The last few years haven’t exactly been exciting for a lot of alternative music fans, but that narrative is changing thanks to the efforts of independent artists like Baba Jenkins, whose new single “Wild” is making a big impact at home and abroad this October. Jenkins doesn’t let the barriers between his scene and the bright lights of success stop him from giving a masterful performance in “Wild,” and delivering a bluesy message in the recently-released music video for the song. The imagery in the video is as real as the pulsation of the percussion in the backdrop is, and when this track concludes, it’s hard to walk away unaffected by what we’ve just heard in more ways than one.
I dig this interplay between the beat and the verses, as the dynamic not only highlights the sophistication of Baba Jenkins’ execution but also the emotional bend to the music itself. There isn’t a single component to the mix that isn’t lending some element of authenticity to the finished product – even when he’s pouring lyrics out of the speakers like champagne into a glass, Jenkins is calm, cool, and collected in his presence and seems sure of himself no matter what he’s trying to get across.
This allows for his passion to translate into the music quite exquisitely, and for his being an outsider on the mainstream scene at the moment, he doesn’t sound like an up and coming songwriter and performer who is still in need of finding his own identity.
Quality indie blues and soul are plentiful right now, so for this to be the standout single that it is, you know Baba Jenkins has got to be doing something right. A product of an underground that is exceptionally more hybrid-influenced than others are, and who doesn’t accept any of the nonsensical analyses that would prevent his sound from hitting the masses, this artist is crushing it in “Wild” and stylizing a strain of listener-friendly music that blends elements of R&B, traditional pop, indie rock, blues, and even a bit of funk that I’m dying to hear more of again soon.
This is a player who cares about the music and the message, and if you’re curious about either or both, the best way you can find out is through listening to “Wild” this season. It’s a swanky autumn track that will make even the most discriminating of critics think about the potential impact of modern musicians disinterested in creating from within a box.