I really should start this piece by making one thing clear: there is much more to the two artists included in this article than their shared nationality. I promise, it is mere coincidence that both artists are Irish. I do firmly believe their musical styles are primed for collaboration, and perhaps their bit of common ground is just what is need to make it actually happen.
Ireland gets overshadowed big time by its neighbors to the East, but for a country of less than five million, it is perhaps one of the most thriving music markets of the last half-century. Historically centered around rock and roll, Ireland has given the world acts like Van Morrison, The Cranberries, U2, Enya, Snow Patrol, Sinead O’Connor, Damian Rice, and Hozier. With a few exceptions, these artists aren’t necessarily my cup of Irish coffee, but it’s pretty hard to dispute the firepower in that lineup.
In recent years, Ireland has also seen a budding interest in the hip-hop, rap, R&B, and grime movements, and now, on par with the UK, the nation’s new endeavors are ready to explode onto the global scene. There is something starkly unique about the Irish artists gracing this newfound territory. Their style is different. Just as British takes on rap over the decades have possessed a noticeable contrast to North America, Irish stylings of hip-hop, grime, and R&B have a sound truly their own. And it would seem that with these Irish artists, the name of the game is mellow. Chill, relaxed, low-fi, quiet, dulcet, any synonym you can think of also applies.
If this wave of Irish musicians is to be classified as mellow, then low-fi, experimental, soul lyricist, Biig Piig should be forever known as Queen of the Chill. Now is as good a time as any to become acquainted with the budding superstar, and all you really need to know is that she’s young, unique, supremely talented, and just getting started. With only a handful of music in her SoundCloud library, and even less available in other sources, Biig Piig is still able to paint a complicated, impressionistic landscape of her life, her personality, and her emotion through a delivery so deadpan that it actually becomes intensely moving. She possesses a unique ability to weave in and out of soulful vocals and precise hip-hop flow, and though she rarely pushes the range of her vocal ability, her voice is noticeably sweet and lively when she does. Her delivery is without error – polished and clean, and generally dances overtop hip-hop inspired drum patterns and smooth electronic keys, culminating in an end result shredded into a million pieces and delicately scattered in the grey areas between all musical stylings. Indefinably poetic and undoubtedly her own, Biig Piig is one of the most exciting things to happen to music in a very long time.
There are not many artists that can connect people in the way that her talent allows. There is something in her music for everyone, and through music, differences become far less important than understandings. Believe me when I say that if you appreciate Biig Piig’s music, then I understand enough about you for us to be friends, and that is the true power of an artist like her.
Another artist with a similar knack for depolarizing people through a mutual love affair with music happens to also call Ireland home, and happens to also specialize in the vibes both mellow and chill. He goes by the name Rejjie Snow and he has been one of the most uniquely gifted global hip-hop artists of the past half-decade. With a quiet, serious, and motivated delivery, Snow lives up to his name and is the creator of particularly ice-cold music. Though he is certainly a rapper, it’s hard to peg him with only such a label. He has a toned ear for production well ahead of his time, like many European hip-hop artists, with the usage of professional electronic sounds and styles. He also has a powerful ability for writing meaningful and thought-provoking lyrics. More than anything, Rejjie Snow’s music is most fitting of scenarios that involve relaxing, resting, and chillin’ the fuck out, and is appealing to a wide audience. Fans of grime, of hip-hop, and of electronic come together to discuss Rejjie Snow like friends and family discussing the turkey over Thanksgiving dinner. It is a subject that warms the hearts of all and results in the mutual understanding from opposite sides of the table that the turkey is simply really, really good.
And albeit that Rejjie snow is simply really, really talented, collaboration is an opportunity for the talent of two individuals to multiply with one another, resulting in something much grander. But extreme difficulties arise when trying to piece together a collaborative effort with an artist like Rejjie Snow. His quiet, even-tone delivery is nearly impossible to balance, and it seems like it would be too likely for either Snow or his constituent to become overpowered and lost due to differing styles. But there is an obvious exception. Biig Piig is an artist graced with a similar low-key, mellow vibe to Rejjie Snow that would allow their sounds to join beautifully. And although they surely share the necessary similarities, they also differ greatly in their unique strengths that make them both such exciting young artists. A collaborative project between the two would highlight the vibey, trance-like hip-hop delivery of Biig Piig against the cold, quiet, low-fi bars of Rejjie Snow. Top it off with her soulful vocals on the hook overtop the electronic keystroke production so common in both of their music, and the result is beautiful, poetic, clean collab elation fit for the future of uniquely transcendent music.