Photos By: OJ Verdeflor
By: Ariel Schlef
The tiny electronic pixie that is Alex Capella – known by her stage name Bakkuda, a Korean word meaning “to change” – is one of those artists who is just cool, any way you slice it.
Upon first listen, it’s easy to attempt to dismiss Bakkuda as derivative; however, there is a layered complexity to Bakkuda’s aesthetic, the way she performs and the meaning behind her music that makes her impossible to write off.
For one thing, Alex’s voice is superb, with a rare quality that could place it into almost any genre. “The Message” sounds like a 90s R&B ballad and “Pity Party” could easily be a Top 40 hit, whereas the airy slow-jam “Gravity” would make an excellent soundtrack to a lyrical routine. She transitioned from one song to the next without preamble, dancing like a gypsy the whole time. The only downside to her set was the addition of a pink-haired dancer; unnecessary in a such a small space, particularly when Alex herself is incredibly captivating.
And she is just as intriguing off the stage as she is on.
Surprisingly soft-spoken, Alex thanked me for coming and graciously allowed me to badger her with a few questions about her influences, which include FKA Twigs, Bjork and Grimes. Some of those influences are easily picked up on; Bakkuda’s ability to bury pop-influences within galactic and ethereal beats is definitely reminiscent of Grimes and her style is a mix of 90s-club-kid-meets-Bjork-on-her-tamer-days.
Perhaps it’s this amalgam of influences and inability to be boxed into one particular genre that makes Bakkuda so enchanting. Or maybe it’s the sweet sentiment of “making music toward a better future”. Either way, a live show by this artist is not one to be missed.