The 21-year-old creative and up-and-coming musician BARKER from King's Lynn, Norfolk pushes boundaries in producing jump-up lyrical beats. Among demonstrating electric vibrations and a dark lyrical roar BARKER is out with his freshest EP 'Lord of the Dance’ on December 8th this year where he heavily develops on his unique-powered style. Modèle talk with BARKER in uncovering his signature robust music characteristics.
What's the best way, in your words to describe your style of music?
"A crunchy texture that’s a little bit sticky and doesn’t make a lot of sense, a structure built on a scaffolding of 4/4 patterns and breakbeats with walls made of horror movies with a big room full of music equipment that almost works properly."
What motivates you when releasing new music?
"I just really enjoy it, everyone I work with we're all one big family; big up my devil kids & gaff rats. I just like messing about with sounds y’know, hit the strings and hope for the best has always been my attitude to music. So ultimately I just enjoy it too much to stop.
Plus, when you’re THIS FUCKING TALENTED it would be a disservice to the world not to put out new shit."
Which musicians have inspired you so far?
"I grew up listening to a lot of heavy metal, Motörhead were my first love in music. My ol’ man gave me his old walkman when I started school and started me off with Ace of Spades, Welcome to the Beartrap with a bit of AC/DC for good measure. As I got older I found Papa Roach, Disturbed, Shiedown etc along with my first bit of hip hop; Wu Tang, Biggie, stuff like that. When I started playing the guitar I discovered the blues, I’d always been into my music but it was at that point that I really got the bug for it. Robert Johnson and his story have been a massive interest and inspiration of mine since selling his soul to the devil and practising by performing to the dead are proper cool to me.
I never really considered what my influences were until it was pointed out to me, quite recently by Lieu (big up selecta), I always considered Jam Baxter & Stig of the Dump my two main influences as far as rapping goes. My biggest inspiration, in general, is David Draiman from Disturbed, his use of words and his general flow are very rapper-like but its a bit crunchy y’know. Kinda like using your flow as a distorted guitar riff I guess."
Your favourite & least favourite thing about the underground music scene in the UK?
"My favourite bits in the scene around EA is that a lot of people all work together so live events and cyphers are just like big parties with your mates and microphones. I don’t like how venues keep getting shut down or have their live music licences revoked. It's fucked, a lot of people don’t like us because we make a set lively, maybe more lively than a King’s Lynn/Norwich pub were expecting. But some people wanna listen to local music other than acoustic dad bands and the odd hardcore show and nobody seems to wanna cash in on it."
Do you draw from personal experiences to write a song?
"It depends, a lot of my stuff is for the sake of just feeling good, having fun. Bars that make people laugh are important but I try to pick a topic and stick to it. There is a lot of fun in throwing out dustty bars for the love of it. I like to summarise what I’m talking about more abstractly, if I want to make a point I’ll hammer it right in, “Work, sleep, repeat, die” for example but for the most part I like what I dote more interpretable to the listener. Art is only what each person makes of it ay."
Are you be interested in doing collaborations with other underground artists?
"I’d love to, I’m always up for working with new people but I like to hang out with the person and work on a piece together instead of just emailing beats and verses to each other. So in turn with that if I don’t appreciate someone's energy then it just won’t really work to make a tune."
How did you come up with the concept for the upcoming EP ‘Lord of the Dance’?
"A friend of mine died at the start of this year, I used to work with him he had a disability that gave him a lot of limitations but he just didn’t see them. He never stopped to be upset about what he couldn’t do, he just always pushed what he could and had the best time doing it. He had a real true love for life that isn’t common enough in people. So these days with pushing music and giving it my all I just tap into my friend's mentality. His drive was such an inspiration. At his funeral Lord of the Dance was the first hymn we sang and it just had such a resonance with me and how much it related to Dan. He was a music lover and dancer through and through, first on the floor last off. So this one is for Dan."
What do you want the upcoming EP to demonstrate to your fanbase?
"L.O.T.D. is a much more mature tape than Luck & Black Magic, it still has its tongue in cheek charm but I feel that my writing and overall delivery of my bars have improved a lot in this past year and a half or however long. Along with joining Cold Frame Records and working closely with Lieu, I give him a lot of shit (because he’s a dustty battyman) but he’s managed to fine-tune me a bit and cut out the filler, as well as his production being levels everything we make b b b b bangs these days."
Photography by Tom Foster