Stranded By The Sea, A Serene New Voice Emerges
It was spring break 2020, and Britt Lari was watching the waves crash gracefully onto the sand in Punta Hermosa, Peru.
The 24 year-old electronic artist and vocalist had spent the last week in the small coastal town, roughly 34 miles south of Lima, surfing and spending time with her extended family. She was set to graduate from California State University, Northridge that spring, and she was still riding the high of having performed her first-ever live show in February. From the outside looking in, it would have seemed that Lari was living in absolute paradise.
There was just one problem. She had no idea when — or if — she would be allowed to leave.
Enter Corona…and a Different Persona
“I was terrified, not going to lie,” she said, her laughter echoing through our Google Hangouts screen. “I try to look at the bright side in every scenario, and in this case, I think there was none.”
At the end of March 2020, Lari had become one of the many voyagers stranded overseas when, faced with the coronavirus pandemic gripping the world, countries began to shut their borders down across the globe. Though the native Peruvian now lives in Los Angeles, Lari would have to stay at her relatives’ beachside apartment, unsure of how and when she could fly home. On top of that, she didn’t have her piano or a microphone to keep working on her music. With no real equipment and still a semester of school left to complete via Zoom, Lari quickly realized she’d have to improvise to maintain some semblance of sanity.
“I was like, ‘I’m going to go insane. I need something to do,’” she told me, sitting safe and sound again in her sun-filled Los Angeles apartment. I had asked about how quarantine was affecting her day-to-day music routine, but her story about creating an entirely new persona while being stranded in a small South American beach town was far from what I’d expected.
Lari has been creating electronic music under her given name, Britt Lari, since 2018. But looking out at the ocean that day in Punta Hermosa, another name floated to the surface of her mind: BIMINI.
The Birth of BIMINI
“Bimini is an island in the Bahamas,” she explained. “I remember watching Shark Week one time, and I just fell in love with this island….especially since I was called ‘Bí’ when I was little, it just makes sense.”
With extra time on her hands and no way home in sight, Lari had started to get creative. Armed with only her laptop and her phone, she started producing her own tracks: satiny, lofi pop songs inspired by the serenity of the ocean. Lari challenged herself to create one new song every day, pushing her creative juices to flow in the face of such an aggressive quota.
“I just started producing on Ableton,” she said. “And since I didn’t have a mic, I decided I would record my vocals on my phone. So I would have my music going, my headphones, and I would just put my phone up to my face and start recording on it. And that’s how I started making a whole album of songs.”
Lari had not only produced an entirely fresh collection of work (and all of that within the span of 20 days). She’d also created BIMINI: Britt Lari’s arguably much chiller, beachier alter ego.
Finding Calm in the Chaos
Most of Britt Lari’s work falls under the EDM umbrella of electronic music. She’s released her own music as well as collaborations with fellow EDM artists, the likes of Cabuizee, SPADA, MEDII and Ducka Shan among them. What’s more, as a former Peruvian National Team gymnast, Lari herself is full of off-the-charts, electrifying energy.
“I guess I needed some sort of music that could help me calm down,” she said. “I felt like there was this overwhelming amount of thoughts and stress; I needed to step down from all the EDM, the super high-energy vibe, and go for something a little more mellow.”
The songs are indeed far mellower than their Britt Lari counterparts: her first BIMINI release, oof., is buttery and bouncy, flowing like foam swirled into a creamy shot of espresso. Since the song’s debut in late May, it’s racked up 50,000 streams across platforms.
After eventually returning to Los Angeles (courtesy of a repatriation flight from the U.S. Embassy), Lari felt motivated by the success of her first release to crank out more. She began releasing one new BIMINI song every three weeks. Equally smooth tracks homebound and a veces swiftly followed after oof,, and a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic Everywhere struck the hearts of oldies fans on Soundcloud worldwide.
“It was a big change for listeners, and I’ve seen a lot of positive reactions,” Lari said. “So I’m just going to keep throwing stuff at them.”
Without a label backing BIMINI, Lari hopes to continue reaching her audience by releasing music that is true to her own musical voice.
“I love EDM and always loved it, but BIMINI just feels like more…me,” she said. “For the longest time, I felt like I had no direction. And even though I love having Britt Lari and all of the collaboration stuff, I knew that wasn’t everything I wanted with music….when I started with BIMINI, I thought, ok, things are going different.”
Different, and still somewhat the same: the artist is continuing to crank out EDM tracks as Britt Lari, but now is working double time to keep pushing BIMINI tracks out the door. Having found a direction and authentic voice, Lari feels a path has opened up for her, and plans to secure collaborations with other artists for her future BIMINI tracks.
“I still feel terrified 90% of the time. You never know how your music is going to do or if it’s going to keep you going for the rest of your life,” Lari said. “But I’m definitely feeling fulfilled when it comes to having a direction and a vision for this music. So I know I have to work super hard — but I’m just going to give it all I got.”
You can find both Britt Lari and BIMINI on Spotify and Soundcloud.