BabyJake is a name that has been circulating around the industry for a little over a year now. From putting out songs that make you dance, to songs that make you cry. But, do you really know who BabyJake is? Well, with the release of his brand new EP, Don't Give Me Problems, Give Me Wine, we decided we wanted to dig deeper into who BabyJake really is. We were honored to sit down with this growing star and learn more about where he came from, and his future plans with music.
Ones To Watch: So, let's start from the beginning and break it down. Where did the name BabyJake come from?
BabyJake: So, it started in a studio in Miami. Actually, at my buddy DVLP's studio, a producer friend of mine. Somebody at the house just called me BabyJake one day, and like half of the people were like, "That is f***ing terrible, don't go by that. It sucks ass. You're huge, it doesn't make any sense." At that time I had a big beard and short hair, total Florida guy. And then half of the people were like, "Yo it's sick. This name is sick, it's ironic." There was no Baby's back then. All there was is Babyface, you know what I'm sayin'? It started as a joke, but after I signed to Scooter, it was a decision between me, him and DVLP on whether we keep the name or go with my full name Jake Herring. Then Scooter was like "BabyJake has a ring to it." And I agreed, so we just kept it!
So when did you really know that music was going to be your future?
I fooled around with music until I was about 18 or 19. And around 19, I was like "I gotta chase this shit." So I dropped out of school and just went for it. Ever since 19, I've just been grinding. I dropped my first ever EP [Little Mess EP] on March 26 of 2016, and one of those records (the title song Little Mess) hit over a million streams on Spotify from just being picked up by playlists. Nobody else around me ever thought it was going to happen, but I knew it was going to. I just thought, why not really chase after it?
Tell us about the successes off of "Cigarettes on Patios" and how that really changed things.
Man, that's a really love hate relationship. I've grown so much since that record was released. I don't necessarily feel like that record is my sound that I'm going for. Yes, are there parts of it that are incorporated into my sound now? One hundred percent. The record has been great. The success and notoriety of the record has been amazing, but everyone assuming that I'm the "Cigarettes on Patios kid" is not that amazing. And hopefully with this EP, I can break that. I want "Head In the Clouds" to break further than that song. And if I can do that, I'll be more okay with that record [Cigarettes on Patios] doing so well. I'm so blessed on how it's doing so well, but it's a growing thing. If you're an artist, and you don't feel like the shit you made last year is trash, then you're not growing as an artist, you know?
Totally! Tell us a little bit about the ever evolving sound and where you want to go with it.
I just went back to my roots really. I just went full circle. Originally, I was doing folk music. I came from a classic rock background, so I just came back around. I figured just because I picked up a guitar, doesn't mean I have to write sad folk music, which is what naturally happened at that time in my life because I was sad. I was a college drop out, everyone around me was telling me I was going to fail. For two to three years I hadn't made it, so I was naturally writing sad and depressing music. And as I came back around full circle this year, I realized I was in a different mentality and I'm able to make records I really really enjoy. The Cars, Tom Petty, they have my favorite records. So that being said, the change was just natural. If I didn't allow myself to just naturally go through this process, I would've gotten stuck somewhere I didn't want to be and my music would've plateaued.
Let's dive into this EP! Tell us a bit about the story behind the name "Don't give me problems, give me wine."
So, if you don't know, now you're going to know, but in my single "Confidant", I say the phrase "don't give me problems, give me wine" in the hook. Up until the end of May, we were going with the title "Head In the Clouds EP". But then we realized that 88rising had a "Head In the Clouds" project. And I said, "I don't want to copy anyone. I don't want to come after anyones throat, I love everyone in the industry. I love the 88rising guys, so let's change it." We were already planning on dropping merch with "don't give me problems, give me wine. So I was like, let's just go with that as the name. I like the phrase, it's really something that will stick with me my entire life, it's genuine to me. I don't want to hear you bitch about your problems, take a sip of wine and sit alone, man. Go through it alone, then approach me and say "yo let's get drunk off a bottle of wine" and then we'll talk about life. Who likes to talk about life sober?
Out of the three singles released, which was your favorite and why?
"Confidant" was definitely my favorite. It's tight. Between "Blue Cellophane" and "Confidant" but "Confidant" just because I feel like I figured out the formula for creating alternative pop music that I enjoy and that others enjoy. It just hits me with what I really want to do.
Out of your new songs on the EP, which do you think will be your next big song?
I think it's going to be "Head In the Clouds"! Like I said with "COnfidant", the formula is similar. It's its own song completely, but it follows the same type of groove and rhythm. I think the song is going to resonate and listen to it and be like "what does this fall under?" Kind of like the "Cigarettes on Patios" shit. Like, it's almost alternative, but I'm rapping on it. Then I'm singing like it's a pop record. So like, where does this fit and how do we react to it? I think when the song comes out and you have to ask yourself those questions, I think the song ends up doing better. As much as I like "Anywhere", which is my favorite song I've ever written, I think "Head In the Clouds" will resonate with people more, because people just want to feel good. Especially during times like these. They want to party and have upbeat music, that's what we need right now.
So do you think "Anywhere" will be the underdog of the EP?
I think both "Anywhere" and "Bread & Butter" will be. They're those songs everyone sleeps on in the beginning, then comes back around and bites ya in the ass. I think they're going to be hidden gems, and hopefully, to anybody who's reading this, some TV show or movie picks up "Anywhere" and puts it in there. If you want to, hit me up! My number is "……"
Amazing. So lastly, what message do you want this EP to send? As an artist, what do you hope this EP gets across to everyone?
I think because this EP was just a big "full circle" type of thing, my message with all of my music going forward is just to stay true to yourself. Write and do things that are important to you and hope that other people resonate with them. I think the best music in the world is music that people write out of their own personal experiences, you know? A lot of artists are out here saying "I'm going to make a Tik Tok record" or "I'm going to make a record that gets on these playlists." I've tried that, I've done it, and it doesn't work for me. It probably won't ever work for me. I don't even necessarily think it works for anybody. For particular people it might, but it won't work forever. I think my message is just all about true expressionism and allowing other people to reflect themselves through my music. And when live music starts up again, I really want to be engaged with the crowd. I want my fans to know I'm within arms reach, and that's most important to me.
Listen to Don't Give Me Problems, Give Me Wine below.