Rapper and songwriter Bakes has been in the independent music game since he first pursued his hip-hop career while attending college. As he wrote and recorded right out of his college apartment, Bakes captured the attention of the San Diego music scene and went on to perform as an opening act for A$AP Ferg. An artist who has evolved into a “self-contained” musician with an emphasis on lyrical wit, Bakes talents go beyond music production and writing with visual skills of his own showcased within his image and music videos.
From the Ground Up was Bakes’s first project released this year. The 14-song album details his life experiences and how powerful optimism and manifestation can be. Since the release of this album, Bakes has also put out a few singles including “Changed,” a moody lo-fi track that is accompanied by a visualizer. His most recent project is an EP called Illusions, with a music video of the same name releasing on Friday, November 5.
With more projects up his sleeve, Bakes will also be dropping a merch collection soon. While we anticipate the release of these projects, you can listen to his music on Spotify and Apple Music. The rapper discusses how his career has come full circle and his evolution as an artist below.
Connect with Bakes through the following links:
- Instagram: @yaboybakes_
- TikTok: @yaboybakesmusic
- Twitter: @yaboybakes_
- Youtube: @YaBoyBakesMusic
How would you say your music has come full circle ever since you decided to pursue being a hip-hop artist?
When I started making music, I was trying to find my sound and identity as an artist. As I’ve grown, both in the music industry and as a person, it’s reflected in my songwriting and artistry. I feel that I’m now the most polished, seasoned, and mature version of myself so my lyrical content is representing what I always wanted to convey: witty, positive, intelligent, motivational, and thought-provoking music.
As a songwriter, what inspires you to write?
I’m always writing down concepts, chorus ideas, and raps/ bars as they come to me, but I draw inspiration from the instrumental for writing an actual song. If the music feels good and invokes an emotion I want to elaborate on, I’ll start piecing together lyrics. I write to share ideas and bring value to listeners through what I’ve learned and experienced myself.
How would you describe your sound when you’re producing music?
I’m categorized as a lyrical rapper, but my sound goes beyond just clever wordplay. I focus on positive messaging, including having an entrepreneurial mindset and manifesting your reality, and mix it with my own lifestyle to produce songs that are true to who I am.
You’re in charge of a lot of the visuals you create for yourself. Can you walk me through the process of how you plan that out and how you make your visuals match your vibe?
I’ve worked with one director for several music videos, as well as other directors for other videos, and it’s always a collaborative effort. I like to give the director/ videographer the song I want to shoot and let them come up with a conceptual idea for the visual. Since I only work with people whose vision I trust, I let them take the lead while contributing my ideas along the way, resulting in a teamwork production.
Describe your most recent music video?
My new music video (Releasing November 5th) is titled “Illusion”; the visual is inspired by the movie The Matrix. The song is about perceiving reality, and the cinematic video shows the character realizing the simulation.
What are some recurring themes in your music?
Overall, I aim to uplift people with my music, and my themes reside on the positive side. I explore different topics of life with an optimistic outlook, combining lessons learned with an observant viewpoint. I find a balance between expressing myself and giving the listener something to relate to. I write a lot about manifesting your dreams, providing knowledge of how it’s done as I’m actively doing it myself. I also write about tapping into your purpose, finding your path, and bettering yourself.
How did being raised in the Bay Area affect your music background?
Growing up in the Bay Area gave me an eclectic taste in music. The Bay Area hip-hop scene was huge with the Hyphy movement and underground music having a big reach, the sound definitely influenced me. I was also really into East Coast rappers and other lyrical artists, plus I listened to rock bands like Linkin Park so I grew to appreciate all genres, and incorporate what I like into my own work.
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