SBTRKT is a producer and artist from the UK who broke into the scene in 2009, and made a name for themselves with their hit self-titled album in 2011.
SBTRKT could be described as house, electronic, UK garage, indie, post-dubstep, or future garage. Often collaborating with artists like Sampha, SBTRKT is known for trance-like beats paired with airy layered vocals to create an ethereal yet upbeat vibe.
What Does SBTRKT Stand For?
Though their name means ‘subtract’ with the vowels removed, SBTRKT loves to add different collaborators onto their songs. SBTRKT has worked with artists of many genres from Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig to rapper A$AP Ferg.
The song “Wildfire” with Little Dragon has also been remixed by Drake, bringing SBTRKT into the view of the mainstream.
If you can’t get enough of SBTRKT’s unique sound, these 10 artists will be the perfect addition to your playlist.
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Why Does SBTRKT Wear a Mask?
SBTRKT is always seen wearing a mask, and doesn’t show his face online. According to the artist, he wears a mask because anonymity is important to him. Rather than having his personal identity become a celebrity persona, SBTRKT prefers to let his music speak for itself.
His masks are designed by the artist known as “A Hidden Place”. According to okay Africa, Hidden Place designs masks with motifs from ‘native societies’, taking inspiration from different cultures around the world.
Is SBTRKT Black?
Many have asked about the ethnic background of SBTRKT, partially due to his usage of imagery from different cultures in his masks. Due to his commitment to anonymity, SBTRKT has not revealed his ethnicity to the world, stating that an artists background shouldn’t matter– only the music they create.
However, some may criticize his use of cultural motifs as appropriation, because it is unclear whether he is drawing inspiration from a culture he is part of, or simply utilizing the aesthetic of other cultures without a personal connection to it.
It seems that this question won’t be answered any time soon, so listeners have no choice but to let SBTRKT’s music speak for itself.