Jumping in the SAKIMA

The artists that grab my attention are usually doing something a bit unexpected. There’s an excitement and then a struggle for a minute about how/if I’m going to categorize what I’ve heard and how an artists’ narrative is unique or tells a story that’s bigger than the song. SAKIMA’s “What I Know Now” is a fun challenge, so let’s break it down.

First, always down for a good LGBTQ pop moment. There’s a long road ahead, but the boys these days — Troye Sivan, Olly Alexander, Shamir, Neon Trees, Cakes Da Killa, among many others, have been killing it. Too often I’ve felt that music made by gay people (and there’s plenty) has always had to fit into the heteronormative culture of mainstream pop. We can sing, we can dance, but let’s stay away from relationships, important pronouns and *gasp* – sex. None of us are doing that of course.

This track is unapologetically sexy and is giving me a similar vibe to Cassie’s 2006 “Me & U” but through a different lens. Something that I see in the clubs, but not on the streets. About 2 years ago I was at The Nest in Dalston, a dodgy part of East London near the universities on a night filled with cheap beer and boys grinding to Rae Sremmurd. This track feels like what I suspected was in the minds of the gentleman at this 18+ night. The bouncer looked at my ID and warned me that it was college night, to which I said hell yes.

“What I Know Now” serves as the first single off the debut EP Facsimile. SAKIMA is one-half of the electronic duo SWIMS, now breaking out on his own with production from Moving Castle’s AOBeats. I want many things, including more of this and a video please. Years of smartphones may have damaged my imagination, but I have some pretty good visual concepts in mind.