An interview with Baka G

Baka G is a woman we're very confident you'll be hearing more from soon. We caught up with her ahead of her release on Happiness Therapy to learn more...

Going back a bit, how did you become involved in DJing and in the dance music promotion scene in France?

I first started to play in Brussels, in a collective named Kultur Bazart. I played approximately every month and this is how I gained confidence in my mixes. My audience was largely French, so as I released more tracks, it gave me more opportunities to be booked there. I then began to play the vast majority of my sets in French clubs! And of course, my implication in Happiness Therapy gave me the opportunity to be invited to play for events hosted or curated by the label in France or abroad.

Tell us a bit about your involvement with Happiness Therapy. The label has already put out some really awesome and fun records. How did you meet Crowd Control?

I’ve released a few tracks in the Happy House compilation series and my latest EP on Happiness Therapy. I heard of Crowd Control through NAUX, a friend and artist who was releasing a lot of tracks with Happiness Therapy. He introduced me to the label and pushed me to send more tracks! I then met Crowd Control when I was invited to play at Djoon in Paris.

You’ve released there before but are now only recently releasing your solo EP. What took you so long?!

It took me long enough, yes! I think I wasn’t in the mood for producing tracks, as I focused more on the DJing side of music. I was spending my time digging new tracks and discovering new artists. When I had more time, I tackled the huge amount of unfinished tracks on my computer and that’s how the EP came to be!

It’s only recently that you’ve been releasing music, but it seems you’ve been honing your craft for years. Can you tell us a bit about how you got to this point with your music? And at what point did you begin to feel confident enough to release your music?

It all started 5 years ago, when I was a student. I used to produce little tracks on Garageband and one day I decided to upload one on SoundCloud. It reached a lot of people and I got loads of positive feedback on it. My friends also supported and pushed me to produce more and more. It gave me a sense of legitimacy and self-confidence to release my music. Then one day, I decided to take part in a competition of remixes hosted by the Facebook group Chineurs de House  I had to remix a track from Sweely, who is still a great inspiration regarding groove and track progression. I was selected with 10 other producers to be featured on a compilation ! On the other side, I had released my first track,  ‘One Night’ on Happiness Therapy. This kickstarted my career as a producer.

How important is it to you to have a life away from music and partying? Can that side of things be all-encompassing sometimes?

Music will always be in my life whether I want it or not! I started to get interested in music when I was 3 or 4 when I started taking violin and music theory classes. As a kid I used to spend a lot of time engraving CDs and making my own mixtapes and playlists for road trips. I then taught myself to play the guitar using YouTube videos and started making covers on Garageband. Music has always been a passion, whether it’s listening to it, making it or simply feeling it. As for the partying I enjoy being surrounded by people I love and celebrate with them, that will never change. However, partying can have a darker side which I’m leaving behind. I don’t seek excessive consumption anymore. I used to when I was younger, but I now know it was just a way to escape facing my fears and anxieties. I don’t like to mix playing with partying. When I play somewhere, I am there for music only. I don’t like getting hammered before playing, as I think it blurs crowd reading and music perception. I feel I need to be focused and free of substances to really feel the connection with the crowd.

What role do you think social media and online platforms play in promoting and marketing dance music events today? As an up-and-coming producer, how did you feel about this side of things?

It’s undeniable that social media and online content plays a major role in promoting ones work in the electronic music field. I think sadly there is no way around it and it’s becoming a part of the job. Nowadays, a music producer also has to be a community manager, a content creator and a social media savvy. It’s just a fact! Social media can be a platform for people who don’t have access to the music industry to gain visibility and shed light on their work. It is also a great platform for me to get feedback from people I look up to! Social media has pros and cons and it’s important to try to stay authentic and behave on it as in real life.

What advice would you give to someone aspiring to do the same as you?

I would suggest not to mistake other people’s music for your own. It’s easy to compare your work to others and feel like it only has value if it resembles the ones you admire. The hardest part is to trust that if you stay true to your way of thinking and creating, you will be heard and appreciated for what you really are. At this point there will be no comparison but with yourself. I think the main goal would be to find what makes your tracks unique and cultivate this singularity to find your own musical touch.

Keep up with Baka G on Instagram 

Baka G’s ‘Weekend’ EP is out now via Happiness Therapy. Buy/listen to the release here