For Fans Of: Briggs, 360, Sampa The Great
Danzal Baker is making history. Locally known as the “fresh new prince”, or more commonly Baker Boy, he comes from an Aboriginal background and was raised in the small Indigenous communities of Milingimbi and Maningrida in north-east Arnhem Land, Australia. He’s made a name for himself as the first Indigenous artists to break into the industry while rapping primarily in his native Yolngu Matha language, and hopes to inspire his listeners and other artists alike to embrace multilingualism in music.
The multi-talented performer has been rapping since 2016, and was inspired by Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Don Omar who also utilises his mother tongue in his lyrics. He released his debut single ‘Cloud 9’ feat Kian in 2017, which has now amassed over 2 million plays on Spotify and eventually lead to him signing with Select Music (The Chats, Confidence Man, The Veronicas). He followed this up with anecdotal track ‘Marryuna’ feat. Yirrmal later on in the year, which speaks of his transition of moving from his small community to the busy city of Melbourne.
These two singles lead to his ultimate breakthrough as award judges certainly took a liking to him. In 2018, he was met with recognition from the National Indigenous Music Awards who declared him the Best New Talent and his song ‘Marryuna’ won Film Clip of the Year. The National Dreamtime Awards also named him Male Artist of The Year. Not only this, but grime pioneer Dizzee Rascal also handpicked him to support him on his Australian tour in early 2018. Following this, three more hot singles arrived that year; the catchy ‘Mr La Di Da Di’, funk guitar-infused ‘Treaty ’18’, and politically-driven ‘Black Magic’. These all encapsulated the core messages in Baker Boy’s music: speak up for what you believe in but have fun doing it.
2019 lead to even more success. He dropped three more singles, including his most popular to date, ‘Cool As Hell’. The fast-rap hit, which has amassed close to 5 million Spotify spins, came hand-in-hand with a music video shot around Sydney and features him dancing alongside his brother and father. This video showcases Baker Boy’s past as he was once a member of the Indigenous dance troupe Djuki Mala whom he toured Australia with before he found music. The song itself is about “letting the music take control of your body, and that’s exactly what the film clip does too. It makes you feel bright and happy. Just makes you want to feel the music and dance.” he says.
The free-spirited video saw him nominated for two awards at the ARIA awards (Best Hip Hop Release and Best Music Video), and he was also up for Best Australian Live Act. Award season didn’t stop there though. He’s currently the reigning Young Australian of The Year champion (where he accepted his speech in both English and Yolngu Matha), and was further recognised by the National Indigenous Music Awards as Artist of the Year!
Known for his hardship promoting aboriginal artists and caring for his local community, Baker Boy’s work is nowhere near done. Keep an ear out for more inspirational messages and wise words from the fresh new prince.
Facebook – /dabakerboy
Twitter – @bakerboymusic