Named after the Portuguese for hummingbird, Essex-born Beija Flo arrived on Merseyside via the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. With her father being among the first to introduce capoeira in Britain (an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music), and her mother also being a cabaret performer and a clown, she was always likely to have an interesting career ahead of her.
One of the most unique talents in Liverpool today, Beija Flo is more than just a musician. She’s a performance artist who brings together elements of dance, theatre and activism into the her boundary pushing, immersive and deeply personal live shows. Part of the Eggy Records family, she’s perhaps best known for her stunning second single ‘Mary’. Released in March last year, its accompanying video was produced by Natalia Bedkowska.
In the fifth of our series of interviews with the Future Yard line-up, we spoke to Beija Flo about her music and her upcoming appearance at the festival.
For someone who may never have come across your work before, how would you describe your music? And if you could recommend them one of your songs, which one would that be?
I would have to describe my music as spicy and very well done. It reminds me mostly of myself and that feeling when you’re on holiday where you want to go in the sea but it’s freezing, but you still go in and have a great time anyway. I don’t think my music makes your hair quite as knotty though.
I highly recommend ‘Mary’.
Who or what have been the biggest influences on your sound?
I think the renaissance and baroque periods were where I truly got stuck into my work. Rembrandt and Michelangelo were great friends of mine and really encouraged me to experiment.
How well do you know Birkenhead and wider Wirral area?
As Queen of Merseyside it’s my job to know the Merseymap OBH (off by heart). I’ve had my heart broken in Conway Park station. Also, did you know that the Wirral has the remains of a 19th century zoo? You can still get in the bear pit. I’ve also sang and shouted and run around Birkenhead library. That’s the opposite of what you’re normally allowed to do in a library but I am really nice so.
What’s your favourite festival memory, either as a performer or as a fan?
I think my favourite memory would have to be when I attended the Reading Festival in 2014. I was in an explosion and nearly went blind in one eye. Everyone called me bullet face for the weekend and I still have the scars on my face. Scars are cool.
Apart from yourselves, who would you recommend people go see at Future Yard?
I’m probably biased, but all of my Eggy Records siblings! Stores are brand spunking new and boss. Eyesore & the Jinx are worth the ticket price alone. Bill Nickson makes my heart melt. And Uncle Jane are one of my favourite bands generally. Us lot in the Wild Fruit Art Collective are pretty alright too, but you said I couldn’t promote myself so I won’t do that.
Why should festival goers take time out to come and see you play? What can they expect from your performance at Future Yard?
I am like nothing you’ll see all weekend at Future Yard. I’m not being big footed, it’s just the honesty. I’m really lovely and quite funny and also I have a great collection of leotards. I’ll teach you something, I’ll share some stuff with you and I’ll probably let you buy me a drink. Expect the unexpected, it’s just easier that way.
Beija Flo will be performing at Future Yard on Saturday 25th August in Birkenhead Town Hall at 20:15.