Bold, unapologetic, and fearless… that’s Bimini, babes.
Introduced to the masses while competing in the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK in 2019, Bimini has been solidifying themselves as one of the most iconic figures in modern-day British culture. The Great Yarmouth-born entertainer does everything with no fucks given and has proven time and time again that their talents and ability to tap into various industries are limitless.
Following their appearance on Drag Race, Bimini has been in demand, and rightfully so. Setting the world of fashion alive, their unique sense of style has seen them take part in major campaigns for Calvin Klein, H&M, and Selfridges while also becoming the first non-binary talent to sign with Next Models. Their book, Release The Beast, was a Top 10 Sunday Times bestseller, serving as an eye-opening read into how they became the authentic star they are today.
2021 specifically marked an exciting new chapter for Bimini when they launched their recording career with the riotous and lively “God Save This Queen.” With the perfect blend of punk attitude and tongue-n-cheek lyrics, Bimini has since offered more sides to their personality with 2022’s “Different Kinds of People” and “Tommy’s Dream.” Forever breaking the mould, Bimini has been embraced by the industry, securing sets at Mighty Hoopla and Download Festival, to name a few.
With so much to offer the world, Bimini arrives today with their biggest banger yet, “Rodeo.” Trust me, this one goes HARD and features a familiar sample that will leave you feeling both nostalgic and pumped for the weekend.
In our interview with the powerhouse, we discuss “Rodeo,” their upcoming project, strong female voices in music, and why we need allyship more than ever.
You very recently opened up for Self Esteem at her Eventim Apollo show in Hammersmith. How was that?
It was incredible. I mean, I think they’re an amazing artist. I think when I first heard the album Prioritised Pleasure, I thought it was just a phenomenal body of work. And I think that she is a really important voice for our generation because it felt like, I dunno whether it was to do with the industry or labels or social media or whatever, but there seemed to be a real lack of female voices with a point of view. And when I first heard it, even though the music styles were completely different, it gave me that kind of Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, and Adele vibes of those British iconic women that have something to say. She’s tongue-n-cheek, she’s witty, and then she pulls on your heartstrings as well. She’s a true artist.
And having met Rebecca before and opening up for her, we got on really well. She’s just a good-time girl, which is just a really fun thing about her as well. We did Gogglebox together and that was just a laugh. We have a bit of a relationship anyway, so when she asked me to do it, it was like a no-go, a no-brainer, basically. It was like, yeah, of course. Then it was the Hammersmith Apollo, which is iconic ‘cuz it’s like a venue that’s in the history books. I mean, it’s like where Bowie killed off Ziggy Stardust. It felt like an amazing opportunity and I’m very grateful for it. I got to go with my band and we performed to a sold-out audience and they were so lovely. Self Esteem’s fans were such a great group of people. The energy in the room was just really electric.
It’s nice that we have pop stars like Self Esteem today because it felt the industry had been lacking that for a while.
I think so. I think pop music became quite faceless in the UK. People weren’t allowed to express their artistry. It was more so about making hits and making music. And I’m hoping that’s changing now. I’m hoping that people are getting to because people wanna invest in an artist. I think that’s a beautiful thing about music and I think that’s a beautiful thing about being an artist.
Your new single, “Rodeo,” is officially out into the world. But, it’s been a song in your live sets for a while. How long ago did you originally write it?
It has, yeah. Funnily enough, I started making music during Drag Race, so I was like in the studio as that was kind of coming out. I’ve worked on music for like the last two and a bit years. We put out “Tommy’s Dream” in September and then we put out “Different Kinds of People” after that. I had kind of been honing the sound and figuring out what I liked most, what sounded right for me, and what I enjoyed doing. I’d experimented with a lot of different styles, and then we kind of did “Rodeo.” I’d written it with Billy Blonde and Red Shank and that was in October 2021, that was when it was complete. So that was like a year and a half ago.
I always felt like people slept on it. It’s a feel-good song. Even though it’s about heartbreak, it’s about going through a painful thing but also the flip of that. It’s like, no, I’m not letting you make me feel like this. I’m taking back control of this narrative. Like, you are not destroying me, you are not breaking my heart. I’m kind of putting my fingers back up at you. So it’s a track that I really love.
I started making more music after that, but I dunno, maybe because I’ve done so much, it was kind of always just been in the background. I think the reaction to it whenever I perform it live, it kind of goes off and people go crazy. People love it because I think the hook is catchy and it’s easy to deliver it back. You can get the audience going easily and that’s amazing to see. I’m very glad that we’re getting to put it out now.
I’m either going crazy or is there a sample of Fatboy Slim’s “Right Here, Right Now” on it?
So, that is the sample. It hasn’t used that exact sample. It’s used in a different part of the track, but it’s the same sample that Fatboy Slim used.
Was there any particular reason why you wanted to use it?
No, not really. I love Fatboy Slim anyway, I think he’s amazing. I’ve always kind of said that they’re one of the cool pop artists from the UK. I think it just fits, it kind of works really well in the track. It’s interesting because it’s like we are living in a world of obvious sampling now. Everything is sampled anyway, especially in pop music, but I think it’s nostalgic as well, which I think is important.
With “Rodeo” serving as your fourth single, does that mean you have a project waiting to be released now?
It’s pretty much done. It’s been done for a minute. It’s gonna be an EP and that should be coming out in the next quarter I’d say. We’re kind of just finalizing it now so I can’t give too much away. I think “Rodeo” is the single to set that up. “God Save This Queen,” which I put out during the show or just as the show had finished, was the first song I’d ever done. It was the first song that was written and done and performed. The music’s definitely gone on a lot of a journey since then.
What kind of sounds can we expect then? Your singles so far have been a big mix but have collectively had your unique energy in them that always makes them you.
“Rodeo” is definitely a lot more of what the sound is gonna be. I always say it’s depression with a beat or sad bangers. It’s like crying in the club vibes. It’s something that you can dance to, it’s something you can laugh to, It’s something you can cry to. “Tommy’s Dream” was definitely more of a left-field track than the other. The other tracks that I’ve got, they’re a lot more pop banger, which I love because I love pop music.
During your live sets, you have covered Lily Allen’s “The Fear.” Has she reached out to you regarding your version?
She actually did. The first night I did it, it was at the Roundhouse supporting Muna and she messaged me because we follow each other and she just said, “Thank you for covering my song.” And I was just like, “Thank you for giving us that track.” I think it’s incredible. I love Lily’s lyricism. I think she’s just like always been so poignant, but with her social commentary, I really aspire and I really admire that. It’s what I try and transpire into my lyrics as well as the emotion. When I think about how she writes and where she can add that humor, I try to include that too so it’s not too depressing.
Is there a particular message that you always wanna send across with your music?
I want people to feel euphoric or to feel good when they hear it. I want ’em to feel like it’s gonna be okay. No matter what they’re going through at that moment or what they’re gonna go through, we are always gonna be able to come out of that. And I think strength is an important thing and that’s something that I try to get into the music as well. Even though it draws on places of darkness for me, it brings the light as well. It’s like the light and shade of it all. I want them to know that you can shake your ass to it on a dance floor. That’s what we want as well.
On your socials as well as at the Self Esteem show, you spoke out against the US trying to ban drag shows. For those who may not have seen your speech or your posts, is there anything you want to say or add on that subject?
I think there’s a real kind of divide happening with the language used around it the way because this is how the media, how the right-wing has always been, they’re quite manipulative with the tactics that they use. So they’re kind of using this agenda that drag is sexualizing or grooming children, which is completely not true. Firstly, they’re banning these drag shows from public spaces, but people are saying people don’t understand how that actually is. The wider picture is not what they’re trying to do. It’s just an attack on queers, it’s a homophobic attack because they’re targeting a group where at the end of the day, I’ve performed in public spaces before, but we have been told what is allowed and what isn’t. A drag queen or a drag artist isn’t going to be doing something so scandalous at two o’clock in a public space. We artists know what to do. It’s the same with any artist. Britney Spears is probably not gonna be doing a certain thing or dancing in a certain way either.
I think they’re really targeting queerness as a scapegoat for this as this over-sexualization when at the end of the day, it’s the parent’s responsibility. If the parent is taking a kid to see a drag show, they should know what the drag show is gonna be. They should know what it’s about. At the end of the day, some drag is for adults, and some can be for children, but putting this flat-out ban, it’s a wider issue that they’re trying to push across and people aren’t kind of understanding that narrative. It really attacks non-binary identities. It attacks transgender people. It’s a really targeted attack on queerness.
There is an ongoing discussion about gender identity and how non-binary and transgender people are being mistreated and represented in the media. What do you think is the main cause of this?
I think they’re being kind of ignorant of other people’s issues or other people’s points of view. And everyone can coexist. Everyone can live to live. There’s just a constant kind of divide and it kind of targets different groups at different periods and the media will then get on board with that, and right now it’s transgender people that are being targeted. And drag is also now part of this pool. I dunno what’s next, but we’ve kind of just gotta stick together as a community and show that firstly we can’t have the rights that we’ve got taken away from us because it’s taken years to get to even where we are now. Having the ban on drag shows how quickly those rights can be taken away and people don’t see that people and aren’t understanding that it’s a real attack on free speech and freedom of expression with what is happening.
Are you hopeful that things will get better?
I hope so, but I think we’ve just gotta keep being loud and hopefully, all those people that come to brunches and all those people that come to shows will stand up and be a voice for the people that are not being heard, I think that’s so important. We need allyship more than ever. And I think this is a time when if you’ve come to a drag brunch or you come to a show or if you have a friend or you know people that are part of the community, then stand up for us.
What’s on the horizon for Bimini in 2023?
I’m looking forward to being able to put out a lot of music and a lot of content surrounding it and a lot of visuals. We have just shot a music video for Rodeo, which we’ll be coming out with the song, which I’m really excited about. I got to have kind of full creative control on that surrounding what it looked like and what it was about. And it’s sexy, it pulls in pop pop culture references from people like Kylie Minogue who is an absolute icon. Later this year, I’ll be heading over to America to work on some new music.
Amazing, that’s very exciting!
This year’s gonna be great. I just hope that we can come together as a community and fight for what’s right and just keep being unapologetically ourselves.