INTERVIEW: A Chat With Baru, The Young King.
By Byaruhanga Felix (@TheNinjaFelix)
As I wound up my week I was summoned by Baru to make a trip down to Dustville. Since it was a hectic Friday, I proposed to him we meet on Monday and he insisted it had to be Saturday. Next day I cleared the afternoon and headed to Dustville. After a few minutes of settling in Baru plays me this entire project titled “Young King” that he has been working on. As I listen to it track after track I realize he’s taken a different direction from the usual work he creates or his past work right from the beats to the artists featuring on the project. After listening to the songs with a couple of repeats on certain we get to talking about the objectives of the project in details and why he took a different direction as you can read below.
QN: First things first why that title? Are you trying to send out a message?
Young king is a mindset I carry which is more concerned with how I look at and feel about myself, what I go through, what happens on a day to day basis. My goals, the challenges, most importantly the achievements and what I consider myself ( A Young King ) to be amidst all these things that happen as a live life that give it more meaning. Am always learning and growing from these experiences. Most of the stories on the project revolve around a point where I was in my life at that moment when the project was coming to life and hints on the hustle, love, freedom, fantasies, how I perceive myself etc. I drew a lot from feelings resulting from the situations and experiences at hand during the creation of the project. Yeah, it actually is a statement cause Young King was an effort to come up with a solid project that is a clear representation of where Baru has grown as an artist while exploring a bunch of influences and skills I have collected on my journey as an urban hip hop and RnB producer present them in a way that is never been heard before though you will also hear a little bit of pop, afro-fusion, electronic and reggae influences considering I listen to a vast range of genres. Its the beginning.
QN: I do realize you’ve taken a different direction with this project from sound to the way you’re packaging it. What drove you to this direction?
I sort of wanted to use the different artists I worked with ranging from musicians, arrangers, engineers to artists to showcase their abilities, push boundaries and make a presentation of us, of me and show a side of us that had never been explored, go to places we had never been as artists. A lot of randomness and experimentation was involved during the creation process hence the nature of the project. Plus I wanted to exploit all the resources available to me much as I could to push the envelope. Everyone went hard as far as creation of project is concerned . It had to sound like the present and the future. Ability exploration.
QN: From the conversion we had you said it’s creation is organic. What did you base on to feature these artists? Is it about getting artists who can get the brand name “Baru” out there or those whom you feel can do justice to the beat and understand the theme of the project?
The whole process of creation was natural. I was vibing off feelings as a result of the situations and experiences during that period of time most of the time and running with what would come out at the moment bring in an artist explain my side of things to them and let them create with me. For example. Lets say I woke up feeling sad that day, I would get into studio try to exploit that sadness and create something out of it. Artist selection was based on individuals I thought would understand what I was aiming for and be able to have a great level of expression. More concern was put on expression and execution rather than who is whatever. The project has contributions from Pryce Teeba, Abaasa, Patrobas, Play01, Kevin, Love Child, Kevin Abuka, Sitenda, Delboy, Sanyu Sings, Ivory Namara, Nel Muhire a mix engineer with c19. There is also collaboration with Kwiz Era an illustrator and painter as far as artworks for the project are concerned. A bunch of video directors are also getting on board as far as visuals are concerned. But of course all the above had to be at par with standards attached to the brand name. Its been a trip working on this project am excited. Shouts to the team and everyone that contributed on the works.
QN: In terms of production, did you approach these this project any differently compared to other projects you’ve worked on in the past?
The production on this project was mostly experimental and random. No particular rules were followed in terms of structuring ideas, arrangements, choosing topics and so forth which is never the case with other projects. We basically went to places we had never been to and explored a bunch of influences. All we had to do was tell stories, push boundaries and have fun while at it. It’s definitely different.
QN: Last year you had a couple of singles that shook up the urban undoing addition to Redefinitions that redefined the industry. For some producers that would be enough for their brands then concentrate on just producing but here you’re again with a new project, what keeps you going?
Thing is I’ve never wanted to put myself in a box or feel like am limited. Am always creating, am always looking for new ways of pushing myself, am always looking for the next interesting thing to push for, am always pushing the envelope and I don’t see myself stopping until I stop as long as the universe still wants me to create with it. Through this creation I find those moments of true happiness once in a while. And I also reached a point (Points like where I felt the need to express myself artistically and put my own ideas out there ) where being just a producer wasn’t enough anymore there is more stuff I can do out here while staying true to what I love. The urge to want to express myself also can’t allow me to stop and that I cant do on other people’s projects. So can’t stop won’t stop. I can’t risk getting bored and most importantly the love for what I do keeps me going. Am also always hoping what I do somehow impacts the industry positively and helps makes the world a better place.
QN: Where do you see yourself in relationship to other producers in hip-Hop and the music industry as a whole?
Looking back to how I got into music. Its been a crazy journey. Right from high school when we used to make beats at my friend Nature’s house to how I got to meet people like Flex, A-Pass at campus who were on the same music hustle and loved what they were doing. These were like my age mates and they were doing what they loved doing. This even gave me more reasons to push and always push for more when it came to following my heart and pursuing what I wanted to pursue . There is always an amount of unexplainable joy that has been attached to what I go through pursuing music production and sound engineering as a career the experiences, the lessons, and where there is joy I follow. For me am in it mostly for the love, to make more out of this gift and how making music makes me feel better about myself. What’s better than doing what you love on a daily. Ever since I started pursuing music and audio production I’ve never stopped meeting people who have helped a lot grow me and the artist in me. Most people I’ve crossed path with have made it possible for me to make my contribution to UG music industry at large. In relation to other producers, I think we all in it for different reason. I would love to change how music is consumed by raising the bar which might help improve the quality of music made by Ugandans. Am in a good place.
QN: What should the audience expect with this project and also in future what’s next for Baru now that you’re taking this direction and approach?
The project explores a bunch of influences but mostly hip hop and RnB. You will also hear a little bit of dance, electronic, afro-fusion, reggae influences but all working together to represent my biggest influences hip hop and RnB. Like I had said earlier, production on the project was very experimental, the arrangements are random, the sound is fresh. Its a trip. Baru like you’ve never heard before. Good music over all. Creatives and broad thinkers will enjoy it. Hope its not way a head of its time. There is a song for everyone though and its interesting.
We never know what the future holds but am always working.
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