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Music by VICE

Baro’s Guide to Making It in Australia

The up-and-coming rapper’s advice to emerging artists—from releasing music for free to interacting with fans on social media.

by VICE Staff
10 February 2016, 1:57am

Image: Baro

Catch Baro at the Fremantle leg of the JD Future Legends & Noisey Present The Next On Tour, Thursday Feb 25 at Mojos's along with Evanda and Chiseko. The show is free but you need to RSVP.

Baro may be only eighteen, but he’s already carved out a solid niche in the Australian hip hop scene. Somewhat of a whizzkid, the Melbourne rapper’s Howgoodisgood mixtape earned his slinky ‘90s-inspired beats national attention last year when he released his bedroom recordings via Bandcamp. He’s following the mix with a new collection in April, called Just Problems You Need To Know.

Ahead of his set at the JD Future Legends and Noisey NEXT ON TOUR show in Fremantle, we caught up with the MC to get some tips on how to make it as a young musician in Australia.

Noisey: What do you think are the differences between making it in the Australian hip hop scene over that of the US or UK?
Baro: The US and UK are much more established, and they obviously know what they’re doing compared to the scene here. The Australian scene right now, as in the past couple of years, has been getting kind of cool. It’s making it’s own lane. The UK and the US have a bunch of different lanes, but we’re getting there.

So do you think that emerging artists have it tougher here in Australia?
I actually feel like it’s easier here, because when the artist is good there’s not many people doing music how they do it. I guess in a way there’s not as much competition. What I’m saying is that it’s easy to be unique in this country, because a lot of people are doing the same thing.

The idea of a 'big break' seems kind of void now in the age of social media, where artists can effectively break themselves. Is success more of a gradual thing now?
I feel like success is a gradual thing, yeah. I mean, I haven’t reached success, but I feel like I’m on the pathway to success. You get better at what you do, it becomes more appealing to the consumer, and you get more money and popularity and you become successful. You distribute your music via the internet if you’re not going through a label, and that’s how most kids distribute now; through SoundCloud and Bandcamp. And lots of artists now have their own personality that’s really prominent in their socials.

What's your approach to Facebook and communicating with fans? Is there a line between the personal and professional?
No line, it’s all good. It’s not unprofessional to talk to someone. I don’t talk much on Facebook because I simply can’t message back to everybody, but people like Allday, he always replies to his fans. Actually, someone sent him a message saying, “I’ll shit on my brother’s bed if you reply” and he replied, like, “Pix or it didn’t happen.” And to an industry person, that’s not professional at all—but that’s what the kids like.

Would you advise emerging artists to release their music for free on the internet?
For sure. My first things were free, and they didn’t cost me much money to make in the first place. I was just making music at home, so I’m gonna release this for free and hope people like it. And people are gonna listen if it’s free. If you put your first shit on iTunes, people aren’t gonna jump the gun and buy it. You gotta make a name for yourself first.

Is there any advice you wish you'd been given when you were first starting out?
[Asks a friend in the background] My friend says that I shouldn’t ask my friends to answer my interview questions for me. That’s my answer. Don’t ask your friends.

You’re putting out new music in a couple of months. What’s it going to be like?
All I can really say about it is that it’s really heartsy. Heartsy, not artsy. There are going to be some feelings.

This article is presented in partnership with JD Future Legends

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