British musician Bakar stopped by the Audacy’s KROQ studios to chat with Kevan Kenney all about his song "Free" off his latest album Nobody's Home, released February 25.
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Taking things back real quick first, to 2019-2020 when his single “Hell N Back” blew up, Kevan wanted to know if the vibes the song gives off, were in fact the vibes Bakar was feeling when he wrote it. Admitting certain songs “put you in a very specific setting,” for Kenney “Hell N Back” made him feel as though he’s “on the PCH, it’s dusk, it’s the most beautiful night out and the windows are down, your just cruising.”
Well turns out, that was exactly the vibe.
“Well I made it just off the PCH… so I’m glad that you felt like that," Bakar said, noting that the music video was filmed there as well. “I recorded the song about 6PM in a studio in Malibu," he noted before slyly revealing where in Malibu — at the legendary Shangri-La studios. Adding, that just hours later at “about 4 AM I filmed the video when the sun was coming up.”
Wondering whether his physical location plays into the creative process, Kevan asked Bakar if his surrounding influence what kind of music he makes.
“I think naturally that happens, it’s not really a thought process but I think things are gonna take their toll on you.”
After first starting off in the realm of Hip Hop, Bakar really found his voice once he entered the indie-rock arena, though the artist implores, “genre’s never really been a thing for me”
“Growing up as an inner city kid I grew up listening to Grime, Hip Hop, R&B, those are the things I grew up on originally.” However thanks to a good friend's older brother, he started to listen to bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, who he cites as an early influence. Admitting, “the lead was just rapping to me… I understood this, and also the melodies turned me on at the same time.
"There was this thing that was happening in my brain… and I was getting more into it and at the same time I was discovering bands like Arctic Monkeys and Bloc Party, and to me Arctic Monkeys were doing the exact same thing just with a British accent… it just all started making sense to me and I just liked it.”
Though it wasn’t until much later after that that Bakar started to make music of his own, even at that time he knew, “when I do this, I want to do it a bit different.”
The first time Bakar put out any music he actually did so anonymously on Soundcloud, which at the time he “masked as a social experiment.” Obviously the experiment proved successful, as he’s back with a brand new album Nobody's Home and his latest single “Free.”
Aside from being excited about the new music, Bakar discussed his latest merch collab with Stussy and opened up about meeting and collaborating with the late fashion icon Virgil Abloh on a CD cover, “that’s gonna come out soon.”
Talking about the experience, Bakar revealed, “it was amazing, it was very emotional, but it was amazing because we started the ideas while he was alive and finished them while he wasn’t alive, so it was a very weird process.” Wanting to keep the convo on Virgil, Bakar told Kenny to ask away, to which he obliged. But to hear what Bakar had to say, you’re going to have to press play.
Watch Bakar's entire interview with Kevan Kenney above.