Meet Bloody Civilian, the New Artist Soundtracking ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

Bloody Civilian: On a daily basis, we go through subtle injustices, as well as [injustices] on a higher level. I think another thing about women that gets managed and micromanaged is our anger, so I wrote a song that defies all that. It did for me, and hopefully it can do that for other women as well.

What is your experience as a woman in Nigeria?

Sexism is hard to track because it’s been so normalized here. On a daily basis, we get catcalled—I did at the market today. There’s a lot of domestic violence towards women. Women in athletics struggle to be taken seriously; we never got good coaches for sports. Coming from a Christian background, the only form of sex education I got was that my teacher put a paper on the ground, stepped on it, and said, “This is what happens when you violate yourself before marriage”—equating the vagina to that paper. The list goes on. I didn’t like that it started to feel normal, and wanted to express that.

What sounds influence you?

African sounds, because I am an African, and I also grew up being deeply influenced by R&B. Ultimately, I would say Aṣa. I can still remember the day I heard “Fire on the Mountain.” It made me freeze in my tracks. It’s one of those songs that gets you to listen. I remember listening to it like, “Yeah, I want to be this person.” I literally started playing guitar because of her.

How did you start producing?

Production started off without me knowing I was producing. It was on an app called Audacity that my cousin had given me; I would make a cappella beats by transposing vocals, using everything the app could possibly offer to try and make instrumentals. Then a producer heard it and told me I’m [already producing], I just need to use proper software. He introduced me to Fruity Loops and Logic and that’s how this whole thing started—it was quite unintentional.

Do you know what scene of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever your song “Wake Up” will play over?

No, actually [laughs]. I have been refreshing the page with the Black Panther tracklist but I know nothing else about what’s happening—everything is NDA with them.

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