An Interview With… | Bara Blaque

Our “thing” here at Exploding Head Syndrome is promoting bands and record labels who stick within the independent side of the music industry. It’s something we absolutely love doing as it brings exposure to those people, and usually the music is very good. Not too long ago we hosted the #MovementMovement Week in which we featured five artists who lived not too far away from our lovely Essex habitat, and fortunately we were able to have an interview with Bara Blaque, who was the last artist we featured.

In this interview we talk about Bara’s newest EP Dreams and Vice, the politically charged references featured throughout it, his collective called The Koup and what it stands for, what’s next for his career and most importantly of all, Game of Thrones. It’s a pretty good read, and if you wanna check out his music and The Koup, then you can stream the EP right beneath this paragraph, and if you fancy reading what we said about it then check out the review too. So many links but it’s awesome, enjoy! Also, keep supporting us by doing your thang on our Facebook and Twitter pages too!

Hey Bara Blaque, how’s it going?   
I’m doing great; exploding head. How are things with you, amigo?

Dreams and Vice is a fantastic EP that’s very aware of current events. Was it always a priority for you to create music that was politically and socially charged?
I’m glad you enjoyed Dreams and Vice. I’ll admit I’m pretty pleased with how it came out in the end. To answer your question, honestly it wasn’t something I had really thought of while making the project, as life unravelled so did the content. I decided to make what I would want to be hearing instead of what was being said and from that I realised social and political issues may just be a bit more important to me than a couple fine women, more cash than I actually know what to do with, countless bottles, a huge bill with a house full of narcotics.  That is the dream but sadly not reality.

You mentioned in conversation that you were part of a collective called The Koup. What is The Koup and what was the reasoning behind its creation?
The Koup is a collective as far as the music goes, we all rap so that would make us a HIPHOP collective.  However I would say we are more focused on the art of creation itself – this does not limit us to just music but all walks of life. So one could say we are a collective of artists or creators, but truth be told the majority of people that label themselves as such mostly disappoint, so we decided to label ourselves by our own definition: we are Koupist. We practice Koupism , we are The Koup. The Koup is anything we want it to be.

We created the Koup out of love for the craft itself. We were buzzing one day and thought about making a super group like The Avengers. This was before the first movie had come out but there were whispers of it coming the next year or so. I’m a huge comic fan and we saw the hiphop universe was in a shambles so what do we do, summon Earth’s mightiest heroes to save the day. I was born here but my parents are from Nigeria, like the rest of the members – we’ve had the best of both worlds. We’ve seen and lived on two sides of the map so we can see the world for what it is instead of wait for the TV to give us any news about what’s going on.

Who are the other members of The Koup? What message would you like to project through this collective?
The other members of the Koup are Tosin Kuti and Kdot “K!T” Rhodes. The message is pretty simple: Be yourself no matter the cost. Never be afraid to think. It’s a lot healthier to explain why you are angry than express it. We all have very similar views and many that differ. So the blend keeps ideas fresh. Imagine the world as a painting and everyone is staring at it; we all have different perceptions, a different way our brains work, so we all just say what we see.

Collectively, how big would you like The Koup movement become? Big enough to expand across London and across the country?
As the collective I honestly think it’s as big as it could be, we have a personal relationship as well as a musical and business side to things which we’ve developed over years. As a movement we want everyone to be involved. The Koup is actually for the people by the people. I’m not afraid to speak my mind and understand if people get offended, why they may. However I myself try not to get offended by anything. We may be forced to listen to ignorance but no one forces us to blurt it out. The Koup is going to be bigger than The Beatles. London isn’t enough, the country isn’t enough, the world isn’t enough.

What are you planning to do musically over the next year or so? New material? Old material getting some airtime? Anything?
To be honest I’m constantly working. Right now I’m actually planning to rerelease two old projects of mine, Bar A & Third World Hippy later this year, and working on projects with The Koup. I also plan to do some shows this summer till the end of the year promoting Dreams & Vice and see what happens. As for new music, I have a catalogue of old material I haven’t released. One thing about The Koup is the music will never stop being made. Only problem we have is making sure you get it all at the right time.

You featured last week on our #MovementMovement week in which we threw some exposure onto local artists. Have you been listening to anybody local who’s worth a recommendation or five?
Definitely lots of talented people out there, Stormzy and Bugsy Malone are keeping on it I must say and I’m loving Lady Leeshur , Ez Gang who I saw you did a feature on I’m going to say I think they’re going to do something nuts. I heard this song Walking with Elephants By Shakka B Feat frisco that might just be the one for this summer.

Have you been losing your shit over Game Of Thrones as much as we have recently?
I have, man. Westeros is on Fire and I’m loving every second of it. I’m curious to see what Tyrion and Daenaerys get up to.  Ramsay is a nutter.  I see Stannis has finally cracked. I’m actually feeling The High Septon he is preaching the good word of Anarchy.

And finally, have you got one last elusive little comment to make to bring this interview to a close?
Listen kids: monsters do exist; they’re just hiding from humans while humans hide behind computers.

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