Plugged In With Bad Child: Digging Deeper to Stand the Test of Time
Plugged In With Bad Child: Digging Deeper to Stand the Test of Time
If you have not heard of Bad Child yet, you will want to get know him before he soon ascends the path of becoming a household name. As a 19 year old artist rising out of Toronto, he delivers thrilling tales of excitement, loss, and the state of society graciously throughout his music. While conversing with him, I could tell that his mindset was far from average. In a culture fixated on appearances and what seems to sound “cool”, this self-produced artist is focused on longevity and making music that will withstand time. He views the reality of a culture caught up in social media as people seeking attention rather than looking for something real. He even went as far as to say he wants his music “to be a joke about society and how we treat each other, and resonate with people on a personal level.” So far he has kept himself secluded from the spotlight, but we got a chance to talk with Bad Child and learn a little bit more about him.
First off, we’ve seen a lot of different talent coming out of Toronto lately, but your music doesn’t seem to fall into the typical Toronto wave. Would you say your area has influenced you, and if so in what way?
I don’t know if it’s influenced me man it’s [his music] pretty, not recluded, but a lot of it is just internal elements and discovering things on my own. With that being said, I do respect the Toronto sound, but I’ve never pictured myself as being too much of a part of it. I’m just sort of doing my own thing.
Because your sounds are infused with so many aspects from several genres, how would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before?
Sort of genre bending honestly. Labeling it is something I’ve had a tough time with so far ‘cause I don’t really think about it. There’s a lot of soul elements and there’s a lot of pop elements in it. I love earlier styles of pop like the Justin Timberlake era, that’s like my favorite era of music. I guess to summarize, it’s like an alternative vibe with a pop sensibility.
With your music being genre bending, what’s your mindset when you go to work on a new track?
I mean, it all depends. Tracks start in a lot of different ways for me. A lot of time, outside, somebody will say something on the street and that will inspire me, or I’ll hear somebody say something and that will inspire me. It could even be as simple as a door closing or hearing something in a certain key. It’s a lot of different inspirations that all come together.
Your music seems to have a very personal tone and takes the role of you reflecting on past romances, loss, and experiences. Would you say that you started making music to address those inner struggles?
I think that’s a really good assumption yeah. I was making music since I was about 7 and a lot happened in my life. I lost my mother when I was 16 and in high school I always wanted to create, and I found music was the best medium for that. I always was looking for a way to get out my emotions and found that music really could catalog that and was a perfect outlet for me.
Can you describe that feeling after getting everything out on a record?
I think it’s a beautiful thing actually, it’s cataloging. I direct those emotions and sit back and look at them. It’s my way of understanding my condition, and my current project I’m working on is all about the modern rendition of love.
Can you talk a little bit about what your new project Free Trial is? Is that just the name of an album or is there more to it than that?
Free Trial is just a whole way for people to use each other. It’s sort of like a narrative that we’re all taught to believe, and we need somebody else to fulfill it. That’s the ultimate goal- human utopia, falling in love. I feel like people are disingenuous about it and the whole Tinder social media aspect about it, it’s kind of silly to me and I’m caught up in it as well. I still have my Tinder account, but the whole thing is kinda cynical if you know what I mean. We all feel like we need someone there.
You mentioned you’ve been making music since you were seven. What was that like and how come you waited so long to release music?
I recorded on a Windows 98 computer with a bootleg version of Fruity Loops on it. I knew even when I was 7 I didn’t want people to hear it, and that’s why I Insulated it for so long. I feel like not enough artists take themselves serious enough. Music has to be calculated and you have to be serious about it if you want it do well.
I’m aware you were originally going to go to school, but after the release of Bad Child decided to wait until you finished up an album. Did you have any plans, and what changed?
I was gonna go to Ryerson in Toronto for photography. That was my passion and I wanted to visit third world countries and capture that. Somewhere along the way I got an email from RCA and everything changed. I knew what I had to do, and knew I had to go finish an album. Bad Child was only recorded and finished in 3 days. I was like, “I’m 19, I’m young I’m never gonna get another chance like this, I have to do it.”
The release of Bad Child kind of reminds me of Raury’s release of Cigarette Song, and you obviously see where he’s at now.
Yeah I’m all in it for the longevity. I feel like a lot of acts right now are a smash and grab. They get in and get out and it’s funny cause it’s a game. I want to make something that lasts and I want something that evolves. I want to tell a story and reflect and just want to help people understand themselves and at the same time learn to understand me too.
Bad Child debuted almost 11 months ago. Did you expect it would do as well as it did? What was it like putting your first record out there for the world to hear and everybody loving it?
I didn’t really even think about it. I did no ad campaign for it, I just sort of put it out there and it happened. I haven’t had time to catch up with it and be proud of it honestly. After that i was like okay we gotta write more, there’s no time to be proud we gotta work.
That reminds me of this Kid Cudi Ted Talk, he mentioned after dropping Man On the Moon he didn’t even celebrate his release…he was just like “We have to start working on the next one now.”
Yeah I mean the music is sort of like a child and you build it up and want it to do well. But at the same time if you helicopter it, it can do bad. You just kind of have to put it out there and let it go. It’s sort of like a naked truth. I want to tap into something sort of like a mirror ‘cause I want it [my music] to be a joke about society and how we treat each other, and resonate with people on a personal level.
So with so much dope music out, what have you been listening to lately?
There’s a lot of music I’ve been digging lately actually. I’m digging deep into Bill Withers Catalog. Right now he’s probably my favorite soul voice out there. There’s a couple others as well, lots of hip hop too like Earl Sweatshirt, and most notably Frank Ocean’s new album. I thought it was a different take on him, really sterile, and it’s one of those albums you have to be patient with and reflect on. It’s a cold album, but the more and more I listened to it, I would notice like triple entendres and that’s something I appreciated, its fearless.
Is there anything you have coming up in 2017 you’d be willing to let us in on?
13 tracks. We’ve got the album pretty much finalized and I do all the production on it as well. I do all the production on it and 70-80% of the writing. Everything on the records I do, from the drums to the synths. Currently I’m using a lot of old synths that I love, all like old keyboards from the 80s.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with me and I look forward to seeing what’s coming next!
Plug in below to Bad Child’s latest hit ‘Desert Island Lover’ and be sure to follow him on Twitter @Badchildsound