The soundtrack to the secret party you’re never invited to
“Do you feel delicious?” asks Esperanza Denswil in breathy fashion at the start of ‘Delicious’. “Cos I feel delicious.” After a moment of silence, a funk-heavy dance beat kicks in, and then all hell breaks loose. As introductions go, it’s pretty spectacular, a bold statement to open your first EP with. The Dutch recording artist, singer, songwriter, MC, producer, and actress who records under the name Pink Oculus is not lacking in confidence. She’s loud and proud, and a born performer, charisma oozing from every pore. “This is for the freaks and geeks” she sings on another song, hinting that she’s not afraid to fight to be heard, nor shy away from controversial themes.
Blessed with an easy charm, her sing-speak and rap vocals perfectly complement her music. Cherry picking elements from funk, dance, electronica, soul, jazz, and hip hop, she blends it all into a heady, seductive mix, making you dance one minute and quietly sway the next. On record, her skills behind the mixing desk come to the fore; everything’s neat and polished, and she has an uncanny knack to know exactly how much embellishment to add to elevate each track. But it’s on stage that she really comes into her own, commanding the room – and her backing band – with all the skill and maturity of a master. As a soundtrack to a party, Pink Oculus is pretty hard to beat, but as a black woman voicing the concerns of the marginalized and discriminated against, she’s vital.