Babé Sila is seen as the ‘Queen of R&B’ back home in Hungary, having drawn inspiration from legends like Erykah Badu and Alicia Keys, while making her own artistic voice shine. Having been in the music game since 2015 and already having released two albums, she has had time to understand the music game and what she wants from it.
Now in 2022 with ‘Fresh Pinks‘ and ‘Make You Feel‘ already out and a new EP on the way, we chatted to Babé Sila about the new music on the way, why she has moved away from the electronic sound she was previously known for and the variety in fashion across the globe.
Could you tell me more about ‘Fresh Pinks,’ the inspiration behind it, and the distinct visual style of
the music video?
I wrote ‘Fresh Pinks‘ in 2020 after a very intense summer romance. The backstory is that it was in the
first year of the pandemic. What happened was my hometown Budapest opened up for the
summer and they released all lockdown restrictions, so everyone we knew who lived abroad just
went back to Budapest. I met a guy who also lives abroad, who is Hungarian, and we kind of met in
Budapest and we spent a beautiful time together and we fell in love. I said this in another
interview, it felt as if our feelings were on steroids because those few months were lacking inspiration
or any real-life experiences so this whole summer in Budapest felt crazy.
Then I had a very bad few months after this summer. (obviously my dopamine was high and then low) Suddenly nothing is open, no singing, no partying, no friends, no sun, and it was a very grey few months after that summer. I literally got stuck in London and I started writing these feelings and initially, I wrote some bitter songs, and then eventually I wrote ‘Fresh Pinks.’ Then I went back to the summer to make
me feel better and it gave me hope we’ll all be free soon, and we’ll be free to love and I felt grateful I
got to experience something so intense and crazy.
It’s got the bitterness but, in the chorus, when the music unfolds it’s got the contrast. In the verse, I’m asking why this end(ed), why it has to be that way, and then the chorus it all turns around and then I say my heart preserved the ‘Fresh Pinks,’ the vibrant colours of this love.
Do you think the song has put an end to that chapter of your life?
It’s not just a song but a whole album, the feeling went from 0 to 100 in emotions and experiences,
so I wrote a whole EP of that summer, and some of the songs I wrote in a very sad and bitter mood
but for me, the happy songs are a sign I’ve dealt with it. So you could definitely say that it means the
chapter is ended and I possessed good and bad feelings and even if something caused pain I can now
sugar coat it.
I watched your music video for ‘Hole‘ which I really loved, and it seemed that it was a metaphor for being in some enclosed space and stepping out of it. It is high concept and artistic. Do you think
your music centers around being in some tight emotional space and equally the breaking out period of that?
It’s about being in my own world and trying to solve my problems internally and trying to feel nice
and safe in my little bubble but eventually breaking out from it and funnily enough in ‘Fresh Pinks,’ it
plays with the idea of me being alone and me playing with the band. Whether alone or with the
band I am always surrounded by music. My musicians are there with me even in my head.
How does music feature in your life?
You could say music is my life. All my childhood experiences are tied to (a) song and my love stories. I
think a lot of people are like that they think about a song it reminds them of a feeling or era in their
life. But for me, it’s very powerful. I always have music with me, I literally live with my earphones in it
circulates in every part of my life.
You are hailed as the Hungarian queen of R&B and look up to musicians like Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys. Is there anyone recently you’ve found inspiring or shifting your musical tastes as you’ve grown older?
Artists like Cleo Sol and Joy Cruz. Real artists (who) write their own songs. Underground artists, they have influenced my sound. If you listen to my first two albums on Spotify released (in) 2016 and 2017, they were quite electronic. The Soul/R&B touch was always there but it was the Weeknd and BANKS era, and then this alternative R&B genre came, they started this whole electric R&B genre.
I worked with a Hungarian producer called High Love and since I moved to Berlin and London, my sound changed (and) I went back to the roots. I want everything to sound organic and I just wanted to get rid of all the electronic. Now all I want is groove, think drums and real melodies; pianos; guitars; horns. I never had horns; we recorded drums live for ‘Fresh Pinks‘ as I wanted live drums.
They say it takes an entire career just to be yourself. You say you are stripping back on electronics and becoming more organic. Do you find you are able to connect with a more authentic version of
yourself as an artist?
My musical journey is a finding myself journey. When I wrote my first album, I didn’t know who I was,
what I wanted. But, as I became more mature for example, I let go of all the fake stuff; I don’t wear that
much makeup, and I began to accept myself and value myself and I feel my music matured with me.
Now I want the natural sounds, it’s a journey and still is. I still feel that I am so many things. I like
consistency in my music, and I think it’s important that the core stays the same. I’d never hop on a
trend. I’ve been listening to the new Beyoncé; if Hip-Hop tracks are the trend she makes a Hip-Hop
track. Maybe it’s a good example that I wear sneakers and jeans one day and the next high heels or
stilettos and (a) little cocktail dress. It is still me the person that is there, but I like to play around with a
Do you think about fashion and personal style as well in terms of becoming the artist you want to be and moving about between countries do you notice quite big fashion changes?
100%, definitely my Instagram followers know how I love funky shoes and just love to express myself
with them. Within London east and west I’d dress differently. In East London I’d wear Crocs, and (in) West
London I’d dress in a more elegant and feminine way. When I go to New York it’s much more casual,
and Berlin is the most free spirit and wildest, like if you were out in furry pyjamas and high heels
nobody would care.
Do you have a release date for the upcoming album and release dates for future shows?
I’m planning to release another single (in) late September and early October, and I plan to release the EP
next year and it’s going to be great I’m very proud of it. This EP is very me. The sound is great, and
the core is very authentic, and I’m really excited for it.
And the name?
The name is ‘I Told The Sun About You.’ I have a very special relationship with the sun, the whole
EP revolves around love. If I tell the sun about our love it must be very important.