Talks influences, mental health and advice for millennials

Photographer: Jake Hateley // @jakehateley
Styling: Rhys Marcus Jay // @rhysmarcusjay
Interview: Johnson Gold // @Johnson_Gold & Joseph Furness // @josephfurness
Artist: Bexey // @bexeyswan

Doing What Sets You Free…

Growing up in a music-loving household, it’s no surprise that Bexey was drawn to creating his own as a means of healing and, of course, expression. With his dad in an East-end rock band, mum in the discos and his brother blaring drum & bass, grime and garage in the loft – it’s this unique fusion that has created the distinctive sound of the London native. PAUSE sat down to discover a little more about Bexey, his style, influences and plans for the future.

Coat: Burberry, Top: A Cold Wall @ Selfridges, Trousers: Tourne de Transmission, Trainers: Balenciaga

Your music scene seems to be hard to categorise, what genre or sub-genre would you describe your music as?

I don’t know man I don’t really like putting labels on things and limiting myself, some artists are like “I’m underground, sad, waved, chill, all these f*cking different names bro” I just experiment, I call it magic, might as well, I’m a magic man, I just experiment and let it out, what’s inside, through expression.

Let out what’s inside in relation to where you’ve come from or?

In my mind, letting out my feelings and shit I’ve been through.

Is that from your experiences?

Yeah, yeah or could be things in the future.

What artists did you grow up listening to?

The main one was Phil Lynott, from Thin Lizzy. That’s like my favourite band of all time that’s like my hero. My Dad was in a rock band in East London and then my Mum was in the discos, so I grew up listening to rock music and then disco music too. My brothers were heavily into grime, drum & bass, garage, in the loft mixing it, so every room was different music, so now my shit is a combination of all, it might be the like the little garage flows, the rock shouting, the disco smoothness of it, a combo like a hybrid.

Your style blends from gothic influences with streetwear, how has this style become your own?

I don’t know, whatever I feel on the day I’ll let it out, I’ll wear it, I dress differently all the time man, if I feel sad I’m gonna reflect it in my clothes or wear sunglasses, or if I’m happy I’ll express it, whether it be making music, dressing, singing something, I have to let it out.

And you’re confident enough to express yourself through your clothing, grooming, tattoos, accessories, do you think it’s important for young people to experiment with their looks and express themselves?

Yeah man like, I believe we’re here once if you want to go outside today wearing a glitter coat and pink ears then do it bro, who’s stopping you? All that’s going to happen is someone’s going to label you and call you this, call you weird, call you gay, call you crazy, whatever they’re going to call you, but in your mind you’re happy, you’re the one wearing that, it’s your life, you’re here once you really going to hold it in and be like “Nah I need to wear what they’re wearing to make them happy,” but you’re the one sad, it doesn’t make sense, I just don’t believe in all that.

What tattoos are the most meaningful to you and why?

I mean they all have huge meanings to me, people see the GTA screen on my hand and they’re like “Oh that’s random man.” They think it doesn’t mean shit but every tattoo has its own meaning.

What does the GTA tattoo mean?

So it has my date of birth here, 03, 08 and then 1996 million, and then I could have chosen any weapon but I chose the fist because I’m a boxer, I boxed for 6 years, so yeah they all have big meanings to me, everyone, I have a portrait of the guy I was talking about here, album names, all different shit.

Do you relate to the generation you were born into?

In what way?

How old are you if you don’t mind me asking?

I’m 21.

 Top & Bum Bag: Napariji

So your age group, the kind of people that you hang around within your generation, do you relate to them because obviously, this generation is a completely different generation to the 90’s.

Yeah, it is, I have a very small group of friends, I don’t even really like the word friends, people around me are family. If you’re not family then you’re not really around me and you don’t really know me that well. Wait what was the question? Does it influence me?

Yeah do you relate to the generation that you were born into, so do you relate to the people you’ve grown up with?

Yeah because we’ve been through the same things.

Tell me some of the stuff you’ve experienced in your generation.

I suffer from depression, suicidal thoughts nearly every day, it’s a constant thought in my head.

Where does that stem from in this generation?

Oh man, my mind, I don’t know about anyone else, I don’t know how their mind works but for me, it’s so alienated from the world, I lived in the middle of nowhere for a while and I was just locked in this room with my thoughts making music every day. I went crazy bro so I’ve got a lot of shit going on in my mind.

What helps you get out of that and helps you?

It’s my supporters who I refer to as my extended family, I get messages every single day like “I was going to kill myself last night and your song randomly played on my phone without me clicking any button, this song called Stay Alive.” These messages every day, like my last show, one of my supporters made me this big book, and it wasn’t one of those shitty little scrapbooks, this took her like 5 months and every page is like a different letter from someone else around the world, like “you saved my life”, “I owe you my life”, so whenever I get sad I open this book or go online and read it, the effect my music has on people, the same way Kid Cudi’s music would help me about being the loner in this world, alienated. His music heals me and lots of other artists but Kid Cudi was one of my main ones. So when I heard his shit, I kind of had a realisation that I know what I’m here for now, I’ma express myself as pure as I can for the people around the world that feel like me, and they’re going to hear my shit and go wow, I’m not alone now, this guy feels like I do every day, he wakes up wanting to f*cking jump in front of a train, he’s depressed, he’s heartbroken. So that’s who I do it for man.

So music’s very healing for you isn’t it?

Yeah, bro, I record all the time and I might not even release it, I just need to let it out in my room, my microphone is like my best friend, I go into that room just me and my mic and I’m talking to myself, and I’m hearing it back. I’m always by myself all the time, most of the time.

What piece of advice would you give to the millennials like yourself?

I would say, the main thing is I believe I we’re here once in this lifetime, like how I referred to earlier about expressing yourself through clothing, we’re here once so you if you want to be an astronaut, why are you going to let your dad tell you, “No, you’re going to be a plumber, you’re going to play it safe, and you’re going to get an electrician course and make me proud.?”

Then you’re going to be stuck at college trying to make him proud doing what you hate, deep down you want to be on he f*cking moon with NASA, but you’re in there putting cement on bricks and shit, depressed – just do what the f*ck you love.

Do what you love, what you’re going to be on your deathbed laying there about to die as an old man, all your dreams are floating around you laughing at you like oh man, you wasted your life, you were a bricklayer and you hated it, so do what you love man.

Do what sets you free.

Yeah exactly, exactly.

Definitely. Did your parents ever tell you to do something that you didn’t want to do?

They didn’t tell me directly, but I was living at home, didn’t have any money and I would keep quitting these jobs I hated and my Dad didn’t understand why, he thought I was lazy he would be like, “Come on, get back to work”, my brothers would ring up their friends, “My little brother wants to work”, and I didn’t even want to work.

I’d be like, I got to stop writing music now because I’ve got to be up in four hours to do what I hate, I went through this for years and years and it really f*cked me up, I mean it sounds like “Ah it’s just work it’s just a job” but for some people you know, I have too much inside of me going on, I can’t deal with that, I can’t be at work doing what I hate. It drives some people crazy, some people deal with it, some people hear this and they’re like “Ah but I need a job, I need money, I need to do that”, and yeah I suppose but I’m speaking from my point of view, and I can’t do that.

You have changed your names a few times as a musician, what’s the reason behind this?

Yeah, I mean that’s when I was going crazy, my name used to be Zehtroid.

Used to be what?

Zehtroid. Z-E-H-T-R-O-I-D. I was living in the middle of nowhere, I was literally losing my mind, like going crazy. I believe I have powers now with the music, but I thought I actually had superpowers, I was deluded, really deluded, that’s why my alter-ego now is Myth Killa. So I’d go through all these weird thoughts and ways I think living life is correct and now I’m just like, f*ck all that off you Know. Now it’s just Bexey, that’s my real name.

Do you think you’ll continue to make music for the rest of your life?

I don’t know man. I mean, I don’t want to be here that long, I want to do what I have to do then go. I don’t plan on living a long life. I don’t want to be some 50-year-old man or some 40-year-old man.

Do you want to live your young years?

Yeah. I want to die the same age that my hero died, I’ve got it tattooed on me, 36. I’ma die at 36.

Who’s your hero?

Phil Lynott, from Thin Lizzy. Yeah I don’t know man, a long boring life all old and wrinkly and shit, nah, that would make me angry bro, I’m not Pharell. Not even just that but you know, being old and shit, I know what I’m here to do, then I’m gonna go.

Jacket: MISBHV, Top: Stylist’s Own, Belt: BB Simon, Jeans: 3 Paradis, Glasses: Stylist’s Own

Jacket: 3 Paradis, Trousers: Ubran Outfitters, Trainers: Balenciaga

You were very close to the late Lil Peep, how will you continue to keep his memory alive?

Keep spreading the message that he started, be here for the people, be yourself, do what you love, don’t hold back, just be here for the people that need it, I’m going to keep spreading that forever.

Do you find it difficult growing up in the spotlight, is fame a blessing or a curse or both?

I wouldn’t view it as a curse because this is what I’m here for, I know my purpose in life and that isn’t working a 9-5 job doing what I hate. It’s like I said, being here for the people and spreading this message so it’s a blessing definitely. To reach all these people. I don’t leave the house much I’m indoors, a lot of my favourite people in the world I talk to online I haven’t even met them before, but they’re just huge supporters of my music, so yeah it’s a blessing.

That’s the way the world communicates now, isn’t it?

Yeah through screens. It’s creepy.

How would you describe your style in one word?


What is your favourite brand? If there was one brand you’d wear for life what would it be?

Shit, I can’t do that bro.

If we were to go into your wardrobe what brands would we find?

Moncler, Stone Island, Gucci, Prada, I like a lot of other shit too like shit that doesn’t have brands on them, I could go in a f*cking charity shop and find something and mix it with a £1000 belt, so I’m not too into brands, I mean I am and I ain’t.

I can see your jewellery, is that Vivienne Westwood?

Yeah, Vivienne.

Why Vivienne Westwood?

My friend Gabe, he rocks Vivienne Westwood all the time, so yeah he kind of put me onto Vivienne, I don’t know they just make pretty jewellery, I’m about to get some custom shit though.

Tell us about your hairstyle why did you pick that certain look?

I was born, I was about to say I was born with a bowl cut bro that would of been crazy (laughs), come out with a bowl cut like nah, nah. When I was younger haircuts were expensive, we didn’t have a lot of money so the bowl cut, my whole family had it, literally put a bowl on your head, go with the scissors. My baby photos we all had it, I had it, both my brothers had it, even my sister had the whole fringe, obviously they don’t have it now, we laugh at those pictures, but now it’s like, that’s what I came from so it’s like f*ck it, now I got it white. Yeah f*ck it I made the bowl cut sexy, I just said that it in a song (laughs).

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