Artist Spotlight: Biko Black

Biko Black was born in London and shortly after, he and his parents moved back to the country in Africa where they are from, Gabon. His family bought him a piano when he was five, and he was an enthusiastic participant at fire ceremonies (a significant component of Gabonese culture) where drums and other instruments were played. He became very passionate about music at an early age, but had to prioritize learning English when his family immigrated to the United States.

By the time Biko Black turned 14, he had the basics of the language down and got back to the music. Still, he remained shy until he was in his 20s due to a language barrier. During that time, he found refuge in his tight-knit family and music from Tupac, Young Jeezy, Kendrick Lamar, and J Cole. While attending New Mexico Highlands University, Biko Black learned more about music by working at the college radio station, fell into music engineering, and was  highlighted in the school newspaper.

 


 In his music, Biko Black tells stories about the struggles he’s encountered in the States and back in Africa. He’s naturally very observant, a good listener, and has two perspectives – as a foreigner, and now, as an America. In that, Biko Black has sage words regarding topics like governmental affairs and incarceration. His accent adds flavor to his flow, and he tells cohesive stories, rapping in both French and English on a single track.

Biko Black has a new mixtape titled Mocode Da Mixtape on Spotify and iTunes, and his video for the lead single, “311,” is on YouTube. His debut project, MoCode, was sparked by the frustration he felt when his work permit expired during a government shutdown. Unable to have it renewed, he no longer could work at the job he loved. He still had financial responsibilities, and resorted to hustling to make ends meet.

Despite his hardships, Biko Black is always in the studio working. He has a new video dropping next week, and his fourth project – Voice of an Immigrant II – will be out in a few months. His main objectives are learning more about music every day and getting his music out. He gets a lot of positive feedback on his music, and he believes it will inspire people – especially immigrants coming to America.

Biko Black aspires to be more than a local artist. He envisions his music making it back to his roots in Europe and Africa, as well as becoming a hit in the U.S. He has a powerful message about the trials and tribulations of navigating the system as a newcomer to it, and makes quality music in general. Always one to read and research on his own, he’s ready for the helping hand that will lead to recognition and further develop his craft in preparation for the next level.

To connect with Biko Black, follow him on Instagram and Twitter (@biko_black). Watch “311” on YouTube and listen to Biko Black’s music on iTunes and Spotify.

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