Jul 07, 2015 10:01AM

Introducing: 18-Year-Old Mega Talented Rapper Baro

Grown ass boy.

Talented young rapper Baro has just released his new EP titled 17/18, named after the ages he was when he started and finished the album. He manages to somehow hit a balance of swag and savoir-faire — which is a rare mix in most 18 y/o dudes. Vocally he's kind of like Asher Roth with a healthy bit of inspo from Tyler and a MF Doom-esque back drop. We spoke about writing love songs, and his upcoming shows at Splendour and how chill his parents are.

Amrita Hepi: Hi Baro!
Baro: Hey, what's up!

So I've been listening to the new EP, and I really like it, congrats.
Thanks! Wait, do you actually mean that?

Yeah! 'Grown Ass Boy' is kind of cocky but authentically so.
Thank you, that's dope. I appreciate it.

So you just turned 18! What did you do to celebrate? And also what star sign are you?
I turned 18 in March, I'm a Pisces. I'm not really into star signs though… I was touring during my 18th and all my friends who are rappers and creative people also came on tour with me, it was pretty dope.

Amazing! Where was your favourite show?
Sydney. People are fun, wild as fuck.

Is that the show you're looking forward to playing the most on this upcoming tour?
Yeah, Sydney definitely, but I'm really looking forward to Splendour, that's the one. I'm playing on the Red Bull Music Academy stage but next time I want the main stage.

Word… So take me back and tell me about your first gig?
Last year, I was 16 — it was at this club called the Shebeen and I was opening for Citizen Kay and Tkay Maidza

Wait, how did you get in?
That was the whole thing, the security guards were being dicks and not letting us in and I had pointed at the poster and showed him my ID and was like, "That's me," and he was like, "IDGAF." So I had to call my manager, and my mate nearly got beat up and then my manager came down and got us in and they still hate us at that place. [laughs]

Do you ever feel a certain pressure because of how old you are?
No, I think it's more pride than pressure because people can be good at anything at any age. There are rappers and painters and artists out there who are younger than me that are way better. Age isn't really a thing, it's all experience and how much you actually do.

So who do you take your inspiration from?
When I was in year nine, I heard Bastard by Tyler, The Creator and that shit really changed my life. Tyler's probably my biggest influence along with Mac Miller, Kanye, MF Doom, Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Bright Eyes, EminemThe Slim Shady EP, I was really into that.

I remember playing Eminem to my mum when I was younger and she hated it, she also asked me if I was smoking pot… How do your parents feel about your music?
I don't really show them my music, they kind of stumble across it or my brother shows them. They heard 'Bears' and I showed my dad 'I Never Meant To Hurt U' and they liked it.

So they're chill about you touring the country?
Yeah, they drive me to the airport sometimes. They're cool with it, they're happy for me.

Do you feel like now that you're not at school anymore and you're doing what you're doing, do you get a bit more cred from say, old teachers and students?
Yeah, definitely — when I was younger I didn't really hang out with a lot of people from school, they definitely weren't on the same wavelength. They used to talk a lot of shit, until last year when I toured with a lot of people they respected (Allday, Remi, Illy, Thundamentals, Spit Syndicate, Freddie Gibbs and BADBADNOTGOOD)…and that was a good feeling.

I bet. So who would be your dream collab?
Tyler, Mac Miller, Kanye or Badu.

And who would you say was the most stylish out of all them?
Tyler. Definitely.

Sooo, have you ever written a love song?
Yeah, all these songs on the EP were for a specific girl, and every song is in order. The whole album is kind of a timeline of our time together, and the EP is called 17/18 so 'Bears' is kind of like the childish puppy love shit that was 17, and then the whole perception of being 18 and becoming a man. So 'I Never Meant To Hurt U' was my way of acknowledging that bad shit did happen and just…getting it out there.

So does she know?
Yeah. she knows. [laughs]

Did you get her in the end?
I had her the whole time. I feel like the whole thing really pinpointed aspects in our relationship. The EP isn't like a coming of age thing, it's more like boyhood vs manhood; like 'Grown Ass Boy' is me being technically a grown-up but realistically I'm still a boy. It's like I'm a grown-up, treat me that way, but like being a boy still has a certain power to it.

Which song on the album do you really hope to see people moving to?
It'd be cool to see people singing along to 'Grown Ass Boy'.

Best song to get high to?
'Run N Tell Ur Friends'. I made it in a tour van on my phone and my laptop. 

17/18 comes out on July 10, plus catch Baro on tour with Gill Bates and Marcus in July and August. For more info, click here

Amrita Hepi