Track-By-Track: Bloody Civilian Breaks Down Her Debut EP ‘Anger Management’
fierce coming-of-age reflections
fierce coming-of-age reflections
Bloody Civilian is inching towards the powerhouse she is capable of becoming. Since her debut in 2022, the rising star has been moulding her reality with powerful, soulful vocals and an unshakeable confidence. Her short but sparse discography is littered with diary-like ruminations of becoming, heartbreak, love, and sticking it to the man.
On her debut project, ‘Anger Management,’ she sets out to fill the contours of an ascendant star. The 6 track EP, which is recorded, produced and performed solo is a masterclass in knowing oneself and operating with a sure-fire assurance. The new project which arrived last Friday features her debut and pre-released single, “I Don’t Like You,” a fine showcase of Bloody Civilian as an artist creating solely on her own terms. Across eclectic productions, she shares her innermost feelings with relatable lyrics about intrusive relatives and honest reflections on relationships, that sound like a conversation with a friend.
In a recent interview with the NATIVE, the Nigerian singer shares “[When] making some of the songs, I was really upset. I was trying to tone it down initially but it wasn’t working. It did not align with my reality so I told myself the truth, and that was, I could only keep this act up for a while.” Through inquiring into her own mental psyche and that of others around her, Bloody Civilian arrives at a project that is both disarmingly authentic and instantly relatable.
Following the release of ‘Anger Management’ EP last weekend, we caught up with Bloody Civilian to break down the songs, one track at a time.
Her words which follow below have been lightly edited for clarity.
The first lyric I wrote was the first line of the song. That typically happens for most of my songs; the opening line comes first. Sometimes, it’s the chorus and sometimes it’s both. The opening line comes first and I make it the chorus and open the song with the chorus. For this, I wrote “Should’ve smoked that shit since morning” because that resonated with me that day. I was trying to change a certain lifestyle that I had cultivated for a while, and I just felt frustrated that I couldn’t just give in. I had promised myself that I wouldn’t. I sang about how much I wanted to smoke but I didn’t end up smoking. It was a weird song. It’s just the feels of someone who just wants to smoke and is not going to.
My first time coming to Lagos, I got catcalled. I didn’t really get it when I came. Moving on foot in Lagos is not the same as moving on foot in Abuja and I didn’t really get that. When it happened, I was so flustered and frustrated. I got catcalled and I got touched inappropriately. It was so weird. That song just came from how I was feeling in that period although I didn’t write it that same. It also came from all the other things that kept happening around the time so I wrote “How To Kill A Man” about that.
I grew up in a community that has so many aunties. Growing up in the North is a sport because you essentially have to live up to so many different standards and expectations from the older generation. We don’t like change. Being a female producer, artist or DJ in the North is along the lines of prostitution to them. You have to understand that this is what I had to grapple with. Going for shows late at night with warrant family members getting involved in the mix. I was caught up in the whirlwind of all that. I know that rebellion was my only means of survival. Every part of my life had to be fought for and grappled with. I struggled and tussled throughout my life and I had so many hurdles in the form of human beings. I’m glad I wrote this song because a lot of people are embarrassed to talk about these things. I’m glad I said it [because] being a creative means being the problem child at home.
“Mad Apology” was inspired by the phrase “mad o.” I have this sarcastic way that when I receive certain types of apologies from some people, I go “Mad, thanks. Appreciate.” It’s not sincere and they know it’s not sincere. You can smell it from afar. I just felt I should write about it because it’s happened one too many times. Funny enough, the song started up slow but I thought, “this song is too dull, I think we can speed it up.” I wanted to give it a more Pop and fun feel. I was attempting to make it a deep song but had second thoughts hence “Let this shit go. You’re not in your Lauryn Hill bag right now.” So, I just had to speed it up and make it a fun song. That’s how I put that one together.
This was lowkey a diss track. People think it was about a guy but it wasn’t. I was a diss track for a babe that pissed me off big time. I was very angry about this one and the person had no clue. It was a fleeting thing that I made seem like a random song. It came from real emotions and I feel emotional songs really [go well] with 808. For me especially, having grown up on Kid Cudi. The beat does one thing and the lyrics another. The song was overall fun. It was even a funny experience writing the song. I thought it would be funny.
With “Come From,” I just wanted to follow the theme of how I was feeling on the songs. I would rather close with who I am than start with who I am. My mindset is like “who cares?” so that should be last. I’m a new artist so I’m not expecting much but at least talk about who I am and relieve the whole mystery behind Bloody Civilian. I wanted people to leave ‘Anger Management’ with a taste of who I am and where I’m from. “Come From” was very appropriate for that.
Featured Image Credits/Bloody Civilian