As we creep deeper into the COVID-19 global pandemic, the future remains uncertain for the world at large and everything it encompasses, including the music industry. Luckily, artists have taken it upon themselves to overcome the disruption to their livelihoods by pushing forward, crafting an abundance of new art that has helped the rest of us and them brave the new normal. One such artist is New Jersey’s very own Baby Phace.
Two years ago he first found his way onto the pages of Daily Chiefers with his single “Dispatch” which caught our ears by embodying what would become his signature, effortless flow over an ambient piece of production – displaying a keen ear for sound and space. After dropping his project Places, and the more recent singles including “Zone” and “Sober Soul,” Baby Phace is now back with a new track he penned at the start of quarantine. Always one to go deep below the surface with us on his craft, we had to chop it up with him again on his return to releasing music while out in LA, the collaboration with Soul Serum for “The Golem” music video and where he’s taking all of this next.
Listen to “The Golem” here.
For those that don’t know yet, tell the people who you are, where you are from and anything we should know about your life leading up to becoming an artist?
Well, my name is Baby Phace. I’m a rapper, singer, and songwriter from West Orange, NJ. I’m a first generation Haitian American. I’m a college dropout and I’m someone with a dream who works everyday to make it a reality. I’ve been into music since I was a child so this was only a matter of time that I seriously pursued it. Before I decided to go after it I was always on the fence because of lack of resources and opportunities. Finally, when I was 20, after feeling lost for a while I decided it was time to go back to what I loved and stop doing shit for other people. Now, three years later we’re here.
Let’s talk about influences. What was the first album you ever purchased and what were your early sonic influences, both in the local area but anything you were listening to or doing at an early age?
The first album I ever purchased was Justin Timberlake’s Future Sex Love Sounds. This album changed my life. I still remember to this day jamming that shit everywhere with my Moms. JT is still a huge inspiration and influence to me to this day when it comes to my singing tracks.
But my biggest influence is without a doubt Drake. He’s been one of my favorites since So Far Gone. I can also throw Michael Jackson, Xxxtentacion, Juice WRLD, Jay-Z, Nas, Biggie, Jadakiss, Future, Ab-Soul, Erykah Badu, and many others on there. I always tell everyone I just love music and I love to learn so I take whatever I can from artists that I’m in to. When I was younger I took piano classes for a short period of time but that wasn’t really what I wanted to do. Nowadays I’m learning in my spare time though.
What is the Jersey rap scene like these days from your perspective? Is there an abundance of love or is it hard to work together?
The Jersey scene is an interesting one. It has its days where it can be the best but sometimes people can lose sight of who they are on this music journey. I feel as though that since 2018 I had a vision for what the scene would become, like a lot of people and it never really resulted in what it should’ve been. It can be hard to work towards a common goal because a lot of people have different agendas. And there’s the typical crab in the barrel mentality like if one person is eating that means there’s less for everyone else which is far from the case. But I have my core group from out there that I rock with heavily and they show 100% love and support. Regardless of the scene there are a lot of talented people doing great things out there. I’m excited to see where everyone is at within a year.
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So it’s almost time. I’ve spent the last 4-5 months traveling across the USA, going places I’ve never been, experiencing new things, discovering shit about myself & getting my mind right. I can say from February to now I’m a totally different person. I had look deeply within and evaluate how I thought and how I acted. It was an awakening for me. Which is why it only makes sense that “The Golem” is my next drop. I pray everyday that we all awaken the version of ourselves that we never even believed to exist. All I’m hoping for is that my journey can inspire and motivate those around me and everyone I come across. Everyday I wake up and think how can I be a better person and treat the people around me better. How can I affect some positive change in this crazy world we live in. Music is the biggest catalyst for me. So I’m happy to announce I’m premiering my next single with @soulserum & @dailychiefers. I got the pleasure of meeting Soul Serum this last August in Cincinnati and they honestly changed my life and perspective beyond music. Besides being great at what they do, they’re great people. I can’t thank y’all enough. And Chiefers been rocking with me since 2018 so it’s only right that I return with them. Thank you @sunnylaurent for the soundtrack you provided for this part of my story. Thank you @tomjacobb for always picking up my phone calls even when I couldn’t pull up to work and being patient with me bro. Thank you @tuffryda for putting some vocals down and putting up with me playing this shit non stop while we’ve been moving around, & always believing in me no matter what. And thank you everyone who’s listening. I give my life to this shit everyday & I hope you feel it in the coming months 🙏🏾. I’ll see you guys on Friday 🤞🏾
Let’s fast forward to this year. Walk me through what life has been like for you the last 6 months as you navigate life in the pandemic era and prepare to release new music?
Man, I can’t even lie to you. This whole pandemic shook my mental. It really caught me off guard and forced me to change a lot of my plans. Before this all hit I was really on a high like I’ve never experienced and to have to rug pulled from under me really made me evaluate everything about myself. I had left my job in January to pursue my career full time and honestly as soon as I did that everything started falling into line. It was really crazy. So many labels reaching out to me, people who are close to some of the biggest artist in the game in my phone. I was really feeling like it was time to for me to head to that next level. But then things changed just as quickly as they started and I found myself wondering how I could get it together. It was a lot of days where I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen and a lot of days where I questioned myself.
Before things started getting crazy. I had a track ready to drop with my distributor. I was going to hit SXW and then LA and drop the track. Obviously SXW got cancelled and at that point a trip to LA didn’t seem like the best idea. But now 6-7 months later I’m in LA and dropping my next single. It’s not the same song as before but that record will come in due time.
But if the pandemic taught me anything it’s how to slow down and block out all the noise. I really had to stick to my plan and my formula no matter what and now that I’m close to release it really feels like my patience paid off. Everything is working out how it should. Without the pandemic “The Golem” would never have been created. Everything that happened definitely made me stronger. But outside of all that it’s business as usual. It’s always the grind. It never stops.
Take us deep into the track. Who produced it? What was going on when you wrote and recorded it, and what are you trying to say on “The Golem”?
So “The Golem” was one of, if not the first track, I recorded during the pandemic. It was produced by Sunny on the Beat, a Florida producer who has some tracks with some pretty big names. I was definitely enthusiastic about working with him and there was instantly chemistry there. I had to really search within myself for strength. So that’s why it’s called “The Golem”.
“The Golem” is a clay figure from Jewish mysticism that can be brought to life through the breath of God. And when he is alive he is meant to protect and fight for the Rabbi and the people within the community. It’s also a double entendre for the rock figure from different animated shows.
Awakening The Golem was very significant to me in that period of time because I felt low for real before I wrote it. I also felt like some people were turning their back on me and I also felt my back was against the wall. I felt I had to fight not in the physical sense but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It was a fight against my life experiences and trauma.
It’s really about finding strength in moments of weakness. I used “The Golem” to bring light to a lot of experiences I had been through throughout the years that have made me the man I am today and brought me to this point. There was good and there was bad but in the end it all made me who I am. I wanted to use the track as an opportunity to give people insight on who I am and also for them to relate to me and realize I’m just like you and you can push yourself to be something greater than what you once believed you could be.
You teamed up with Soul Serum to shoot the visual. How did you connect with them and what was the creative process like bringing your visual vision to life with them?
Honestly I got a DM from Fiki their photographer while I was in Atlanta. He hit me and I saw their work and it was such a no brainer. I also had a strong feeling they could take my visuals where I wanted to go so soon as I got done handling what I needed to handle out in the A and Jersey I made my way to Cincy. The biggest thing that struck me about them is their work ethic and camaraderie. They all just want to put their best foot forward. They are extremely ambitious and they didn’t see any limits when it came to creating and executing the vision. I had never experienced anything like that. It was so fire. We really made a movie and got so much work done while I was in their city.
You have a very well rounded sound that comes from a multifaceted approach to the art by melding singing, rapping and producing together. How do you keep your chops up on all three and where are you finding you are strongest or trying to improve most these days?
Man, I just work on it every day. I honestly have been feeling like I have to work harder. I’m satisfied but I’m not you know. I know I have a lot of potential to be better than I am now so I work on tapping into it every day. I sing, write, and take in music every day. I’ve been on the road recently so it’s been harder to work on true producing but whenever I’m in the studio building a record from scratch I try to push the creative direction however I can. Honestly these questions made me want to work harder and go harder. But I really feel like I shine with melodic rapping, but I’m always looking to develop my skill set and my range.
Beyond rap, are there other artists right now that you look to or listen to for inspiration? Anyone on the come up that we should all be aware of?
Man, y’all already know him. Jack Kays has definitely been inspiring me for real. I love his music and I love that I’ve had a close up view of his journey because I came out to Cincy right when “Morbid Mind” started popping. It was surreal. Shoutout to him.
With “The Golem” now out in the world, what is next for you and what are your biggest goals for 2021?
With “The Golem” out now we’re just gonna come with more and more music and content and keep pushing the record. I have plenty of music in the stash right now. Soul Serum and I are teaming up for another drop before the year is over. I have a lot of surprises to show y’all. I’m real excited for the coming months. It’s going to be fun. But outside of that I really wanna leave as big of an impact as possible in 2021. I do want plaques, I want awards, I want the world to know my songs. But most of all I want to be able to say I left my mark as a person. I want to be able to say that I inspired and motivated people all over the world and affected positive change even in times of turmoil.
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