#IMMusicMonday: In Conversation With BAELY

South London singer-songwriter BAELY introduces us to his new song ‘Float’ inspired by his own Caribbean and Irish heritage. Lively but soulful the track sees BAELY blend groovy R&B melodies with his stylish vocals. The single expresses the yearning for love without unnecessary confrontation.

BAELY has had the opportunity to collaborate with British-Trinidadian producer Aston Rudi (Mahalia, Ray BLK) and the track brings fiery passion throughout to show the influence of West Indian cultures that they grew up in. 

Following on from previous successful singles ‘Paranoid’ and ‘Talking To The Walls’ the latest tune blends swaying textures and funky basslines which creates good vibes and high energy to get people off their feet and throwing some shapes. BAELY has been rumoured to be one to watch as the young star continues to shine brighter going forward into his music career.

IndustryMe sits down with BAELY to discuss more on music and himself.

So, BAELY we know your name, but what is something we don’t know about you?

Something you don’t know about me… this interesting fact. I snowboard. I’m a snowboarder. 

Snowboarder! How did you get into it?

So I started it many years back when I was coming through university. A few people that I was living with had been doing that stuff since they were kids and then essentially, they asked me to be a part of the committee. We ended up becoming the biggest society on campus. When we would work with companies, they essentially said if we could guarantee x amount of people to come on the trip, we could go either for free or for a heavily discounted price; so I ended up getting to that. I haven’t looked back since, as I turned out to be quite good at snowboarding.

That in itself is unique. So why music?

So I grew up in and around music from a very young age. All of my family are musically talented in some way or another. But none of them have pursued it professionally. So as well as identifying that I had this kind of passion and talent in music, it was also just the extra thing of wanting to break that kind of family mold, where there are so many talented people who haven’t decided to sort of pursue it as a career. I was like I’m not going to be another one of those ones. I’m going to break the mold in and see where this goes so.

So, who would you say inspires you musically and why?

I would say, I’m inspired by so many different types of music and so many artists of old and new, shape me musically. I would probably have to say Donny Hathaway vocally, just because you know, his vocals are out of this world.

I think especially because I came up in the church initially, there’s the influence from gospel, both musically and vocally. It was just incredible and inspired me to take the kind of gospel, very heavy soulful vocal that I have and experiment with that kind of cross-over into the R&B world or whatever kind of genre I choose to sort of delve into.

It’s like what we were discussing earlier about genre and how it’s good to be open because it gives you more perspective on what works for you and what doesn’t. You know what to do and what not to do next. So as an independent artist in the industry, what have you learned on what not to do, and what have you learned to do that works in your favour?

I’ve learned, not to trust everybody. I’ve learned to surround myself with good people who support and believe in you, and who know what I’m trying to do and see the vision. Yeah, that’s essentially, what I’m continuing to put into practice now. It’s a journey and I just feel that’s an important part of a successful journey really. Just making sure that you do have good people around you, who support you because it does take a village. Especially as an independent artist, like you can’t do everything on your own.

What is one thing you wish you were told before that could have helped you?

I wish I got told that it wasn’t smooth sailing and there are going to be so many obstacles and peaks within the journey. Just being comfortable with that and embracing that because I don’t think anything’s smooth sailing but just doing the best that you can trying to convey and communicate what you have to say in your message in the best way. That’s something that I wish I knew before, that it was gonna be uphill.

I mean I always knew, don’t get me wrong, I always knew that there would be an uphill journey, but you know, it’s just always good to prepare for that. Because you never really know anything until you experience it in its entirety. It would have been good to know.

Do you think that was one of your biggest struggles?

I wouldn’t say it’s one of my biggest struggles only because in life and as a person, I’m a solutions person. Always have been. For me, I have kind of always lived by the whole ethos of not crying over spilled milk. It’s like, okay, where’s the mop. You kind of have to have that in the industry, especially as an independent artist. You’ve got to have resilience and be able to bounce back from anything the industry throws at you. Even if you get knocked back, get back up again and continue and remember you know why you’re doing what you do.

The inspiration behind “Float” was essentially just my nature and my character in general. Just being someone who would rather be alone and in my own space than caught up in petty little arguments or confrontation. The first line even kind of says it all and sets the tone of what it’s all about, saying ‘I’ve never been the fighting type’.

And that’s so real as I just have no time for it. And with the story of the song, it was sort of conveyed in the way of being about a relationship and is an open letter to that person. You know saying to them that if we get this right we can just float away from the heaviness of the world together, but ‘you can just be my escape’ is another line in the song. And even just touching on that, the whole idea of so many people looking to other things to try and sort of help escape or you know get some kind of relief. In this song, what I was saying was, I don’t want to have to look to other things to you know, escape or get some kind of release. I want you to be the personification of that, I want you to be that person and we can just escape together.

Life is too hard and too short to be caught up in craziness, unnecessary craziness especially. I feel like people have been taking that away from the track.

For the future what are we expecting or how much can you tell us what we can expect?

I mean there’s a lot of exciting things in the pipeline at the moment. Some of them waiting to be materialised, some surprises in store as well. But, I think in general as you can expect more music to come from me very soon. The last couple of years, it’s been very weird. But even in saying that, it was such an amazing thing as well, to be able to have that time to look at everything from a bird’s eye view and decide how I wanted to approach my next set of releases, or just my creative output in general.

Yeah coming end of January, maybe the beginning of February, I will be releasing a follow-up single and the lead single from the EP will probably drop at some point following that. The EP is due to drop in early summer maybe at the end of April or the beginning of May. But you know being independent, these things are all subject to change and I embrace that. That’s the exciting part of being on this journey that, things can just change in an instance.

If you could perform anywhere and open up for someone, where would it be, what performance would it be at or festival shall I say at? And who would you open up for?

I’ve had the opportunity fortunately to perform at a lot of incredible venues. You know I think it would be dope to do something abroad. Maybe somewhere like the Hollywood Bowl, that would be sick.

I went to LA for the first time in November 2019 under a sort of writing trip and I thought it was sick. I loved it up there, especially in the music world. It’s just so big, embracive, and vast and I love that about it. And the venues that they have out there as well are just incredible, so yeah Hollywood bowl would probably be up there. Other than that there are the UK iconics like the O2 and the rest of it.

But who would I open up for? You know what, I think it would be sick to open up for someone like Lucky Daye. I think he’s dope.

Just in terms of realistic situations as well I think opening for Lucky would be sick. That’s the first person that’s coming to my head, so I will leave it at that.

What advice would you give to other independent artists, who want to be in the same position as you?

I would say when you find good people, who support you, are there for the journey, and genuinely believe in your vision, hold onto those people for sure. This industry can be crazy. There are just so many moving parts and so many things happening all the time, that I think, it’s easy to get lost in the whole process. You know forget the fact that there are a lot of negative sides to being in the industry as well.

So, when you find those kinds of gems, one just being super grateful for those things coming along but also just making sure that you hold on to those people.

What legacy do you want to leave behind as BAELY?

I want to leave behind a legacy as someone who paved the way for people coming underneath me to gain success in what they are trying to do, especially if it’s in a sort of similar lane to what I’m trying to do.

Being in the UK, you know in the industry in general my type of music, the whole kind of R&B fusions and whatever is still tryna cut through. It would just be incredible to be able to kind of carve that path so that other people can sort of walk down. Also to gain success in genres of music that aren’t necessary as embraced as others in the UK, that would be the legacy I would want to leave behind. Someone who paved the way for others.

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