Home / Blog / Artists / INTRODUCING… Ariez Baby

INTRODUCING… Ariez Baby

Coming to our attention following a stand-out performance at our Open Mic night in September, Kat Friar met up with Ariez Baby to find out more about her artistry and career to date…

ARIEZ BABY @ UD TALENT HOUSE. PHOTO BY KAT FRIAR.

UD: When and why did you pick up the pen? 

AB: Music’s always been a big part of my life, so from a young age, I’d write songs, go downstairs, perform it to my mum and get her verdict. Most of the time she’ll say I can’t sing, I can’t lie to you; so I’d be like, “Okay, alright, cool,” but I used to sing in church. I used to play the violin, piano, recorder – you know, all those things that you do when you’re growing up. So I feel like that’s definitely had that musical influence on my sound – so since I was a young child. I’ve started taking music seriously since 2019. I graduated in 2019 and I thought to myself, “Yeah, let me write music for this specifically, for this type of vibe.”

UD: What music do you (or did you) listen to that influences your sound and how did it influence your sound? 

AB: I grew up on albums from Beyonce, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Lauryn Hill… They would be the CDs that we got in the car playing – if I’m going to school or whatever. In the house there was a lot of garage – my mum loved garage. With that there was reggae – [there was] loads of sounds but I remember growing up and my mum would be up early and there was garage playing. So I definitely use some of those garage sounds in drill and rap. My mum likes it, so I must be doing something right!

UD: What’s your creative process when crafting your songs?

AB: I like to either get into a studio room with a producer and make something from scratch, or I like to be in my own space, put on a YouTube type beat or go through beats that are on my email and just catch a vibe with myself. I think that’s my comfort spot. I’ve written a lot of songs at home. I’ve definitely written more songs at home than [the] studio, but they’re two different vibes. It’s different when you’ve got people in the room with you and you’re trying to write, but obviously at home I put my feet up more.

UD: In line with the name of your EP,  I’M STILL LEARNING, what have you learnt so far about music and the industry specifically?

AB: I’ve learnt that even though music is what I love to do, it’s a business, so I’ve come into it, obviously, with the enjoyment of it and the love of it, but now it’s kind of treating myself as the business and that’s what’s kind of difficult, because you’ve kind of gotta be harsh on yourself. You gotta treat yourself like a business. That’s what I kind of found hard… What I’ve learnt is that some people can be really shit in music and still get quite far because their music business is good. So I’ve learnt that there’s a little bit of a game going on, which I feel like I understand now when some artists say they’ve lost the passion for producing music.

UD: Tell us about I’M STILL LEARNING. What was the biggest challenge you had while making it and what was your favourite part of making it?

AB: I’M STILL LEARNING comes from my general life, what I’ve learnt from going through school, university, people I’m around, the things I’ve seen… When I was thinking about dropping my first EP, I was thinking, ‘what can I call it where people are gonna understand where I am now and what I feel like I’ve got to come’, because I feel like me calling it ‘I’M STILL LEARNING’, you know that’s not gonna be the last one. It’s gonna be the first of many.

AB: My biggest challenge was most probably ‘Call Up’. I feel like we changed the beat quite a few times on that one. We were finding it difficult to mix down the vocals – so I feel like coming into this, there’s a whole process that you learn to record and you only get better. With that in mind, I’ve recorded ‘Call Up’, that was one of the first tracks I recorded, and I noticed when we tried to mix the vocals, something wasn’t sounding right, so I know what to do every time I record now, but ‘Call Up’ was definitely a challenge. And my favourite thing, there’s definitely a few favourites, but for ‘Call Up’ we flew out to Porto, Portugal to film it. We also filmed ‘Bad B’ there, and that was a vibe. Definitely go and watch the Bad B music video because you’ll know why that’s one of my favourites.

UD: What’s your favourite bar that you’ve written and why? Break it down for us lyrically.

AB: I’m gonna give you two. “Wrapped up in my pride / Got me acting like I don’t care.” Obviously that’s quite an emotional one, ’cause it feels like sometimes I do let pride kind of take over. You know when sometimes you’re thinking, “Oh no, I’m an independent strong woman,” sometimes that might get mixed up with pride. I felt like it was a time of my life where I was maybe just thinking about things quite selfishly and kind of forgetting the important people I’ve had in my life. That was kind of like an emotional side, but one of my favourite lyrics – this isn’t even on the EP, but one of my favourite lyrics is “She’s shaped like Pepsi. Not the bottle, but the can, urgh.”

*We both erupted with laughter.*

That one’s got a lot of love on TikTok. People are trying to cuss me. People are liking it. There’s loads of people, there’s loads of things going on. But I love it. I love that people are so interested and involved in it. But you know what’s funny about that one? Someone was like, “But Pepsi’s not the same shape as Coke,” You know them ones where it’s Coke bottle shaped, so I don’t know. But for me, that’s one of my funny ones.

UD: What do you and your music stand for? What’s ingrained in your personality that you translate through your music?

AB: I think the biggest thing that’s ingrained in me is – everyone loves to say it – but being a strong, independent woman and being able to do what you want to do proudly. And that doesn’t necessarily mean being able to do what you want to do and just kind of grow crazy with things. I feel like there should be structure and you should be able to respect yourself. The way I wanna come into the music industry is – see when I have children, I want ’em to be able to look at my career and everything that I’ve done and be proud. I don’t want ’em to see me with my bum cheeks spread open, doing a madness. That’s personally not what I’m here to [do], I’m here for the females that are sick at music and you don’t have to show your body in a sexual way, you don’t have to do that, because I don’t think there’s women that require that up top. So if the men are running everything, how come we’ve gotta be sexualised in a certain way to get where we wanna be? And I noticed that in all different industries, so I wanna break through with music and what I’ve got to say instead of [being] focused on other irrelevant things like BBLs and that.

UD: How would you define your sound and how do you work with producers or source beats to exhibit your sound?

AB: My sound’s quite sonic, I use a lot of ad-libs in my music and I suppose it’s powerful rap where I want the audience to be able to feel my emotion with the way I’m saying something, instead of just the lyrics. I want ’em to feel my energy. I like working with producers that have got something different about their beats – maybe something dark. I love a beat with a good bass, like an 808 kick. If I’m recording music, that’s a bit different, like an R&B vibe, I like when a beat creates a story. As soon as you listen to a beat, when it creates a story, you’re like, “Mm.” You could just listen to that beat and then the artist could go on it or not, but the beat itself is telling a story. I like that kind of stuff. Going into a studio, the producer should try and cook something up that’s different. That sounds different. Obviously all I can do is be myself, but I try and just keep in my own lane, otherwise I feel like you can easily follow different flows, follow different lyrics, ’cause everyone’s got the same flow, everyone’s using the same lyrics pretty much. So I don’t like to listen to too much ’cause I feel like I’ll be influenced. 

UD: When did you feel like people were starting to believe in your music? How did that make you feel and was there a specific event, like a performance for example, that helped authenticate that?

AB: I think from the start I’ve always had people that believed in me, but I think it’s just a matter of me growing as an artist. I met my manager two years ago – so, 2020 –  and it’s nice to meet someone who lets you know that they’re there to support you, but they’re also a fan of what you do. They generally are excited for the music that you release and the things that you’ve got going. That’s definitely a plus to have people around you that appreciate what you do, and then I’ve had a few well-known artists that would say kind words, so that’s always nice, a bit of assurance there. I performed in Czech Republic with Smack One and that was sick because it was so different. No one in Czech knew me like that, but they appreciated what I did on stage at the time. Their reaction is different to people in London, they start screaming and they were loving it. I know we’re a bit more conservative in the UK, so people aren’t screaming yet, but in Czech [Republic] they loved it. Then when I came back, I opened up for Dappy and that was sick because Dappy’s a legend. You know, growing up on N-Dubz – I feel like he’s one of the coldest artists in the UK so for me to open up for him – that was sick. I don’t even know if I’ve deeped it completely yet, but just him reaching out and taking me in – that was sick.

ARIEZ ‘RISK’ A UD OPEN MIC SHOW STEALER

UD: I’ve seen you perform at UD Open Mics, what goes through your head before, during and after performing?

AB: Sometimes I’m a little bit nervous beforehand. See, I think it depends on the size of the show and who I think is gonna be at the show, so I do get like pre-stage nerves sometimes, but I focus on just changing that into a confidence. It’s a confidence thing, so all that energy, I’ll put it straight onto the stage. So as soon as I’m on the stage, that’s what I’m putting it into, otherwise I feel like I’m gonna look silly and I can’t look nervous if I’m up there. The majority of the time I’m just looking out in the crowd and just trying to put on the best show. There’s been one time I was sick when I was performing and I was thinking about being sick and that wasn’t good but yeah, I just try and look out and my mind just goes – not blank, it’s just everything has to be left on that stage. I just think about my lyrics and then afterwards it feels good. I feel like I’ve got the biggest adrenaline rush afterwards. I come off the stage and then my body’s on a high. I’ve gotta go out and bun a zoot or something or keep performing. I feel like I’ve got the adrenaline to keep performing.

ARIEZ BABY @ TALENT HOUSE. PHOTO BY KAT FRIAR.

UD: Being from south London, which has a huge roster of musicians both aspiring and established, do you feel supported by your community? Do you collaborate or work with anyone emerging from that area?

AB I hope to – in the future – work with artists from south [London]. I feel like south London – we support our own. Especially going out to shows, I notice there’s a lot of people from south London in the room. So when I’m shouting out who’s from whatever area, there’s a lot of people from south and they usually make noise which is good. When you say “I’m from south” people are usually cheering. There’s so many people in south that I’d love to collab with. I’m in talks with – I don’t know if you know Johnny Gunz, that would be a sick feature because obviously growing up you’re listening to that kind of music and as much as people might not be aware of them as much commercially, this is the music we grew up on. Legends like that I would love [do a] feature with. I just performed at Suspect’s headlines showing in Hackney. Giggs pulled up. They’re definitely two people that I’d love to collab with in the future, the landlords. Who wouldn’t? There’s definitely more names there, but I think it’s just the start.

Follow Ariez Baby HERE.

Words & photography: Kat Friar. Kat is a freelance journalist, DJ and photographer with a passion for music. She likes to cover all bases regarding music so whether it’s a new album, a rising artist or a gig, she’ll be writing about it.

Our next Open Mic night is on 01/12/22. Tickets are free from udtickets.com. Email OpenMic@udmusic.org with links to your music if you want to perform…

Read Next

Artists, Events, Talent House, What's On | 2 February 2023

UD Masterclass 005/ Kevin Christian-Blair/ 22.02.23 @ Talent House

On Wednesday 22nd February, for our fifth class, we’ll be in conversation with Kevin Christian-Blair (A&R Director, Asylum/Atlantic Records), with tickets on sale now…

Read more

Artists, Featured, Music, Talent House | 30 January 2023

Incubator 2023… Artists Announced!

The aim of UD’s Incubator programme is to develop the creative and business skills for talented, independent musicians emerging in the music industry. A six-month talent and career development opportunity for up to 10 exceptional independent artists, making music of Black origin, we’re happy to announce our 2023 cohort: Saiming, Arinola, Max McKenzie, Dan Dannah, Chrissy Day, David GotSound, Emiko, Mar!k and AE…

Read more

Artists, Featured, Level 4, Talent House | 30 January 2023

Level 4: FAQ’s

If you’re thinking about studying a Level 4 course, good news – we’re still accepting applications. Got questions about studying with UD x UEL? Read on…

Read more

Artists, Featured, Interviews, Music | 26 January 2023

Introducing… VC Pines

Maria Hanlon caught up with alternative soul artist, VC Pines, ahead of his new release, the hypnotic groove-infused cut ‘Running’. The pair also chatted about his New Year’s resolutions, creative process, temporal lobe epilepsy, fashion, upcoming plans and advice for artists starting out…

Read more