BabyJake is on his way to superstardom. Creating his own lane dabbling in rhythmic pop with a love and focus on alternative, the Fort Myers, Florida native has been making major strides within the music industry — recently signed to Scooter Braun and collaborating with Dillon Francis.
Going from real name Jake Herring to the moniker BabyJake, the “Miami” recording artist is the true definition of life of the party, living each moment to the best of his ability. Bringing that same energy into his music, he prides himself in staying positive and uplifting the masses while staying true to his character.
Fast forward to 2020, he unleashes his highly-anticipated debut EP titled Don’t give me problems, give me wine, proving his diversity in the realms of pop, folk, R&B, and of course his favorite, alternative. Flaunt Mag caught up with Baby Jake, who had just returned from getting groceries at Costco.
When did you change your name to Baby Jake? Last time you were Jake Herring.
Man, I can’t even tell you when we did it, but it was a conversation between me, Scooter, and DVLP. We thought “BabyJake is the move, it sounds way better.” This was before all the Baby’s too. I changed my name before Lil Baby was poppin’, Baby Keem, all them. I’m not hating, they’re dope. But I was the first.
Don’t give me problems, give me wine debut EP out now! What made you name it that?
You see the hat? [wearing merch] It’s my life motto. Cabernet, red wine is my thing. I’d prefer to be wine drunk over anything else in life, even sober. [chuckles] If I could be wine drunk all the time without the consequences of probably dying at an early age from being an alcoholic, I definitely would be. It was actually a line in “Confidant,” a single I dropped prior to the EP. It stuck. We were going to call it the Heads In The Clouds EP, then I realized last minute “oh wait, 88Rising did something like that.” I don’t want any beef, I love them. A month out, we changed it.
You released the visual for “Confidant,” what was your creative vision?
I honestly wanted it to look like Sum 41. It didn’t really end up looking like Sum 41, but I like the old-school video style where a band performs and there’s a storyline at the same time. It’s actually my best friends playing the instruments, they had no idea how to play any of them so we faked it the whole video. My friend Aaron on the drums, all fake.
But you play guitar right?
I play guitar, that was legit. I thought “what would make it cool?” I said “let’s throw wigs on and dress like we’re from the 70’s. Let’s go for it.”
I was going to ask which era you were going for.
I don’t even know what it is. Even now today in my daily, relaxing fits, I’m always wearing wide collar and bell-bottoms. I’m wearing t-shirts too.
Where do you get your fashion inspo?
I have a huge, massive love for fashion. I love fashion. I love streetwear, everything that’s going on. Streetwear is getting a little diluted now because there’s so much of it, but that shit was so fire when it first came out. It’s a vibe. I realized I’m tall, I’m hairy, I’m making rock music, so it made more sense for me to dress like a 70’s rockstar. I’ve evolved from those eras. I really enjoy the fashion from the 70’s through 90’s era of rock music. It was wild, so sick. If I would’ve been on tour right now, I’d be trying to throw shit out windows or light shit on fire. That’s the type of touring artist I want to be: wild as fuck.
3 things you need in the studio?
Wine’s one of them for sure. Being sober for 4 months, I couldn’t write anything. I was struggling so hard. The moment I sipped on wine, I immediately needed to go to the studio. I’m catching a vibe. Water, I drink a fuckton of water. I try to stay hydrated. And vibes: good people around me, a good engineer, instruments.
Favorite songs on the project and why?
“Anywhere” is fucking crazy, I can’t believe it’s me. Still to this day, wow. This would’ve slapped if it dropped in the 70’s. It’s more of a sleeper nowadays because it’s not upbeat, but it’s all live instruments and I really fuck with the sound. Somebody said “you sound like Joe Cochran.” Bro, that’s the best compliment you could ever give me. “Head in The Clouds” is my other favorite because it’s upbeat and really honest in what I’m talking about. The record’s about me being distracted all the time.
I remember my mom pulled me out of preschool at 6 years old, the teacher told my mom “your son has ADD, he can’t stay focused.” They tried to give me Ritalin, my mom said “no, he’s not getting on any medicine.” I thank her because that naturally helps me now, my mind goes in different areas for songwriting. My head’s always in the fucking clouds, all the time. I don’t smoke but if I did, my head would be in the fucking clouds. I love the record, it’s “Confidant 2.0” in my eyes.
How did the collaboration with Dillon Francis come about?
We’ve known each other for 3 years, got in and started working on music. We did a record 3 years ago, we’re like “nah, it doesn’t fit the vibe.” I was still trying to figure out who I was as an artist. We’d always spoken about doing more stuff together, it came to life. Now we’re working on another song with a Spanish artist named Fuego. This is more of a reggaeton record honestly.
How did you find your way to Republic Records?
Scooter Braun found me on SoundCloud. I actually signed to SB Projects, who partnered with Republic. I was working with some talented people at the time, but he’s really the one to bring me to the major label.
How has that journey been?
It’s great, I can’t complain. Being a kid from Fort Myers, Florida, I’m in a great position in my life at 23 years old. So I’m not complaining.
Goals for yourself as an artist at this point in your career?
I want to do a nationwide tour. Hopefully in 2021, touring opens back up. Another goal is to do a really cool feature. I’m talking to a couple people, hopefully one comes through. I’d love to do a feature in the alternative lane. I’m not that outside, I’m leaning left right now. I’ve got to show people I can still bring it back to the middle. Third goal, I’d love to win a Grammy eventually.