Feeling a lot more free, and “less urge to be perfect,” after a few insecurities crept up from his last album, Bakar is back with his new album Halo, and he checked in with Audacy's Kevan Kenney to talk all about it.
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“Being able to let go of things at certain stages is like such a super power… it’s such a great trait to have. Because it’s like… it taught me to not to overly invested in whether something is good or bad. Like, if it comes from me then that’s that thing, in a sense, I hope I’m articulating it in the right way.”
He continued, “It’s like not being so caught up in what’s good or bad, and trusting that what I make is what I make.”
For Bakar, this album was more about incapsulating a moment in time. And when he started his album making process he recalled, “I remember writing on the board, ‘were only gonna edit songs 5%.’”
Getting out of his comfort zone was paramount when making his previous album, 2022’s Nobody’s Home, just as it was for his sophomore album. In fact, for Bakar, “it’s paramount in everything I do. From life, to recording, to writing. I really have a deep yearning of the unknown, and I wanna feel uncomfortable, and I wanna try new things.”
"I let other people come on this record to write songs with me,” he noted, “people that weren’t even that experienced, but I just trusted and I knew that they were talented enough.”
Contrastingly, someone who Bakar collaborated with who has an extreme amount of experience, in addition to being very talented, is Summer Walker.”
Sharing how that came about, Bakar said, “I’m a big fan of Summer and just love her music a lot, to me she just represents so much of what I wanted that song to be about.” Adding that if it wasn’t for Summer there would be no “Hell N Back” remix, “it was her or nothing.”
On Halo, as Bakar revealed, “I have so many like amazing Black women on this record, in like different capacities, like not in a feature capacity.” From British rapper Little Simz, to photographer Renell Medrano, and model Mona Tougaard. Having been raised by 9 women, his mom and her 8 sisters, “it’s always important to like sprinkle layers” and “additional bits,” with that strong Black female energy.
Speaking of strong Black women, Bakar has previously spoken about how Erykah Badu slid into his DMs. And while he might have tried to keep his cool when first sharing that bit of info, Bakar was a bit more transparent about how “gassed” he was when it happened.
“No, Erykah hitting me up and specifically telling me that she loved my sound, I just love when people get it,” Bakar expressed. “And talking about the Black Alt and being a Black Alternative artists, like who better to do that… and almost like birthing a genre in its own right… she’s like the Queen of that.”
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While Bakar didn’t feel confident enough to put his name on songs until “Sharing is Caring,” when it comes to Halo, he feels proud to put his name next to every song on the tracklist, and honestly doesn’t really have a standout favorite. He does however have a few that he is currently hyper-fixating on, because of different little added influences that make them unique. “'To Open My Heart,’ I just love it,” he shared, “it has this like Pop-y thing about it.”
“I love when I get ideas off the pull from different worlds, and I’m able to execute it,” Bakar went on to say. “Like ‘I’m Done’ was the same. ‘I’m Done’ I was so proud of because there was a moment where I had pulled from a few different influences, and I really made it work. And as a result of that, it spat out this new thing, and it feels so fresh, I listen to that song and I’m like wow. It has this like New Jack Swing thing with the drums, but then it has these like Talking Heads guitars in it, but then ultimately has this like R&B-ness to it with the chords, and it’s just like this melting pot that really comes together, like seamlessly.”
For additional influence talk, and a whole lot more, listen to the entire interview above. Plus, check out Bakar’s brand new album Halo below.