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  • Ellie McGuire

Interview - Babatell

As an artist, Babatell's dream life is to be the most well-known unknown. He has the privacy he needs to create and is able to collaborate with artists from all over the world to generate music while maintaining his mystique. He sees himself merely as an artist first and foremost, not as content.

The first studio album, Selftalks, was produced by an executive and delves into personal conversations. This concept album explores the subtleties of life on Earth and the complex dialogues we conduct with ourselves. The album is more than just an album—it's a mirror that reflects the jumble of feelings, ideas, and doubts that make up our lives. He encourages listeners to venture into the unexplored terrain of their inner worlds with her raw and hauntingly beautiful tunes. It's also an extremely personal trip. The album touches on themes of love, doubt, optimism, and frustration, embracing the fluidity of human emotions and experiences. Babatell creates a cathartic and transforming audio tapestry with a careful blending of melodies, rhythms, and thought-provoking lyrics.

We sat down with Babatell to discuss his music and much more. Here's what he had to say:

Hey Babatell welcome to FLEX! How are you?

I'm feeling kind of tired. It was a lot of work for me to put out this album, it’s relieving and musically a more peaceful tiredness. But I’m already working on going in new directions, new projects, new music.

Congratulations on your new album ‘Selftalks’ - what inspired this particular project?

I want to evolve my own soundscape and I felt like the way best possible is to create while having a bigger picture, meaning a full body of work. It gives me more to take into consideration while making music. More genres, more other artists, inspirations, arrangements, types of speed and dramaturgy, and also topics that felt like I needed to talk about them. And to me it was very important to do it on my own, no one helping to create the ideas. I needed my people to finish them, but I wanted it to feel like if you listen to this, you’ll hear exactly what I hear if this makes sense.

And do you have to be in a certain mood to write?

Most of the time I need to be alone. I am confident about my music but I create for myself, not for others. That's why I need a lone atmosphere to bring out what needs to get out. I definitely will change the environment in which I make music after the album just because I want to experience new synergies, but I still feel like the type of music I'm doing right now needs just myself in a room.

How was the recording and writing process?

As mentioned before, I wrote, produced, and recorded almost everything in my basement studio in Dortmund, Germany. I gathered inspiration for like 3 months before I started. The first two songs that I created - not on purpose - were the intro and Superego. It was very important to me that if I create my own soundscape, everybody has to understand that from the first second of listening to the album. Like for most people, to start something is pretty easy but as soon as you see the walls coming closer in terms of you can see what the project is missing to complete it, it got way harder for me to come up with ideas that would match the concept. I came up with most of the album songs in the first five months, but it took me almost a year to finish the writing. The last song that I finished was the interlude which to me cites that to life means to overcome and fear is a hard but important part of being an individual.

For viewers who don’t know Babatell, how would you describe your sound?

In the past few years, I have been earning a lot in alternative hip-hop and R’n’B because I can experiment more with the sounds rather than fitting into a certain type of sound. My sonics are heavy in synths, and bass and I also love to put my vocals in all types of settings with reverbs, guitar amps, and different kinds of effects. I’m trying to create a space to have as much freedom as possible to sound like myself. I don’t really want to compare myself to other artists, but I need to put a few names in the room to understand what I’m definitely inspired by: Kid Cudi, Kelela, 070 Shake, Childish Gambino, Kanye West, Blood Orange, Kaytranada.

But I kind of interested in music as a whole, so I can listen to a lot of genres and find satisfaction in it. In the future, this will result in changes in my style over time. Although I want to achieve recognizability, I also want to be unpredictable.

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