It was the hypnotic club groove of her 2022 single “Kerosene” that set Biig Piig on the path to making Bubblegum. There was something about the song that told Irish-born, Spanish-raised singer-producer Jess Smyth that it shouldn’t be a stand-alone single. “It felt like something that was going to branch out into a whole project,” she tells Apple Music. “It didn’t feel fully formed—it felt like a sentence rather than a paragraph. Initially, there was no idea for a mixtape, but the more I kept writing, I pieced it together slowly.” Recorded in New York, Los Angeles, and London and exploring the blossoming and breaking of a relationship, Bubblegum is an imaginative leap forward for Smyth, pairing confessional pop with techno soundscapes, garage beats, airy hooks, and cut-up samples across its seven tracks. For Smyth, it was a reminder of what her relationship with music is. “It doesn’t matter where you are in the world or what state you’re in, music will still find you. When I feel like a track hits is when it can take you out of your experience and transport you into [the song].” Let Smyth guide you through Bubblegum, track by track. “Only One” “This song felt quite innocent to me, the first hurdle of a relationship where you’re a bit like, ‘I’ll give you everything. I’ll be everything for you.’ There’s that thing where you’re almost besotted with someone and you’re like, ‘Oh yeah, there’s nothing else for me,’ and getting that across in a way that felt so childlike. I had it for ages and I loved it but I didn’t know I had a mixtape until the end of the process where I was looking back and was like, ‘Actually all of these belong together.’ In that context, it was obvious that this was the start.” “Liquorice” “This is a lot sweeter, a lot less like, ‘Oh, I’ve done something wrong’ and more like a love letter to the nostalgia of early love. It’s weird thinking about it in order lyrically, where you already started blaming yourself at the start of the relationship. This second track is almost an obsessive thing over someone. I was working with [US producer] Hazey Eyes in New York and I wanted something that felt a little bit more in a dance world. He started bringing out this garage-y beat with it and I was like, ‘Sick.’ Sometimes with choruses, you want to pack it out with stuff and make it really busy but, for this track, I was like, ‘Actually, the space is nice.’ It’s a dream-like, spacey track.” “Kerosene” “This was made in London with [UK producer] Zach Nahome and Maverick Sabre. We went in and we were playing around with some different stuff and then we came across some melody and chopped that up. When we started to build on the production of it, the first thing that came to mind was the Spanish track [Daddy Yankee’s] ‘Gasolina.’ I was like, ‘That’s the energy I felt the track has and if there’s a way to get that across…’ So I was thinking, ‘What’s similar to gasoline but is not gasoline? Maybe kerosene…’ I went off the back of that and it was summer and I was desperate to get that energy on it.” “This Is What They Meant” “This was made with [US producer] Andrew Wells in LA. I was writing about a time really recent to that when I was with Hazey Eyes in New York. I caught up with a friend out there and was maybe in a state of just wanting to feel loved. I was like, ‘I wonder what it would be like if we were together,’ and then I kind of went through this delusional thing where I convinced myself I was in love with him for five days. I came back and we wrote that track and then got it out of my system and I was fine!” “Ghosting” “I did this with [US producer] Aaron Shadrow in LA. This is where things kind of take a turn a little bit, where it’s like, ‘Oh, right. I can’t get the feeling from a person and I can indulge all I want and the thought of someone or build them up in my head. Or I can escape into other people for so long and then it’s never resolved and it'll never satisfy the thing that I’ve actually been looking for, which is just to escape.’ With ‘Ghosting,’ it's the first time that comes into the project.” “Picking Up” (feat. Deb Never) “This is about going out and trying to follow the adrenaline, the anxiety that comes with just being on a bit of a run and being scared to stop—stuck in this headspace angry at the world and at the person that you were with as well as everything around it, but also being almost self-indulgent. It’s a song about getting fucked up and not being able to stop, then getting in a loop with it because it feels better than having to face reality where being alone is scary because you don’t know how to be with yourself. It’s that kind of journey in the track. It was written with Deb Never as well, who I love. She’s the best.” “In the Dark” “This is kind of the eclipse of the whole project where you’re at a very different place to the beginning of it. You started off at this very innocent relationship where you’re like, ‘I can change, I’ll be different,’ and then you get to the very end. I had the image in my head when you’re the last man standing or you’re on a night out on your own, just dancing and closing your eyes and being stuck on a loop of that. That encapsulated the feeling of this track.”


Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada