Genre-bending artist BabyJake played Shaky Knees’ Ponce De Leon stage on April 30 as he kicked off his first self-headlined tour.
The pop turned rock star drew in quite the crowd during his forty-five-minute set as he told jokes to the audience as much as he sang. Dressed head to toe in an Americana suit, BabyJake bounced from his original pop hits to heavy bass rock ballads to covers of the Rolling Stones and the Pixies.
“That’s the biggest stage I’ve played so far,” said BabyJake. “I’d say that was probably the most reactive crowd I’ve had for a festival. Sometimes it’s hard to get people engaged because the honest truth is there’s a lot of talented people [here]. So, you got to work really hard and I think we did a good job of that.”
BabyJake and his band are set to tour nationally for the entirety of the summer. His goals are to make memories and enjoy his time with his friends.
“The number one thing I want is memories with these guys,” said BabyJake. “I really love these guys and they’re my best friends. I don’t think we’ll have so many chances to do what we’re doing right now, and a lot of people don’t get the chance to do what we’re doing.”
BabyJake’s creative process reflects the old-fashioned sound that’s often present in his music.
“I think the one difference between what we’re doing and what a lot of other people are doing nowadays is we’re doing things analog for these projects,” said BabyJake. “We’re doing live drums, we’re making guitar cabinets, guitar amps and bass amps. We’re even trying to do vocals in a more live fashion.
“Eventually we’d like to get to the point where we’re recording records with a full band like it was in the 70’s and the 80’s,” continued BabyJake. “I think there’s magical moments that you can’t duplicate that come with multiple people in the room.”
BabyJake said his passion for music is the driving factor for his creativity.
“I think the creative process is a lot of headaches and back and forth,” said BabyJake. “Some days you’re happy and some days you’re depressed drinking a bottle of whiskey. I think it’s just about finding a balance between the two and appreciating the art. Everybody tries to make this about money but it’s about the music.”
BabyJake’s long list of influences include the Rolling Stones, Crosby Stills and Nash, Led Zeppelin, George Michael, Nora Jones and Bob Marely just to name a few. His father, who joined him on stage during his performance, exposed him to a variety of music he now loves.
BabyJake sees his transition from pop to rock as simply an evolution of his persona.
“If you really look at the bones of it, it’s not that different,” said BabyJake. “It comes from the same place. I ended up in pop music because I got an opportunity. It was a natural transition from pop to rock and me just deciding to be the truest form of myself.”
The camaraderie between BabyJake and his bandmates is present with each word.
“The communication, the friendship, and the love that we share makes it possible to be as lively and energetic as we can,” said guitar player David. “It’s an honor to be working with such a prosperous and intelligent man. This man’s going for gold and we’re right here with him.”
BabyJake wants to return to Shaky Knees and keep growing with his music.
“I’m just gonna take it one step at a time and take steps in the right direction,” said BabyJake. “If I end up there, great. If I don’t, at least I get to do what I love for a living.”