Rolling Out

The energetic, Afrofuturistic sound of Toronto artist SadBoi’s ‘Bare Chat’

Re-introducing the budding star

SadBoi‘s energy is infectious. Every song you play from her new album, Bare Chat, is uptempo to the point that it makes not dancing impossible. Her sound is a unique blend of her Caribbean roots with drill samples.

On June 11, SadBoi discussed the album and her career with rolling out.

Did you refer to Mariah Carey as Mariah The Scientist on Bare Chat?

Yes, on “Ackee.”

Has she acknowledged it yet?

No, she hasn’t.

What do you think her reaction will be when she hears it?

I think she would laugh. I don’t think it was something that was supposed to be taken any kind of way. I think she would probably just laugh. I think she would like the song.

I enjoy that even your more introspective and slower records are still uptempo.

Yeah, I still like a vibe.

Where did your sound of blending so many genres come from?

I think a big piece is I am Caribbean. I grew up in a Caribbean household. My mom is Jamaican, and my dad is Antiguan, and my grandparents are Caribbean. Also, growing up in Toronto [influences the music]. You go to a party, and you hear every single thing. You don’t just hear rap. You don’t just hear dancehall, literally throughout the night you’ll hear five different genres. When you’re walking down the street, you’ll pass like five different restaurants, like a Caribbean restaurant, and then a Chinese restaurant. So living in Toronto plays a big part in my music.

My producer is from Brazil, but he lives in Paris. So that’s where the funk comes in. Honestly, it’s so much going on. He’s so talented. I don’t know how he does it. I’ve tried to figure it out because I’m like, “You’re mixing funk with drill. But then you also have island elements. And the melodies are Afrofobeat elements. I don’t know how he does it, that’s on him, but I just know, for me it’s really my background. It’s where I’m from. I try to put that in music as much as possible.

What were you thinking when you wrote Bare Chat?

It was a project I actually wrote to uplift myself. So when I’m saying, “Baddies, baddies, baddies,” I want to look in the mirror and feel like a baddie. You know what I mean? When I write, I always think, “What do I need to hear in that moment?” Not necessarily for everyone else, but for myself.

It’s so interesting because people are like, “Oh, you make music for the girls.” And I love that because there are so many girls who are going through the same thing I’m going through. I really am trying to uplift myself.

Were you starstruck when you first met Drake?

I was really nervous. Drake is one of my favorite artists. I already had a conversation with him before I met him. I feel like that was like my starstruck moment where I was like, “Oh, my God. This is a back and forth with Drake.” But when I met him, I was just like, “Oh, wow. He’s so cool.” He reminds me of a true Toronto man. It’s so funny.

I definitely was [nervous], though. I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t. When I saw the follow and got the DM, I was like, “Oh, wow.” I’m going to be so real with you. I always say this. The one person I know I would probably start crying and would have a panic attack and she would probably be like, “Girl, if you don’t stand the f— up [if I met them]?” Nicki Minaj.

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