New beginnings, alter egos, inspirations and a growing passion for music
Today, Bayo and Mishael released their first song Right Back. Make no mistake they are individual artists, despite their collaboration on this song. Mishael who produced the track admits to having a new found love for rhythm and sound.
He once went through a period in his life when he didn’t listen to music at all. This may come as a surprise to some. The question remains: how does one go from not listening to music at all, to it becoming their chosen career path? He speaks about the track that peaked his interest and caused him to fall in love with music, so much so that he decide to make it.
Bayo who previously resided in Ireland, provides the vocals on the song. He comes into his own very well, with a musical alter ego that elevates the track. Together, they team up on a song that begins their journey as musicians…
Hey guys, introduce yourselves to the readers. Let them know who you are.
Mishael: My name’s Mishael, I’m 21-years-old. I was at university studying computing, but I dropped out and now I’m looking to do a degree in music technology instead.
Bayo: My name is Bayo. I’m a 20-year-old emcee from Ireland. I also study law.
Mishael, when did you start making beats?
Mishael: My first ever experience with producing was in during secondary school. Everyone had to study music and that was the first time I started using Logic Pro. I made a beat, but I didn’t have that much of an interest in making music much after that. This all changed when I started sixth form in 2014, that’s when I really started to experiment with music. I got myself a MacBook Pro, started using GarageBand and taught myself how to produce. That’s how I started making music.
Do you look up to any producer’s technique, if so who?
Mishael: I wouldn’t say in terms of technique, but in terms of the sound that they use there’s this American producer who isn’t very well-known called Gawvi. He’s produced quite a few hip-hop songs for some well-known artists in America, like Lecrae and Andy Mineo. With all the beats that he’s made, he has his own sound. I find that cool. All the beats are different, but he has his own kinda sound that he makes. I would like to try to do this with my music as well.
Bayo, talk us through your journey so far. How did you get to this song?
Bayo: I used to make freestyles, put them on SoundCloud and send it to my friends. I used to rap for my friends and they would like it. That’s how I met Mishael, through a mutual friend that I go to university with. My friend told me how Mishael was a really good producer, he sent me some stuff and I liked it. We started working together more and more, getting better every time.
Mishael, what type of style are the beats you make now? Clearly, Right Back is a grime track, do you intend on staying within this genre or developing your sound in different ways in the future?
Mishael: I’ll be honest, before I went to university I didn’t really listen to music as much as I do now. I remember being on a school trip when I was younger, my friend mentioned Drake and I had no idea who that was at the time. When I got to university, I met so many different people, with many different music tastes and I got into so many different genres. My favourite genres are rap and hip-hop. I do like a bit of disco, bassline and EDM as well. I tried to make some EDM beats, one of them is on Spotify. After experimenting with different sounds, I’ve come back to realise I prefer making rap beats as I listen to rap a lot. That’s the style I want to stick with. Right Back is my first rap release.
I just want to quickly go back to when you said you never really used to listen to music when you were younger. So, what was that track that peaked your interest then?
Mishael: I can’t remember what it was called. But, it was by Guvna B off his first Scrapbook mixtape. I listened to the song for the first time and thought it was cool. I used to write down his lyrics and see how he rhymed the words together. I thought that was cool. Another one was Chale by Gunva B. That was his first and only afrobeats song. I really liked that.
You’re the first person I’ve interviewed that’s said they never listened to music at all in one period in their life. It’s interesting to hear how you went from not listening to music at all, to it becoming your passion. Back to Bayo, describe yourself as a person in three words?
Bayo: Athletic. Creative. Chilled out.
Talk us through some of the lyrics to Right Back, where your mind was at the time you wrote it and what you want the listeners to take away from it?
Bayo: The chorus, well I dunno what I was doing at that time. I guess it all just comes from my life experiences.
I think what I’m trying to touch upon with this question is your persona. In the song, you portray a very energetic, bravado persona. Whereas, in person I’ve noticed you’re very reserved, laid back and chilled out. Beyoncé has expressed having an alter ego that she has referred to as ‘Sasha Fierce’. I’m wondering if that’s just your ‘on stage persona’. Where does that come from and how do you bring that out in your music?
Bayo: It just comes out when I rap. There’s no other way you can rap, you can’t be too quiet when you’re rapping. So, when it’s time to do it, I just do it. Normally, I’m not loud, I like to just chill.
So, you prefer if people hear your boldness through your music?
Bayo: Yeah, I like that! Even still, just because I’m quiet I’ll still say what I need to say. It’s not like I can’t or I’m not going to do something.
Having lived in Ireland for most of your life so far, do you bring any parts of that identity to your music? Or do you now consider yourself a Londoner?
Bayo: That’s mad. I dunno. I feel that you can tell by my accent, my choice of words sometimes, my style and obviously my life experiences. I grew up in Ireland for most of my life. My outlook on life has affected most of my bars and maybe my music choices as well. Maybe also why I’m into grime and stuff like that. Possibly yeah. But, then obviously I learnt about London as well just naturally, through being a young ethnic person.
I see. We’ll get to your inspirations a bit later. But, obviously Rejjie Snow is an Irish artist who a lot of people are quite familiar with.
Bayo: Ah, yeah.
Is he someone you look up to or are there other artists from Ireland that resonate with you more?
Bayo: For me, Rejjie Snow did it! He is a good artist.
Over to you now Mishael, which singers or rappers even would you like to work with?
Mishael: I would like to work with AJ Tracey.
Mishael: I like his flow, I like his style and the way he plays with his lyrics as well. I feel like the way I produce beats would suit him, cause like all the instrumentals that he uses are similar to that sounds that I would make. If that makes sense. Also, I just like him as an artist. Yeah, AJ Tracey. Definitely.
Have you thought of reaching out to him or do you feel like more established artists are sort of inaccessible in a way?
Mishael: Not now. I am still relatively very new to this, with Right Back being the first song to be released. When it comes out, we’ll see how it does and work from there really.
Good to hear. Hopefully, Right Back opens doors for you and Bayo, to make connections within the music industry. Let’s move on to your process of producing, the time it takes for you to make beats and what your general process is like.
Mishael: I’ve got a list of sounds on my hard drive and I was going through some sounds and the main part of Right Back was like an orchestra sound. Just strings. I just envisioned a hard grime, really loud, 808 beat, kicks and stuff like that. Yeah, so what I did was I got the sample of the strings, put it on Logic Pro, then I started to make the drums first. How I make beats is I make the drums first, take the sample and work the drums around the sample. Kicks first, then the snare and then the Hi-Hat. That’s like the three basic stuff and then you can add stuff to make it a bit more fancy like percussion or sound effects. I like to work around the sample. Then obviously, you can’t have one sound throughout the whole song, so I make something similar that would go well with the verse or chorus.
Interesting and how did Right Back come about?
Mishael: I made the beat of this song at the end of 2016. I made a very simple version. When I first heard the sample, I knew I needed to do something with it straight away, so I didn’t forget the idea. I took the sample, made a little drum beat over it and just left it. We both have a mutual friend called Olu who introduced as. I sent Bayo six or seven beats. Most of them were hip-hop and rap beats. He sent a few of them back, recording raps for them on his phone. This one stood out. This voice – he’s just got a rapper’s voice.
Mishael: Yeah, it’s unique. The chorus is catchy too. I liked it. So, I was like yeah, we need to record it at some point. Being at different universities, we couldn’t find a way to record it together in a studio. What finally happened when I dropped out and came to London last year December was that I wanted to music again seriously. I remembered the freestyle Bayo sent to me of this song. I remixed the whole beat and add news things I had learnt along the way, as I had improved on my techniques a lot since then. We went to a studio about two weeks ago, recorded it and it’s now happening. We’re filming the music video next week Sunday and we’re hoping to have it out around the same time we release the song.
What can we expect the theme of this video to be?
Mishael: Very football-themed. It will also show the personality he has on this track.
Look forward to it. Would you consider yourself a sample-based producer then or do you prefer starting completely from scratch?
Mishael: A bit of both really. I’ve got a lot of samples and I just like to put beats over it to make it. But, I’ve also made sounds from scratch using a piano or by using electronic sounds on Logic Pro…etc.
And Bayo, how supportive were your parents of your dreams? Was it challenging at times?
Bayo: Not really to be honest. I haven’t really found it challenging, as my parents are quite supportive in general.
That’s great. We touched on this bit before, but I wanted to go further with it. How do you pull past life experiences into your lyrics?
Bayo: Basically, the whole football theme of the song is from my youth. As a kid, I played football quite seriously. I’ve been in football academy’s, teams and stuff like that. So, when I was younger my focus was football. So, the football and sport references come from there. I also talk about university, friends and lifestyle.
How did you go from pursing football quite seriously to becoming an emcee?
Bayo: When I moved from Ireland to England in 2016, that’s when I stopped playing football. In Ireland, I was playing for my county and I knew everyone there. But, when I moved here I didn’t really know anyone, so I wasn’t really bothered too much. It was a shame. But, it allowed me to become an emcee. Hanging out with my group of friends, I met more musically passionate people. This was more encouraging for me and it was more natural to get into it. I was wanted to get involved into music somehow, so it was gonna happen eventually.
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