Originally from the turbulent terrain of energy that is Bristol — a place that churns up stereotypes of avant-garde outfits, music, and chaotic friendship groups inspired by Skins — comes Lynks. And now, the musician is bringing their fearless, unforgiving ethos to the rest of the world.
It seems nowadays that dark, raw, gritty music is played on a loop more than pop. We don’t want perfection anymore. Well, at least, perfection in its previous sense of polished, refined, and reserved – where the artist’s character is only really present in the lyrics they write (or don’t write) and the emotions their voice invokes. What we want now is to be able to hear both their originality and their inspiration shining through the cracks of their production, as well as how they’ve used their authenticity to shoehorn themselves into a crowded industry.
Lynks’ most recent release, Silly Boy, does just that. It has the kind of beat and bassline that will echo deep within, bouncing around your mind and conjuring up memories of sweaty rooms, glistening bodies, and weird after parties. But beyond that, it’s an unreserved incursion into masculinity and bro-culture. Like all good music, it lures you in with its siren-like charm and then takes hold until its underlying messages are laid bare.
“Let’s just say it’s about every entitled, space-absorbing, toxic straight man out there. The kind of man who still lives his life as if mum will do his washing up. The kind of man who snaps his fingers at bartenders, and forces open the doors on the tube. With the kind of toxic confidence that comes from never being told, or even considering for one second, that his point of view might not be valid. This song is for every person who has ever had the displeasure of dealing with one of these Silly Little Boys,” Lynks told HUNGER about the new release.
But Lynks’ audacious pull doesn’t stop there. To make matters even more wonderfully chaotic, the artist’s music is trademarked by Lynks’ full anonymity, as well as a distinguishable style that leaves a scarring lipstick mark with every powerful stomp they take on societal issues and damaging norms. Inspired by the likes of Leigh Bowery, Pissy Pussy, and Alexander McQueen, the artist creates looks that are as much fashion as they are fearsome. Think that latex thing that’s cropped up in American Horror Story far too many times meets Vivienne Westwood.
HUNGER sat down with Lynks to discuss their inspirations, Silly Boy, and what goes on behind the mask…
How would you describe the person behind the mask, without giving yourself away?
People have said ‘Boy Next Door’, but I resent that.
Why is now the right time for an artist like yourself?
We’ve progressed far enough that we have a handful of role models representing LGBT+ pride. I think it’s now finally time for me; a role model here to represent deep LGBT+ shame.
Why did you first want to get into music?
Honestly? When I first got into music it was because I wanted people to think I was sexy and interesting. I was like 15 – don’t judge me! But the reason I got into Lynks was to tap into the chaotic, feminine, angry side that I’d been repressing for years. To unleash all that shit and finally, properly let loose.
Where do you get your inspirations for your outfits from?
All over the shop tbh! Leigh Bowery was the original inspo, but these days I get inspired by all kinds of people and places; NYC designer Pissy Pussy is an all time fave – kinda like Lynks on acid. Andrejorje from Portugal too. I also love shit cheap fabric shops – you can walk in with no idea what to do and loads of stuff will come to you. Plus obviously drag race – I’m a gay man in his 20s what can you expect?
Do you have a designer who works on them with you?
Up until recently I’ve made almost everything I’ve worn. But in the past few months I’ve started reaching out to designers to wear their stuff. Luke Neil, Sander Bos, Bleaq and Ray Chu have all been lush enough to let me borrow their stuff – I love ‘em all!!
Is what you wear and the aesthetic you create an extension of who you are, or is it more of a persona?
I think it’s kind of the opposite, if anything… I like layering up so much insanity on the outside of me that it takes away any and all expectations of how I’m supposed to behave.
How do the outfits you wear free you?
Well I’ve been told that in my everyday life I’m a dog person, but that Lynks is a cat person. And cats are pretty free, so I guess that would be it.
Who are your top two artists at the moment?
Self Esteem and Tkay Maidza.
Who is your music for?
Anyone who’s tired of pretending to be cool.
What’s one thing that’s always on your mind at the moment?
How the fuck TikTok works… It’s a constant struggle.
Where did your track Silly Boy come from?
There was one particular boy in my life that I was just so pissed off with. He was so clearly stuck at the 15 year old maturity level, expecting everyone around him to pick up the pieces as he threw his toys out the pram. One day I was like, I need to exorcise these demons. And they made a pretty tasty song if you ask me.
Where do you feel most at home?
Sweaty, dancing through a crowd in a sleeveless tee.
Do you always write from a place of sincerity, honesty and vulnerability?
I try to. But sometimes I also write from a place of ‘fuck it’.
How does that feed into your method of performance; the masks/outfits you wear to create sort of a barrier between yourself and the audience?
They say the best time to have a deep conversation with someone is when you’re in the car. Because you don’t have to be face-to-face, and it’s hard to share deep truths when looking right at someone. I think it’s similar to that.
What effect on the queer community would you like your music to have?
Embracing imperfection and vulnerability.
If you could relive any part of your life, which part would it be?
When will be the ultimate moment of success for you as an artist? Or are you already living it?
I don’t want to jinx anything, so I decline to comment…Super Bowl.
What’s one question you’ve always wanted to be asked, but no one’s ever asked you?
“How does the mask feel about being worn by YOU?”
Watch the video for Lynks’ Silly Boy here.