Born in Darwin and raised in the remote NT communities, rapper, actor and dancer, Danzel Baker AKA Baker Boy, is three times the charm! At just 20 years old, he plans to be the first Indigenous rapper to rap in his Yolngu Matha language.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
My sound was developed around the influences of my traditional music fused with my current involvement with hip hop music and dance. I wanted to be the first Indigenous rapper to rap in language, mine being Yolngu Matha.
I worked with a producer Tobiahs Fakhri to create the track Cloud9 to include not only modern hip hop elements that I connect with but also Yidaki (Didgeridoo) and the language Yolngu Matha for traditional sounds. The perfect fusion of my two worlds that I have grown up with.
What's your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
I haven't had one stand out inspirer that has lead me to making music. I more saw an opportunity for Indigenous musicians and rappers to express themselves in language rather than English. Music and dance have always been an integral part of my life from growing up in Milingimbi and this only developed more since moving away and schooling and further into my career with Djuki Mala and Indigenous Hip Hop Projects.
If anything my dance work has inspired me and allowed this to happen. Influences like Yothu Yindi, Gurrumul, Gawurra and Yirrimal showed me to be proud of where I am from and use my voice through rap to communicate my messages.
What can punters expect from a Baker Boy live show?
They can expect to see a lot of dancing, energy, I'll play the Yidaki, hear language Yolngu Matha and a young handsome proud Yolngu boy - Baker Boy.
What's the best advice you've been given and who was it from?
I remember my dad telling me, 'if you have a goal, know its not going to be easy, but if you put your mind to it, work hard and reach for the sky reach until you grab it with your bare hands'. He always tells me 'keep going there's no limit'. I'm pretty much following my dads' footsteps but trying to go next level.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
Brolga by Yirrimal!!! My poison cousin.
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
I would play them Wiyathul by Gurrumul. Just play the whole album actually !!
You're the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
I'd tell them put Cloud9 - Baker Boy ;)
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
I saw my friends band Jakubi. They are a home grown Melbourne band that are so hard working and crazy talented.
Tell us about the bands or people in the Melbourne music community that inspire you.
Briggs and Yirrimal both inspired me and got me thinking about the whole fusion of traditional and current hip hop. They both are so incredible in their own way with such different genres and sounds and both proud Indigenous men.
What are your plans for 2017?
My plans for 2017 are to continuing writing more music in my Baker Boy style, and help two worlds collaborate and merge to one as I only see one. I will continue dancing and working in remote indigenous communities with IHHP inspiring youth and sharing my story and journey.
I want to be the next David Gulpilil and have started acting and already feature on a few movies so hope to do more of that. Just want to keep doing Baker Boy rap, dance and live life to the fullest, be free.