TikTok has birthed a variety of musicians in the last year. The algorithm led social media platform has turned lockdown boredom into blossoming careers, giving record labels a ready-made artist in the palm of their hands.
But no viral star has made quite as much of an impact as PinkPantheress.
Until only recently, she was completely anonymous. PinkPantheress - an alias that bridges together references to the cartoon ‘The Pink Panther’ and Pantheress (the answer a contestant on The Chase gave to the question “What is the name of a female panther?”) - was once just a TikTok user releasing snippets of music. Eventually filtering her way onto millions of ‘for you’ pages, somehow this success doesn’t feel like it’s been driving solely by an algorithm.
Blending liquid D&B, garage and a multitude of samples with wicked finesse, her debut mixtape to hell with it mirrors the hype and anticipation around it with a stolid gravitas. Not because it has length or a weighty story to it – no song on the mixtape exceeds 3 minutes – but due to the sheer talent that drenches through. As opener “Pain” welcomes a sample of Sweet Female Attitude’s "Flowers", it sets the tone for what's to come.
Hit single “Just For Me” is an instant classic, whilst new track “Reason” talks about her fears, amplified by her excellent lyricism. The whimsical bounce of “All My Friends Know” shows PinkPantheress at her most reserved, speaking candidly about anxiety, with the gut-wrenching lyric “Everytime I look outside my house, I try to make myself believe / I can look at nature and feel good again”. A strong theme of bleak optimism runs throughout, but what 20-year-old doesn’t have these feelings?
Dripping in 2000s nostalgia in a time where the term ‘Y2K’ is thrown around like confetti, to hell with it feels genuine. A genuine talent creating music that is genuine to her and by showing the wide spectrum of her talent, PinkPantheress adds an extra sensation to her ‘viral sensation’ tag. Nestling perfectly within the current climate whilst also carrying its own charm, this is the start of something big.