Funk rock outfit Baba Jenkins recently released the music video, “Touro de Lide,” a track from Copper, the band’s rousing debut album
Copper announced the coming of a new band with a fresh sound for fans of rock: a raw, knife-edged amalgam of electric blues, roughneck funk, two-fisted rock, and hard-nosed alternative music.
Baba Jenkins has skyrocketed, with more than one million views on YouTube and beaucoup streams on Spotify. And while their ascent appears effortless, the band has fought hard.
“Touro de Líde” is the story of that struggle. In it, lead singer Rone Worthen is both the bull and the bullfighter, the irresistible force and the man on his own, staring down long odds and refusing to lose. He’s late on the rent and hunted by the authorities; rebellion is in the air, but he may not live to see the fruits of what he’s fighting for. The band backs up his high-stakes storytelling with stinging, muscular riffs and pounding beats that make Jenkins’s urgency, fear, rage, and wild hope all gloriously palpable.
CelebMix spoke with Baba Jenkins to find out more about the inspiration for “Touro de Lide,” how they got together, and their writing process.
What three things can’t you live without?
Ekko: Family, music, food.
Rone: Family, music, nature.
Guy: Hope, helping others, love, family (and Chicago deep-dish).
Skooter: Music, love, good food.
What inspired your new single/music video, “Touro de Lide”?”
Rone: The meaning of ‘Touro de Lide’ is to be as bullish and as aggressive as necessary to protect what’s important to you. We chose a Spanish title because bullfighting is romanticized but the reality is the matador is seldom in any serious danger, and the bull has virtually no chance of escape or survival.
Where and when did Baba Jenkins first get together?
Guy: The first day the four of us played together was on February 13, 2021, at PA Rehearsal Studios in Reseda CA in Studio 2.
Who is in the band and which instrument do they play?
Guy: Rone Worthen is the lead singer, Ekko Gaha on drums, Kerwin “Skooter” Williams plays bass, and myself – I play guitar.
How does the band operate? Does everyone have a say or is it more like a benevolent dictatorship?
Guy: The band operates by design as an equal partnership. We all own 25% of everything. It’s a true democracy in the way we operate and true equality in the way we treat each other. Everyone gets a say and everyone’s needs are heard. Dictatorships are bound to fail in the long run. They’re not healthy.
How did you get started in music?
Ekko: I started my own band when I was 12 and played drums and managed the band The Penguins in Sydney, Australia. My uncle gave me my first kit when I was six.
If you had to describe your sound to the uninitiated, what would you say?
Guy: I’d say our sound is a potent combination of R&B and rock but with the underpinnings of soul to drive it.
What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, or other media?
Rone: Recently, I’ve been inspired by podcasts and news radio. I mostly listen to them while I’m driving, so when I hear a word that may be good in a song, I press record on my phone and start humming a melody. I also get a lot of lyrical inspiration from artists like Luke Bryan, AC/DC, and Montell Jorden.
What can you share about your writing process?
Rone: Sometimes I get drunk and write music until 2 a.m. Other times I write while I’m watching TV or walking on the treadmill. There’s usually no planned time I set out to write. I wait until it hits me then I write in the moment.
Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?
Skooter: I think Steve Lacy has a bright future. His album is fire! Morgan Wallen is great – he will be a mainstay on the charts for a while. And watch out for Coi Leray, her new single ‘Players’ is going through the roof!
How do you define success?
Ekko: Success to me is being able to make a good living by playing and selling music. Making sure my family lives comfortably and is healthy and happy. No day job, no side hustle, just music.
Looking back over the last few years, what have you learned?
Rone: I’ve learned not to make important decisions out of fear. I’ve learned to trust myself. I’ve also learned not to judge a book by its cover.
What can your fans look forward to over the next six months? Music videos? Live gigs?
Skooter: We’re working on remixes from our album that we’ll be dropping sometime soon with a remix EP to follow. In the meantime, we’re writing new material as we speak and hopefully will start recording tracks for that in the near future.
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