If we were to sketch a musical Venn diagram, West London’s Léks Rivers would perch (baseball cap backwards – obviously) slap-bang in middle of where these hypothetical circles intersect. That is to say, Rivers’ is somewhat of an anomaly. His omnivorous consumption of music manifests in multiple ways: physically, as a zany hipster who unabashedly bucks the roadman trend, and sonically – with his psychedelic, genre-bending compositions aptly labelled ‘future soul’.
Léks turned some heads in 2015 with his independently released track ‘Soho Knights’. Over eccentric organs and thunderous snares spanning the whole stereo field, Rivers’ soaring vocal lines immediately struck a chord with the labels. When you’re channelling the trail-blazing spirit of both Stevie Wonder and André 3000 – how could you not?
Eventually, Black Butter Records snapped him up. It’s not hard to see why: boasting an eclectic range of artists from J Hus to Eats Everything, Léks might even share sonic commonalities with all of them.
This leads us to his most recent offering, ‘No Rest For The Wicked’. Poignant piano riffs and formidable, driving chords pave the way for Léks’ blistering vocals: ‘I am not here to play / I am not here to love you / You falling a victim to fame / That is why I cannot trust you!’ The track, with its discernible R&B overtones, bears a striking resemblance to The Weeknd’s ‘Wicked Games’ (not to mention the title); however, there is an intensity to Rivers’ vocals and instrumentation which carves a lane entirely its own.
Yeah, Radio 1 – fuck – even Capital could spin this track all day and everyone would love it. It’s potency is undeniable. Don’t get it twisted, though: Léks didn’t make this shit for the radio – nuh uh.