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Blnko. Photo: Sofia Ron Weigan (@ronchasss)
Blnko. Photo: Sofia Ron Weigan (@ronchasss)

Genre-bending artist Blnko intersects pop-punk and hip-hop on new EP ‘Blinko-182’

The artist from Guadalajara, Jalisco, fuses elements of pop-punk, hip-hop, emo, and trap.

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The artist Blnko named his new EP Blinko-182, in an obvious reference to blink-182, the famed pop-punk band that embedded themselves in American culture throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Blnko, whose real name is Sergio Moraila Espinoza, is no stranger to pop culture references. A handful of his songs reference famed characters throughout history such as “Nosferatu,” “Naruto Flow,” and “Drakula.”

Out of all the references, the title Blinko-182 may hold the most significance, as the pop-punk influence evident on the EP was inspired by the music Blnko listened to in his youth.

Blnko is a 23-year-old artist hailing from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and is part of the Universal Music Publishing Group roster, which published his single “Reggaetón Vampiro,” a dangerously headbang-worthy track.

Under Universal, Blnko has continued to record with his collective, Pinkface, and work with his own record label, Fuimos Punks.

Blinko-182 was released on July 28 of this year through Fuimos Punks, and is Blnko’s first EP following a string of singles released since 2018. 

The EP carries multiple genre influences that transition rapidly and with ease. Elements of pop-punk, hip-hop, emo and trap are incorporated throughout.

Blnko’s EP features moments where pop-punk melodies reign — such as on openers “Baby Tu U.U” and “No Me Jodas Xd” — acting as callbacks to when groups like blink-182 dominated radio airtime.

The bygone days of pop-punk and emo’s popularity in mainstream rock inspired Blnko to inject a personal spin, and update the genres where he saw fit.

The middle portion of Blinko-182 caters to the fusion of Blnko’s influences rather than statements on the individual genres. For listeners with a particular interest in hip-hop, the EP closer “Morirm3 Temprano0” is recommended.

The rapper and singer uses an array of descriptors to portray himself and his style, including “urbano post-kawaii” and “contenido emo-kawaii.”

‘Kawaii’ is a Japanese word that emcompasses the country’s “culture of cuteness,” or the quality of something being cute or worthy of adoration. 

Blnko told Noisey last year that he hopes to focus on the fusion of pop-punk, trap, emo, and urbano in his music during 2021. He explained contenido emo-kawaii as the fusion of all three.

Outside vocals, Blnko plays guitar and bass, and has also worked on the audiovisual project, Delikados Media. 

Blnko’s introduction to music-playing came in the unique form of the 2007 video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.

Guitar Hero is a series of rhythm games where players jam out on a virtual stage. The third installment included rock classics like the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the U.K.” and The Killers’ “When You Were Young.”

When Blnko’s father saw him playing the video game, he suggested he play real guitar.

The musician got his true start in music by performing emo and pop-punk music in talent shows. He then moved on to recording covers, covering pop-punk group Neck Deep, punk household name Green Day, the genre-bending Gorillaz, and the music of Frank Iero. 

Blnko explained in an interview with the blog Secuencias that his writing process concerns the hardships he faces and the moments in his life he finds memorable.

In addition to the influences he pulled from for his EP, Blnko has incorporated other elements of reggaetón, lofi, and rock in his wider catalogue — which is impressively diverse in sound.

Blinko-182 — an EP running just over 18 minutes during its trim, six-song tracklist — serves as Blnko’s strongest statement on genre-bending. 

Blnko hopes to portray through his music that there are no limits to genre-bending. Considering the feat pulled off with Blinko-182, Blnko is already meeting that goal.

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