King because “f**k being someone’s queen” and Mala because it means “bad bitch” in Spanish. 

Areli Castro aka King Bad Bitch, presents her debut EP. 

This is KiNG MALA. And this is GEMiNi.

The thing that really stands out about GEMiNi is that it’s all encompassing. It is everything. We live in a world where it can be difficult to believe anything that we read and anything that we hear. Style over substance reigns supreme, and filters and photoshop are used to distort reality with alarming regularity, to the point that it’s now completely mundane. But this EP is the complete antithesis of that. 

GEMiNI is real, and raw, and nothing is off limits. It manages to be both swaggering and unapologetic yet at the same time, vulnerable and thoughtful. This is its most appealing quality, and what sets it apart from the competition. People aren’t just positive or negative, in a good mood or a bad mood, we’re a mixture of everything and that’s precisely what GEMiNi is.

Opening track Sugarblind feels disjointed, but somehow comes together into one cohesive journey, while If I Try To Find You is a blur of distortion stacked against a pulsating chorus.

Homebody is the high point of the EP, and its mix of old school House, tint of classic soul and modern sensibility is intoxicating. It’s also lyrically quick-witted as its creator quips, “My social anxiety, has got me violently, sipping on some gin and soda, wishing it could all be over.”

B4U is more understated, gently decorated by a tinkling piano, before the smoother and more traditionally pop sounding Give Me takes over. 

The EP is rounded out by Funeralwhich is quicker and a lot more energetic than it sounds. Although it is probably the least impressive track on the record. 

GEMiNi isn’t a smooth listen, far from it. It’s distorted soundscapes, shuddering drums and unconventional melodies. But all of that is interspersed with a refreshingly honest lyrical performance and unwavering individuality. 

While it could be argued that the songs are too disjointed and that the choruses don’t sit neatly in a ear-worm friendly pocket, it’s equally as important to remember that they aren’t meant to. GEMiNi and KiNG MALA herself are unpolished and imperfect, confident yet shy and brash yet thoughtful. Like every single one of you. 

Rating: 8/10
Songwriting 9/10
Production 8/10
Replay value 8/10

GEMiNi is out now, check it out:

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