Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Billboard Baba. Together we discussed the billboard charts, their influences, their upcoming single “Driving Through The Fire”, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing?
Grateful that I get to be speaking to such an amazing condiment, but I’m doing really good, hope you’ve been well too Mustard.
2. Mustard wonders which Billboard charts inspired your artist name. In the words of the Wise-man Paul Heyman, would you say that your name is not a prediction but a spoiler of things to come?
Never thought about which ones in particular hmm, I’d say the Hot 100 & Hot 200 charts for sure. I want to see my name etched on the top of both of those one day; I can’t even begin to imagine the feeling of having the #1 song or album in the WORLD. That’s a fantastic quote though I’d definitely say it’s a spoiler. I’m a big believer of manifestation, and what other way of manifesting that success than through my name?
3. What was your relationship with Music growing up?
Music has definitely had a profound impact on me ever since I can remember. It’s been a part of my foundation my whole life, learning to play piano at 9 and being a part of the school band as a clarinetist for 5 years. I grew up Pentecostal, so church tunes were pretty much the only music I listened to till I was about 12 or 13 (fun fact: the first “secular artist” I listened to was Taylor Swift), and man I loveddd singing the hell out of those songs at church! They’re what got me into songwriting and poetry initially; I was saying at 8 years-old that I wanted to be a musician/songwriter who could impact people the way I felt impacted. And here I am today.
4. Is there a song (or album) that had a significant impact on you?
Without a doubt 90210 by Travis Scott. I discovered the song during a very emotional time period of my life, and it invoked a certain feeling in me. I cried when I heard it for the first time and to be honest, I still cry from time to time listening to it. Songs are the closest things we have to time-machines besides videos; they can instantly take you back to a moment or period in time. It just goes to show how significant music is for the soul.
5. Who (or what) influences you?
I tend to find influence in the everyday things that I experience. Whether that be a song that I discover by an artist, or a conversation I eavesdrop on while out and about; you can find influence wherever you’re seeking to be influenced. But artist wise I’d say Drake, The Weeknd and Travis Scott. Seeing their musical journeys and where they began versus where they’re currently are is mind-boggling to me. Just goes to show that if you believe in yourself, the sky’s the limit.
6. You’re the founder of Break The Tension. Could you share more about its foundation? Are there any upcoming events?
It was a pretty unique moment that came out of frustration if I’m being honest. My good friend and collaborator, Mars Alva, and I, had just left an open-mic performance that we had blown out of the water but wondered; why do we have to chase opportunity when we can create opportunities ourselves? In addition the atmosphere was just off-putting. A lot of events that I’ve been to within this industry feel too “poserish” in the sense that people try so hard to portray a certain image and look tough at these events. So we literally wanted to ‘Break The Tension” and create a space where no matter who you are or where you come from, you’re able to enjoy your time to the fullest without the worry of people judging you. Our motto is: “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t made yet. What are you afraid of?”
7. In 2019 you released your debut single “Alright” and got a tattoo to commemorate the moment. How did it feel to finally have a single out in the world? What was the inspiration behind this single?
Indescribable; I don’t have kids but it felt like I gave birth to a child. Something that I had cultivated on my own, talked about years for doing, and then finally, did felt liberating; it’s one of the best feelings ever releasing a work of art, especially your first. But If I’m being completely honest there wasn’t much inspiration behind the song; I found the beat on Youtube with my friend Jimmy Static and instantly fell in love with it. Started freestyling a couple melodies, one thing led to another, and the rest is history.
8. You followed it up with “I Love You For You.” Was this single inspired by an actual human you know? Why is it important to love someone for who they are and not a manufactured version of themselves?
Was it that obvious? I definitely use my love life as a muse for my music, but that’s a fantastic question. Once you fall for that manufactured version, they usually tend to show who they truly are & vice versa. You never want to put yourself in a different light just to attract someone you want, then they’ll love you for the wrong reasons, and that’s not love.
9. November 28th saw the release of your debut album “Conflicts and Confessions.” Could you share what it was like to put this album together?
The creative process behind this album was kind of all over the place if I’m being honest. It was curated and created during the middle of the pandemic, and most of the songs were made in a 3-month span between June – August 2020. I had released a string of singles by that point and decided it was finally time to make that next step forward. I really tapped into my emotions (the biggest influence on my music for sure) and put all my relevant experiences to paper. I wanted to make an impactful album that was more than just the music; I wanted people to use my pain and passion as a therapeutic source.
10. Mustard wonders what are some common conflicts you come across or have? What confessions did you make on the album? Why is it important humans let out their confessions?
I’m a very humanistic person in the sense that I believe we all experience the same things, and this album for me was a culmination of emotions that I, and without a doubt everyone on this earth, have been conflicted over or confessed before; Sadness, Joy, Regret, Anger, Love, Motivation, Temptation, etc. It’s important for people to be aware of their emotions and the causation behind them because that’s what helps you become stronger at the end of the day. I make it a mission to try and have meaning behind my music, whether it be a party anthem or a ballad about self-destruction, and I want people to resonate with the everyday struggles and successes that I experience. I wanted to have a song for everyone on that album to connect to and feel they could be transparent with.
11. You’ve garnered a ton of success over social media platforms such as TikTok. How does it feel to see your music perform so well? How has social media helped you as an artist?
Well as much as I appreciate the plaudits I feel like I haven’t done much to be honest. Seeing those numbers accumulate though is a unique feeling. The fact that people are taking the time out of their days to listen to MY music; it’s truly an honor. Social media has definitely helped expand my outreach and connectivity, and without a doubt has helped me accomplish a lot more than I would’ve been able to without it.
12. What is next for Billboard Baba?
Got a lot in store for 2023 that I’m excited about. I’m releasing my first solo single in over a year on April 14th titled “DRIVING THROUGH THE FIRE” that I absolutely adore (and hope y’all will too), as well as bringing back the third rendition of BREAK THE TENSION sometime this summer. There’s a lot of other music I want to release later in the year, and a lot of different ventures I’m working on currently, but we’ll take it one step at a time.
13. Where can readers listen to your music?
First and foremost I want to say thank you again Mustard for giving me the space to open up on and allow people to learn a little more about just who Billboard Baba is, and thank you to anyone reading that has made it this far. You can find my music everywhere on any streaming service or platform (ex. Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, Youtube, etc.) and you follow me on instagram at billboardbaba to keep up to date with me and my antics. See y’all at the top of the charts.