Bakar caught up with NME backstage at Reading 2023 to share with us his deep affection for Foals and how he’s returning to his “original indie rock roots” on his new album ‘Halo’. Watch our complete video interview above.
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The singer-songwriter from London conversed with us immediately after his first appearance on the main stage at R&L, although it was his fourth time performing at the revered festival overall.
“It always feels like a festival I belong to,” Bakar conveyed to NME. “I enjoy it during the Summer (Summer is Here SALE)r when I traverse different festivals in Europe and America, and eventually return to a warm, welcoming reception at home.
Advertisement “I still sense a sense of newness here because it feels like we had to go through various stages to earn our spot on the main stage. I don’t know if I consider myself a seasoned artist, but there is certainly a strong bond between me and this festival.
He added: “I first attended Reading after completing my GCSEs to watch Foals. That was a significant moment for me. I recall witnessing their performance inside one of the colossal tents. We’ve performed at numerous festivals alongside Foals, and I recently had the privilege of meeting them in Brussels. It’s amazing that I now get to share a stage with them.”
Bakar performs live on the main stage during day three of Reading Festival 2023. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Could a potential collaboration with Foals be in the cards?
“I’d be thrilled, but honestly, I simply revel in observing their progress,” Bakar responded. “Their evolution has been remarkable. Many UK bands fail to continue in the right manner in my opinion, but Foals have excelled and demonstrated how it should be done. Arctic Monkeys have also accomplished this, but Foals possess a slightly idiosyncratic nature, and that’s why I appreciate it.”
After igniting a fervent response from the crowd on the closing day of Reading, Bakar enlightened us about his “strong bond” with his fans.
Advertisement “They’ve been with me from the very beginning,” he expressed. “Even a track like ‘Small Town Girl’ is more of a hidden gem rather than a prominent Bakar song, yet they were familiar with all the lyrics. We’ve grown together, and it feels like a friendship at this stage.”
However, Bakar’s preferred song from his set was his recent single ‘Right Here, For Now’ – the most recent preview of his highly-anticipated second album ‘Halo’.
“For ‘Halo’, our intention was to revisit our genuine indie rock influences and strive to present the finest renditions of those songs while enjoying the process. We actually recorded it at Electric Lady studios in New York City, with all the instruments performed live, returning to the basics: drums, guitar, vocals. That’s precisely what this song represents. And it feels invigorating, particularly in the context of 2023.”
Teasing what listeners can anticipate from the album, Bakar shared, “We aspired to create a vibrant sound for ‘Halo’. That was a significant aspect – attempting to capture the essence in various environments, such as houses and AirBnBs, during our travels. I believe that resonates throughout the record. There’s a sense of movement and urgency. It’s a reflection of lived experiences, so I am genuinely excited for everyone to hear it.”
He added, “In terms of lyrics, my approach has remained consistent. I continue to narrate the happenings in my life and the lives of my friends. I have simply honed my songwriting skills.”
Check back at NME here for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos, and more from Reading & Leeds 2023.
Bakar releases ‘Halo’ on September 22. Below are his upcoming headline tour dates in the UK and Europe. Visit here for tickets and further information.
NOVEMBERThursday 9 – Magnolia – Milan, ItalySunday 12 – Kesselhaus – Berlin, GermanyTuesday 14 – Melkweg – Amsterdam, The Netherlands Wednesday 15 – CBE – Cologne, GermanyThursday 16 – Trix – Antwerp, BelgiumSaturday 18 – DR Koncerthuset – Copenhagen, Denmark Wednesday 21 – O2 Academy – Glasgow, UK Thursday 22 – Academy – Dublin, IrelandFriday 23 – Limelight – Belfast, IrelandSaturday 25 – Le Bataclan – Paris, FranceTuesday 28 – Eventim Apollo – London, UK Thursday 29 – Albert Hall – Manchester, UKFriday 30 – Albert Hall – Manchester, UK