You just moved to the big city, you end up at a party where you don't know anyone and someone walks up to you and asks: "Hey, are you alone here?". That is exactly the feeling that Porcelain id describes on their debut album Bibi:1, short for the Arabic pet name Habibi. Porcelain id is the pseudonym under which Hubert Tuyishime (they/them/their) has been unleashing unique songs since 2020.

The album - inspired by their move from a quiet provincial town to Antwerp - is the soundtrack to walking into city traffic during rush hour and trusting to get out of the chaos in one piece. It is an ode to exciting encounters with complete strangers and to the friends you can come home to afterwards. A story about being a stranger in a city you've romanticized for so long, the rejection that comes with it, and the false nostalgia with which you look back on it all later on.

At first hearing, the completely English-language Bibi:1 may seem like a brusque farewell to the autobiographical intimacy and lo-fi singer-songwriter music on the previously released EPs Mango and Reprise, and especially on songs like Vlaanderen. But to Porcelain id it feels like an organic evolution. One towards more abstraction, experimentation and electronics, but never detached, and still building on the core of Porcelain id.

The new sound is the result of an intense collaboration with producer and partner in crime Youniss Ahamad, who, despite their different musical backgrounds, immediately felt challenged after Porcelain id's legendary elevator pitch: 'I want to make something that is situated between Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Yeezus by Kanye West'.

Together they drew the blueprint for Bibi:1 in Youniss' home studio. Track by track, without looking back. A sporadic, but rigid process that added to the intensity of the album. In the studio, the songs were taken to a higher level. The two invited a pack of talented friends and young musicians to the studio to add parts, a stark contrast to the solitary approach of previous EPs. Aram Abgaryan (recording engineer/synths/vocals), Nard Houdmeyers (guitar), Tim Caramin (drums), David Idrisov (bass), Alban Sarens (sax) and Emma Hessels (vocals) came by. Aram Santy was at the controls during the mixing sessions.

The result sounds like the ultimate symbiosis of Porcelain id and Youniss. Lofi, but ambitious. Fragile, but rough. Poppy, but disruptive. Sometimes challenging. Then welcoming again. Sometimes even danceable. Each song forms a small vignette that is part of a diverse, but coherent unity. Adam Coming Home and Low Poly are closest to the melancholy of Porcelain id's earlier work, while Lights! strikes a new path. First single Man Down, on the other hand, is inspired by the Antwerp students who drown every year and sounds like a wandering nightly stroll through the city. For Brilliant, David Idrisov was asked to 'play bass as if Chet Baker were not a trumpet player, but a bass player', a bizarre assignment that he accomplished with verve. And Cellophane flirts with emo trap and was sung with raspberries between the teeth, to simulate the effect of grills.

With this unique and crushing album, Porcelain id seems to be on its way to conquering a place all its own, far away from formats and from the beaten path.


  1. Habibi (r u alone?) (feat.Emma)
  2. Low Poly
  3. You are the heaven
  4. Adam Coming Home
  5.  Moon
  6. Feeling
  7. Brilliant (feat. Emma)
  8. Cellophane
  9. Man Down!
  10. Reach Me/Reaching Higher (feat. Youniss)
  11. Lights!

 (Bibi:1 - Unday records - 16.02.24)