somerset House August 2018 04.jpg
Gaika at Somerset House, August 2018
Background information
Birth nameGaika Tavares
BornBrixton, London, England
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • rapper

Early lifeEdit

Gaika's parents came from Grenada and Jamaica, moving to the UK in the 1960s.[4] He was previously a part of Manchester rap crew Murkage.[5]

Music careerEdit

Following the mixtapes Machine and Security, Gaika released the EP Spaghetto in 2016.[6][7] The Guardian described his music as blending "Caribbean dancehall tradition and London grime but also nod to R&B, trip-hop, grunge and Prince."[5] Dazed have described him as "electronic music's answer to Basquiat",[8] while US magazine Interview described the sound as "experimental R&B".[9] Gaika has described his sound using the word "Ghettofuturism".[10]

Gaika's debut album Basic Volume was released in July 2018. The Guardian praised the album as "a terrifically impressive and populist debut".[11] The album also received positive reviews from the Financial Times,[12] The Independent,[13] Noisey[14] and Music OMH.[15]

In August 2018, Gaika exhibited System, a collaboration with Boiler Room and Somerset House Studios, "a sculpture which fills the middle portion of the Lancaster Room at Somerset House."[16][17] He told the Evening Standard that "Carnival and sound system culture is about space, and holding space. It’s about literally drawing a line in the sand and saying: ‘This is who we are and we’re here to stay. You can’t turn us off’."[16]

On May 2019, Gaika released a mixtape named Heaters 4 The 2 Seaters[18] by Warp Records, and on July 2020 he released the Seguridad EP on Mexican record label N.A.A.F.I.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Writing for Dazed magazine in June 2018, Gaika criticised the Metropolitan Police's decision to crack down on Drill music, saying: "Drill is the product of a looted world that wasn’t designed with us in mind, the result of much more than just a few angry kids on estates, it’s the result of centuries of reality."[20] Gaika has also discussed the ways in which the Notting Hill Carnival is presented by the press, while its cultural significance is overlooked.[21]

Gaika has also written fiction for Dazed.[22]


Studio albumsEdit


  • Spaghetto (2016)
  • Spectacular Empire I (2016)
  • Spectacular Empire II (2017)
  • Seguridad (2020)


  • Machine (2015)
  • Security (2016)
  • Heaters 4 the 2 Seaters (2019)


  • The Deal (2016)
  • Smoke Break (2017)
  • Crown & Key (2017
  • Immigrant Sons (2018)
  • Seven Churches For St Jude (2019)[23]


  1. ^ "Gaika: Basic Volume review – downbeat articulacy". The Guardian. 29 July 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  2. ^ Vinti, Mike (29 January 2016). "Beyond Grime: Why You Need to be Paying Attention to Britain's Other Rap Scenes". Vice. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Gaika announces debut album, Basic Volume, for Warp". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  4. ^ Moore, Hannah (22 June 2019). "Gaika: What Windrush means to me" – via
  5. ^ a b Considine, Clare (11 March 2016). "Gaika: 'If you're a black guy you're supposed to make grime, reggae or coffee-table music'". the Guardian. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Gaika surprise-releases Spaghetto EP on Warp". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Warp turns the gothic dancehall knob to 11, announces debut album by Gaika, Basic Volume". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  8. ^ Dazed (16 November 2015). "Meet Gaika, electronic music's answer to Basquiat". Dazed. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Gaika's U.S. Debut - Interview Magazine". Interview Magazine. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Gaika announces debut album, shares "Crown & Key" video". The FADER. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  11. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (27 July 2018). "Gaika: Basic Volume review – gripping new voice of British rap". the Guardian. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 11 September 2018. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  13. ^ "Album reviews this week: Gaika, Daughtry, Israel Nash and more". The Independent. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Gaola's Revolutionary Music Could Change Everything". Noisey. 16 August 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  15. ^ "Gaika - Basic Volume | Albums | musicOMH". musicOMH. 25 July 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Gaika says Met Commissioner Cressida Dick 'can do one'". Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  17. ^ "These Artists Are Battling the Dilution of Caribbean Sound System Culture". Noisey. 21 August 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  18. ^ Dummy. "Gaika drops surprise 'Heaters 4 the 2 Seaters' mixtape with Dean Blunt and Rome Fortune". DummyMag. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  19. ^ "Gaika - 'Seguridad' EP review: Brixton star creates a sultry soundtrack to Black British life". NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM. 7 July 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  20. ^ Dazed (18 June 2018). "It's no surprise that drill reflects young black men's reality". Dazed. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  21. ^ "The political significance of Carnival, according to GAIKA". The FADER. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  22. ^ Dazed (28 September 2017). "The Spectacular Empire – a future imagined by Gaika". Dazed. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  23. ^ "Gaika - Seven Churches for St. Jude". PopMatters. 26 February 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2020.