Rising North London neo-soul aficionado, BaggE, returns with her new EP “Without Armour”. This charming four-track release combines 80's sounds with an exploration of living without ego, delivering a truly uplifting listening experience.
In collaboration with the S.T.A.F.F collective, BaggE has been able to reimagine sounds that beckon nostalgia, with a fresh modern spin that makes them enchantingly futuristic. Through lyrical catharsis, the “Without Armour” encompasses the singer's desires to express herself freely without the external constraints of feeling the need to “appear invulnerable”.
Tell us a bit about your story: who are you and what has your journey looked like so far?
I’m a neo-soul singer from North London. My dad is Congolese and my Mum is English. I started my journey in 2019 with my debut EP “Preserving The Prior”. I then released another EP in 2020 called “What About Summer?”, which I actually wrote in lockdown. After releasing those projects and some more singles back to back, I decided to take a year out of releasing and performing so I could really delve into what it is to be BaggE and what I want her to represent and be. I’m now back to releasing and have so many exciting things lined up for this year!
Who inspires you musically and creatively?
Jill Scott is a huge one for me. Ray Charles, SAULT, Fela Kuti, James Brown & Erykah Badu.
What is the creative process behind your music?
Songwriting is my therapy. I find it hard to talk to others about how I truly tend to feel inside, whether that's hurt, upset or disappointment, because I feel like it's important for me to appear strong. Therefore, whenever something in my life makes me feel down I just go to my studio and write. All of my songs come from deep within and are the result of what I'm feeling inside at that very moment. That also helps me to understand how I'm feeling because sometimes, those feelings and emotions are hidden so far down I lose sight and understanding of them even though they are my emotions and feelings. The catalyst for my songwriting is often the situations I go through in my life that make me feel or understand something that I can't always express unless it's through a pen onto paper. When I do feel like that, I go into my studio setup at home; listen to beats, zone out and just write. I don’t tend to think about what I’m writing until I then read my words back and it all makes sense. I sort of completely shut off when writing.
What’s the best advice you’ve received during your journey?
To take my time. Taking my time has made me understand myself as an artist and also as a woman. It’s given me more power in my life and artistry. I will always take constructive criticism and I’m always open to learning, however, I will never let someone change my morals or how I see myself as an artist. I’ve learnt to do that by taking my time and really understanding who I want to be and how I want to come across as an artist.
How do you nurture your creativity?
I nurture my creativity by making sure I’m mentally well. My family are the most amazing people in my life and have always allowed me to be who I am. From them I’ve learnt that when I’m feeling down or feeling uneasy, it’s best to not put any extra pressure on myself. I also think getting into studios and working with people that lift me up and are like minded has always been the greatest catalysts to nurture my growth as an artist as well.
What do you hope your music will reveal to your listeners?
Let your inner child breathe. Allow your emotions to be just that. Let people be who they want to be. Understand that you only have the power to change yourself and become the person you want to be; so start by listening to yourself, by being kind to yourself. Find ways, places, people, things, that allow you to feel safe while doing that - let them feel heard. That’s the sentiment behind my music.
Are there any upcoming shows or projects we can look forward to?
I have some exciting releases coming out this year; all very close to my heart.
Is there any advice you want to give to new artists?
Yes. It’s the same advice I'd give to myself. Take your time. Do not compare yourself to others. We all have our own time and there’s no time limit on greatness. To female artists, make sure you have people you trust in the industry. Although it can be a dark industry at times, there’s so many wonderful individuals that are within it.
Connect with BaggE
Artwork by Matt Littler