discover the zen jazz of miink
Continuing our series profiling eight of the most exciting new musical artists from around the world, we head meet visionary young Londoner Miink.
photography Rhea Dillon
This story originally appeared in i-D's The Homegrown Issue, no. 355, Spring 2019.
“You know how Jim Jarmusch has this real floaty vibe to his films? Like, almost nothing happens, but you’re not bored, you kind of just float along with it?” West London musician Miink is trying to decide which film his debut mixtape, Small Clan — all late-night falsetto vocals, abstract production and crashing jazz percussion — would be the best soundtrack for. “I think maybe Ghost Dog, where Forest Whitaker plays a samurai in New York.” It’s not a bad shout.
His music is Zen, sure, but constantly twisting, turning, keeping listeners on their toes as it drags them deeper into his world. Miink wears his hair in two long braids like his grandfather did in Jamaica. He grew up in a big family; his grandmother’s house was a hub for the whole neighbourhood, drawn in by the smell of cooking and the bass emanating from the soundsystem in the basement. One of his uncles had a recording studio at the top of the house, and it was this that sparked his musical ambitions. “I wasn’t allowed in,” he remembers. “The door was always slammed in my face, so there was this magic of knowing that something was going on, but not knowing what.”
Miink’s about to head to LA to work on the three projects he intends to self-release this year. “There’s a lot more to do,” he says. “I’m excited about the things I feel I can achieve, the places I feel I can go and the people I feel I can connect with. There’s no point waiting. I don’t feel like labels know what they’re doing right now. They’re quite lost, whereas I grew up on the internet. It’s almost like there was a revolution that happened and peoples’ skillsets got stuck in a time that no longer exists. I believe that young minds are much greater than older ones.”