Swedish rapper, and record producer Benjamin Reichwald, known professionally as Bladee has released his new single, “Drain Story.”
Bladee released his debut album Eversince in 2016, through Stockholm record label Year0001. In addition to his music, Bladee creates visual art, which frequently appears as cover art for his releases.
Bladee released a few tracks in 2011 under the name Ken Burns, but properly began releasing music in 2012. He eventually became friends with Swedish rapper Yung Lean, who was a friend of Reichwald’s brother.
Bladee eventually sent a message to Sad Boys member Yung Sherman on SoundCloud, asking to collaborate, which resulted in a working relationship between his own Gravity Boys collective and Lean’s Sad Boys Entertainment.
Bladee and Lean then made “Heal You // Bladerunner” from Lean’s Unknown Death 2002 mixtape, which gave him attention from Lean’s fanbase.
Bladee released his debut-mixtape, GLUEE in 2014 on the Year0001 label which was described as the “summertime anthem for a suburban generation stuck scrolling through Twitter.”
The mixtape was successful on the audio distribution platform SoundCloud, racking up over 2 million plays. This mixtape, coupled with several singles going viral and features on Yung Lean’s debut mixtape Unknown Death 2002 was able to rocket Bladee into underground hip hop fame.
Bladee released his debut album, Eversince on 25 May 2016. The album received mixed reviews from mainstream outlets, but was well received by underground and experimental critics.
In 2017, Bladee teamed up with production group Working on Dying to release his second mixtape, named after the group. The next year his second album, Red Light, released.
Bladee’s third mixtape, Icedancer, was released 28 December 2018. This album was executively produced by Australian collective Ripsquadd featuring production from Whitearmor and PJ Beats.
In April 2020, Reichwald released EXETER, a nine-song album he recorded whilst in Gotland with Gud. It is the first Bladee project produced by Gud on the Year0001 label.
In July 2020, Bladee released his third album and second project of 2020, 333 via Year0001. The album was produced primarily by Whitearmor, with additional production coming from close collaborators Gud, Mechatok, and Lusi (Ripsquadd member), as well as Joakim Benon of the Swedish band JJ.
Notable is the absence of any vocal features, especially of longtime collaborator and fellow Drain Gang member Ecco2K, who contributed to the previous 3 Bladee albums.
In December 2020, Bladee released his third and final project of 2020, Good Luck via Year0001, entirely produced by Mechatok. Both Reichwald and Mechatok performed all of the tracks on the album as well as an additional set from Mechatok in a livestreamed performance on 10 December, the same day the album was released.
In May 2021, Bladee released his fourth studio album, The Fool via Year0001. The album was executive produced by frequent collaborator Lusi.
In January 2022, Bladee released the single Amygdala in collaboration with Ecco2k and Mechatok. That same year, a collaborative project, Crest, with Ecco2K was released via Year0001 in March. The project was recorded in Spring 2020.
Bladee has described his style as “pain” though saying, as of 2018, he had “evolved into some sort of auto-tuned dark angel”. He often experiments, incorporating various genres. He has stated that he finds the process therapeutic.
In an interview with Bladee, Jack Angell, a music writer for The Fader, described Reichwald’s sound as “frostbitten futurism” and remarked that Reichwald’s music evokes “a wide spectrum of emotion”. He has received attention for his collaborations and live performances with Yung Lean.
Bladee has cited Chief Keef, Lil B, The Beach Boys, Basshunter, and James Ferraro as influences on his work.