Born and raised amidst the outskirts of Joburg, the now Cape Town-based artist Bahbah, otherwise known as Bahbahroo, has quietly been producing some of the most refreshingly effortless and earnest music amongst the city’s creative landscape. Alongside his musical pursuits, Bahbah has played a pivotal role in cultivating platforms and spaces in which up-and-coming musicians and creators alike are afforded a means of sharing alternative and independent art.

The self-described indie artist, musician, creative director, digital designer and full-time film student has been working on a six-track EP titled Monologue for the last year that is destined for release over the next couple of months through Joburg-based label and online radio station, Lilies Records.  


Bahbah’s versatility and musical prowess shone through one of his earliest releases Scrambled Eggs – under the alias, Blackberrysour – a hefty 20-song compilation project consisting of a series of four EPs, exuding experimentality and limitless creative freedom that came out during the latter stages of 2020. The various EPs were released throughout lockdown in 2020 and upon the release of the fourth, Bahbah was contacted by New York-based record label, Choice Records, who proposed a physical release of Scrambled Eggs, which is what prompted the 20-track compilation. Bahbah’s latest release, It Takes Time, is the artist’s first project that has been put out since the Blackberrysour-era. It is a two-track single, which “was supposed to be like a prelude to Monologue”, he explains. This is further indicated in the conclusion of the music video for the first song on the single, coincidentally titled It Takes Time, where the protagonist holds up a tracklist for the forthcoming EP. 

The tastefully melancholic yet simultaneously uplifting It Takes Time is thoroughly complimented by its accompanied visual aid consisting of striking visuals, rich in symbolism, that ever so naturally match the atmosphere of the audio – a considerably challenging endeavour. “I wanted every release I had to be full-bodied and to drive the narrative a bit further,” he says. 

A balance between heartfelt and having fun

While convincingly exhibiting the capacity to produce emotionally captivating music, Bahbah displays a consistent balance between solemn and serene. While It Takes Time is a more personal, reflective piece that oozes emotion, Over You, the second track on the single, is a testament to Bahbah’s multifaceted ability and his knack for creating a more light-hearted listening experience. “I’m not trying to like hop on stage and like cry. I’ve realised that it doesn’t have to be so personal all the time. Like you can intend to make something that’s just purely meant to be fun,” he states. 

Residing in Joburg when he first began making music, while drawing inspiration from artists such as King Krule and Michael Seyer, Bahbah’s local musical exposure was very limited and almost exclusively consisted of hip-hop and amapiano. “The sort of independent alternative scene almost seems non-existent in Joburg and the area that I’m from in particular is even drier. There was nothing there,” he says. His move to Cape Town transpired without hesitancy and was prompted by “some of the homies already making the move,” Bahbah explains. While recognising that Cape Town has a lot to offer, with regard to opportunity in the creative scene, Bahbah still acknowledges the necessity of doing things yourself. “It’s no different in the sense that you still have to make your own shit happen,” he says. 

“Defining GUSHER* has been the hardest thing since day one. Like it’s so many things all at once,” says Bahbah. PHOTO: Teagan van Zyl

Cultivating a sense of community

Bahbah’s DIY approach to his music production has garnered the up-and-coming artist a distinctly unique and organic discography that exhibits his development as a musician. His creative process and attitudes closely parallel the values of independent creative space, online magazine, music platform, film encyclopaedia, and creative crockpot, GUSHER*. “Defining GUSHER* has been the hardest thing since day one. Like it’s so many things all at once,” Bahbah explains. Currently, Bahbah is involved with the creative direction of the magazine and the website, which he built and designed, and the campaigning of various other projects. His involvement in GUSHER*, as well as the entity itself, is entirely passion driven and has created a platform for an ever-growing group of friends and like-minded artists to make the things they want to make and share them with others. 

“I think there’s been a chat that has been constantly recurring with me, which is individuality versus community I guess,” Bahbah states. He diplomatically understands the desire for independent stardom as a musician, however, he sees significant potential in collaboration, networking and engaging in a community-based approach. “That individual mentality really holds a lot of artists back, it’s still something I struggle with getting over myself,” he mentions.  

Bahbahroo is the Creative Director of GUSHER*. PHOTO: Teagan van Zyl

Bahbah’s most recent production takes the form of a one-track feature on a compilation album curated and released through GUSHER*, dubbed Memory Disk Vol. 1*. The song, titled ‘Home*’, is a happy-go-lucky breath of fresh air that could perhaps be considered one of his best vocal performances. Bahbah’s ‘Home*’ is one of 16 songs on the compilation, all produced by different artists, including Shoka Sunflower, EatSleep, etah, and CLUB VALLEY. A listening party was held at the Other Records, who expressed notable enthusiasm in supporting this independent initiative, last month to premiere Memory Disk Vol 1*, which was received incredibly well by those who gathered to celebrate. 

Staying Focused

Bahbah doesn’t seem too concerned with what is happening outside of his world, “I’m not very aware of the Cape Town music scene in and of itself,” he humbly admits. Those who he appears to predominantly draw inspiration from are those either outside of his immediate environments or within his inner circle. “Most of the homies that I’m aware of or acquainted with are from Joburg and came here to do what they’re doing,” Bahbah says. Channelling his attention and energy into what is happening around him has proven to steer Bahbahroo in a profoundly convincing direction. 

In terms of what is to come, the artist has exciting plans in store. He envisions more live shows in the future, the much anticipated Monologue is expected to release at an undisclosed time during the next couple of months, and a top-secret Gusher* project is in the works. Bahbah is an unquestionably promising artist whose miraculously captivating work keeps those around him eager for more. While constantly figuring things out and striving to grow as an artist there is no doubt that we can expect much more from Bahbah in the future.


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