Jess Smyth named herself Biig Piig after a pizza available from a takeaway shop. The pizza had every kind of meat on and she told Dazed that she “fit [the name] pretty easily” as it isn’t a grand title holding high expectations. “I can be a mess, and I can also be cute and put together“.
The 20 year old Ireland native first allowed us to experience her eloquent sound in 2016 with her single “(DEEP) Pan Pizza”. Available exclusively to Soundcloud, this tune presented Biig Piig as an acoustic and folk influenced artist with an innocent and vulnerable tone. Obvious influences from the songwriters that Biig Piig was fond of could be heard, names like Ben Harper and Leonard Cohen.
A year on, it appeared that Biig Piig had developed sonically, with new edgier singles that experimented with hip-hop beats, jazzy chords and delicately executed bars. Such include “Sex” and “Crush’n“, whom she continues to work with today.
In late April of this year, Biig Piig released her debut EP Big Fan of the Sesh, Vol.1, along with a short introductory film that provides an visual insight into what the EP is about. Directed by Brighton’s Forever Films, the short video exhibits Biig Piig playing pool with a boyfriend, seshing with pals and looking moody in a mustard yellow tracksuit. The video is an aesthetically pleasing and relatable overview that sums up the EP perfectly.
The EP itself is an emotive and compelling set of five songs, which the artist describes as “a scattered journey through an intense relationship“.
In “Pink Sorbet“, we hear Biig Piig’s quaint bars that reminisce of school days and reflect on current relationship turmoil, rapped in her endearing Irish accent and using varied styles of vocabulary that stem from contrasting contexts – an interesting combo of Londoner slag words such as ‘blem’ with more old fashioned words like ‘mother’.
Growing up, Biig Piig lived in both Ireland and Spain, she was born in Cork, moved to Costa Del Sol when she was four years old, back to Ireland when she was twelve then finally to West London where she now resides with her family above their Irish pub. In “Perdida” (that translates to English as ‘lost’) we hear the lucky product of her exposure to Spanish culture.
Her bars flow sensually in Spanish over the chill instrumental of electric piano chords and syncopated electronic beats provided by Boss Nass, in-between the sad and sympathizable melody sung by the wounded young girl. “I just wanna lay here, and smoke my cig and drink my wine and think, I wanna lay here, until my hurting’s done“.
Biig Piig has found a home within the NINE8 Collective, a group of young artists and musicians based in London. Together they collaborate and promote UK underground DIY music, arts and fashion. Several members of the collective are producers/rappers that Biig Piig has worked with on her EP, such as Wetha.
Throughout her debut, Biig Piig provides delicate and angelic vocals that bring Kat Edmondson to mind while Rejje-Snow-like beats add a trendy hip-hop element, resulting in instantly moreish and distinctive music.
Big Fan Of The Sesh, Vol. 1 is the first of a trilogy of EPs which she hopes will reflect each stage of her life. Following the release of Vol. 1, she played her first live show at Electrowerkz in London in mid April and is due to perform at Bestival and All Together Now festival in August.