BAZ KAYBEE. Anything but basic.

Photo Credit: Luke Tipping.

With the predominance of social media and platforms like Soundcloud and Spotify it is becoming more and more possible for an artist to build an online fan base. Artists such as Kaytranada and Chance the Rapper are testaments to this. And now Melbourne based rapper Baz Kaybee is aiming to do the same thing. Having released 2 EP’s Disenchanted and Stray Cats in little over a year, with a 3rd on the way, Baz is slowly but surely building a strong online following as well as an impressive collection of songs. I caught up with Baz to discuss all things music, social media, the Melbourne Hip-hop scene and his latest track Basic.

As a musician myself, through getting to know Baz I must admit I have been blown away by his ability to constantly be writing and releasing new material. Baz laughed when I told him this.

I forget that it’s been around 6 years since I first started and now I’m at the point where I can think of one line and have a whole song fleshed out in the hour. I usually tend to have song themes or tell certain stories so I generally know how the lyrical structure is going to go…I have a lot of stories to tell (not just mine) and I’ve only just started to avoid writing about myself. There are so many things to sing and rap about! Politics, conflicts, social issues etc. That’s the beauty of the medium of rap; it really lets you fit in so much more content than what you normally could through singing.

After sharing stories about how we got into music, our influences, our writing process and what we had been vibing on lately, the topic of conversation lead to social media. I think any musician can agree that having a good social media presence is vital to succeeding these days. To compete with the multitude of other musicians out there you need to be ever present and constantly offering something new, otherwise people will move on. Quickly. As harsh as it may be, it is the nature of the industry. Baz is overtly aware of this so makes his social media presence a priority.

It’s easily the most important thing to have in this day and age. Twitter and Instagram make it so easy to interact with a huge portion of your fans and give them more than what they get from the music. I honestly post up my tracks the moment I get it back from my producers! I like to post everything as often as possible so I can keep my socials active and show people my progression. I’m almost always making new songs so it’s not much pressure.

Coming from a predominately indie and rock background I was at first sceptical of Baz’s approach to releasing music without playing shows. I had come to understand that in order to build a fan base you had to play gigs. Constantly. This is the conversation lead to the Melbourne hip/hop scene and when Baz really opened up with brutal honesty.

Everyone sounds like J.Cole and Drake! Pretty much all the artists I’ve seen try to wear their influences on their sleeves. A lot of rappers seem to think you have to portray a certain image and focus on that rather than letting your music talk. You see so many guys doing that whole “Guy sounds like J.Cole Freestyle” or “Melbourne rapper KILLS Kendrick beat” and All those gimmicks. Alot of the lyrical content seems very two-dimensional. It’s all about the vibes these days, and Melbourne does do vibes well. But, I guess I just don’t really see any unique rappers, so I’m not inspired by it.

I couldn’t help but agree with Baz on this. You see it in every genre. The bands that pack venues on the weekends are the bands that sound like whichever band is big at the time. This is the reason why Baz wants to first cultivate a fan base online. So when people go to see him they aren’t going to see him because he sounds like someone else, they are going to see him because he sounds like Baz Kaybee.

I don’t think I’ll make any moves to be a part of “the scene”; I think I’ll just keep doing my thing, making the music I wanna make and hopefully building a fanbase that likes my work. I truly want a really diverse fanbase and I want the kind of fanbase that appreciates good music, not just rap and not just what’s popular.

You can catch the video for the new Baz Kay-Bee video here:

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