The singer talks musical inspirations, setting up his own label and rediscovering the joys of cooking in lockdown.
Few artists are able to bounce so seamlessly from genre to genre than Babyjake. The American singer-songwriter, signed to Republic Records, pulls from all kinds of sounds to create his own breed of rock genius. Having amassed over 30 million streams with his indie-trap and trip-rock hits since releasing breakout single “Cigarettes On Patios” last year, Jake stood out immediately as an artist to watch in the coming years.
With the recent release of his debut EP, “Don’t give me problems, give me wine”, it would seem the time has come for the world to get to know this talented artist. Boasting seven tunes, the Floridian singer-songwriter moves from dreamy ballads like “Blue Cellophane” to rocky acoustic cuts “MadHappySad” with natural ease and determination. This EP not only cements his status as a genre-bending virtuoso, but it also puts on display an array of deep musings on addiction, depression and life in general from the singer as he stakes his claim on the music scene.
Catching up with the genre-defying artist below, we talked inspirations, setting up his own label and rediscovering the joys of cooking in lockdown.
Hey BabyJake! How has lockdown been treating you? Has anything really great came out of this time?
Staying at home’s been great. I lost 40 lbs, I feel better, I’m more productive. I think I really needed to lockdown & focus up, I was too caught up in what was going on around me that I ended up neglecting myself. And it feels GREAT to get back in to cooking, that’s probably the best part.
You self released “Little Mess” and “Miami” gaining a lot of online attention; what was the process of creating those songs? How did you make that happen on your own?
“Little Mess” was the first project I’d ever recorded professionally so it was a completely new process to me. As far as “Miami” goes, I recorded that at The Facility (a recording studio) in my hometown Fort Myers, Florida. At that time I really didn’t know much about engineering or producing so I was letting those guys really take the reins. It wasn’t until I started learning to produce & engineer myself that my outlook took a real turn. I’d say now I’m much more on top of it & know almost exactly what I want coming into a session.
Once your music was out, you connected with producers Luyo Mario and DVLP; and later Scooter Braun – tell us about that and how your career has changed since?
Luyo changed my life. That’s my brother forever, he’s really the one that put me on in the music space. If it wasn’t for Luyo I would have probably never met DVLP & built that relationship with him. They are both family to me. Early on they were the two producing the majority of my stuff & developing me as an artist. Scooter came along later into the picture but he’s been nothing but great as well. You hear a lot about Scooter, so being in business with him is definitely exciting.
“MadHappySad” kind of perfectly describes how a lot of us have been feeling these last few months; tell us about the song?
“MadHappySad” explains itself. In the song I’m more so talking about a relationship & that person making you feel all of these emotions, but it just so happens our world entered a mass pandemic as the song dropped. So I guess it randomly felt cohesive with what’s going on right now.
What was the process like for you writing and creating the newest music? What do you hope people will experience from this new work?
Making the EP was super fun. I had a great time with great people & it came naturally to me. I’d really like fans to form their own opinion on the music when listening. I’m more interested in what the listener hears/feels from it than myself. I think that’s the ultimate goal, to allow others to relate their own experiences & feelings to my music.
Obviously there are a lot of things going on between politics, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement and the pandemic; have you been pleasantly surprised by anything during these strange times? Have you discovered any new artists or activists that you suggest we check out?
Honestly, not really. I’ve been more focused on myself than anything else. It’s been a really good time to reflect & hone in on everything I’m doing. In between being an artist, running my own label, & trying to get involved in the fashion industry, I really don’t have a lot of time dedicated towards discovery. I know that sounds bad, but I feel like a lot of artists are in a similar boat. I’d like to start getting back into it though.
Before the world got really weird you ended 2019 with over 25 million streams across your first three singles and live performances of “Blue Cellophane” and “239” for the Vevo DSCVR Artists to Watch 2020 campaign; what an incredible feat, was that surreal or did you expect it?
Pretty surreal. I expected for my music to do well but not 25-30M streams well. “Cigarettes on Patios” really blew up. That was a huge surprise for sure.
Which artists would you like to collaborate with? Musicians or otherwise?
I would love to collaborate with any old rockstar. I completely fangirl over 70-90’s rockstars. If you asked me to pick current artist though, I’d probably say Benee, Dominic Fike, YBN Cordae, Jaden Smith, Brockhampton, etc… There’s a ton I’ve got in mind. Hopefully some of them come into fruition.
Who are you listening to most right now?
I’m listening to The Cars & Disclosure the most right now. Totally different vibes & genres but I’ve been obsessed with “Just What I Needed” by The Cars & “Douha (Mali Mali)” by Disclosure. Don’t ask me why, I’ve just really been vibing to those two songs particularly.
Anything you want to share with fans or fans to be that you have not shared with anyone yet?
To all my fans… 1. I fucking love you! 2. Thanks for the support, I fucking love you! 3. I’m working on new music & I’m excited to share that with you ASAP. I never stop working! We keep this train a-movin’!!!!