Bakar, the self-described “baggy, skinny” rocker hailing from London, is unconventional. If you look for the first pieces of information on him, you’ll find a short interview from 2015 written by i-D. At that time, he appeared to be in the same fashion/music scene as Jeremy Scott and ASAP Rocky in some capacity. If you look him up now, you’ll find interviews on him from Pigeons and Planes, Fred Perry, and HungerTV talking about his music career.
Since 2016, Bakar has been releasing genre blending indie music that has no hint of his influences. Per Fred Perry, when asked about his sound, he says: “I love UK Rap/Grime just as much as the next man. I’m here to be the alternative for kids growing up in the city, like you can rap and do Grime but you can also pick up a guitar.” It’s this defiant approach to social norms that I love about Bakar, and it shows in his music.
Most tellingly, all of his songs are different from each other. If you were to randomize the five singles he has on Spotify or AppleMusic, you might encounter: Big Dreams, a danceable indie rock track that serves as a pep-talk to himself, drawing from his personal stories; or you’d hear Small Town Girl, a pastel song filled with crisp guitar strums, and intimate vocals. It’s this dynamism that makes Bakar’s music captivating, and his career hard to define.
More subtly, the best way I can describe Bakar’s defiance as an artist is as a rubber band. I don’t mean it in a “fall 9 times, get up 10” way, I mean Bakar seems to understand life is moments of both tension and relief, like the elasticity of a rubber band. On one song he’ll have you challenging the rat race, then he’ll have you get in your feelings. He does this on purpose. When asked what song we’d be surprised to learn he likes, he says “Everything. My whole iTunes. The music that I’ve made is the answer to that question.”
Currently, he is working on his first mixtape, #BADKID, and released the first single, Million Miles. He then followed that up with the second single, All In. Here we find Bakar thinking back on all the things he’s had to endure to follow his dreams and deciding it’s worth it to continue. In under three minutes he’s given us what we all want: a chance to take the burdens off our shoulders for a moment, tell our story, and reaffirm our love for life.