Baba Ali has always used outside experiences to help mold his creations and his music to be one of a kind. So it’s no surprise that the current revolution and pandemic evolution helped to inspire his newest tunes.
His most recent release Rethinking Sensual Pleasures is a mixtape born out of being quarantined and isolated with his guitarist and music equipment. Though based in London, England he was marooned in his hometown in New Jersey after coming back to the U.S. to play shows. Lockdown began in the U.K. after he played his last show in NYC, so he was unable to return to London. “We figured the only thing we can do [in quarantine] is keep making music,” Ali tells BTRtoday.
Ali also wanted to make sure Rethinking Sensual Pleasures could serve as a tool for justice. He released it online on Juneteenth to support the BLM movement and donated the proceeds to Afrotectopia Organization.
“I used the music as a kind of medium to try and enact some type of change,” Ali says. “My music doesn’t exist in a vacuum. A lot of what I write is coming from experiences that I observe just in day to day life.”
Baba Ali, “Oh My”
Ali says though the mixtape was inspired by quarantine and his last EP—This House, released earlier this year—was inspired by personal experiences, he predicts his current music writing will be transformed by the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We’re all living in the same world, we’re all living in the same communities, we’re all living on the same planet, so I enjoy trying to pull from what I see and what I experience and bring it into the music,” he says. “It’s just a natural way it comes into the process.”
His funky yet indie rock/garage sound puts him in a genre-less realm. He melts together melodies and beats that seem to be inspired by everything put out into the collective consciousness. Such a musical path leaves Ali with an endless amount of room to expand on his creativity.
Baba Ali, “House”
“Keep your eyes open—you never know what you might miss,” he adds. “There’s a lot to see and a lot to take in. You’ve got one life to live, so why not try to see it all?”
Hear the entire interview with Baba Ali and tracks from the mixtape Rethinking Sensual Pleasures and the EP This House on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup.