Already dubbed by the press/ blog world as the “UK Santigold”, South Africa-born/ UK-raised newcomer MPHO makes quite the introductory statement on her debut single “Box N Locks”, some of which is because it’s main musical hook revolves around a catchy sample of Martha & The Muffins’ 1980 new wave-punk classic “Echo Beach”, but mostly because she’s already on the usually second or third album topic of yearning to break free from the pigeonholing of others.
Kicking things off with the admittably charming semi-sneer “Feisty little brown girl/ Raised in Brixton town girl/ Supposed to be some ghetto chick/ Making all this urban music”, MPHO spends the rest of the track dishing out these half-hearted apologies for being so left-field and un-“box”-able (“Can’t help myself/ It’s just the girl in me”).
On one hand you’ll want to instantly dismiss her assertions with eye roll-accompanied mutterings of “Why should I care?” and “Who are you again?” and want to cry out “Blasphemy!!!!” for her bold sampling choices, but “Box N Locks” carries such an undeniable breeziness and sturdy enough grasping of pop hook-craft magic in it’s three minute frame, it’s a bit hard to completely loathe it’s existence (Give it a few listens, and, promises, you’ll too come around).
One thing we do know: It’s important that MPHO understand that after unleashing something as attention-grabbing as this, she better have a whole slew of killer tunes to back it up with once her album Pop Art officially drops later this year. Something tells us though, that that won’t be a problem at all.
Catch the video below followed by a clip of her covering Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”, then snatch up Armand Van Helden‘s eardrum-battering remix afterwards.