Born and raised in Isle Of Dogs in East London, singer-songwriter Hak Baker didn’t have an easy upbringing, but his passion for music kept him going and it was in the streets of East London where his musical journey originally began. To begin with, Hak was drawn to rock and indie, later down the line finding grime music, with his collective Bomb Squad finding success in the Channel U Video Charts when he was only 14 years old.
As Hak grew older, his sound started to develop, with him taking influence from folk and the storytelling aspect of the genre. His music now is full of poetic, hard-hitting lyrics, realism and East-London working-class authenticity.
He has now revealed his latest track entitled ‘Cool Kids’, a captivating banger full of Hak’s usual in-depth storytelling and charisma.
The track, produced by Subculture is driven by an electronic inspired drum rhythm which carries throughout, providing an engaging sonic which keeps your attention.
Vocally, Hak’s performance draws you in through his high-calibre writing. His lyrics paint vivid stories of growing up in East London and the challenges he faced. Sounding like a fusion of spoken word, Bob Dylan-esque folk and rapping, Hak’s vocal style is uniquely his own and exudes authenticity as his vocals perfectly weave within the electronic inspired instrumental throughout.
On the track, Hak has said ‘Cool Kids is about that same story we see up and down the country. Short-term goals syndrome. When your dreams are unspoken of, what else have you got?”
The accompanying video, directed by Will Robson-Scott brilliantly represents the gritty themes of ‘Cool Kids’. Shots of Hak and shots of the teenagers are switched between as we see them navigating life in a London estate and the troubles that come with it. The video is full of realism and social commentary, adding to the authenticity that drives through Hak Bakers music.
On the video, the director Will Robson-Scott has said ‘Cool Kids is an extension of the previous work me and Hak have made. I wanted to try to tell a narrative but ground it in a camera technique. Hak and I spoke about important locations in the Isle of Dogs which became a character within itself."
Last year, Hak Baker released the critically acclaimed ‘Babylon’ mixtape which saw him get widespread support from various publications. Shortly after this, Hak went on tour with Northampton-MC Slowthai and has recently collaborated with The Streets. It is clear Hak Bakar has a huge career ahead of him.
Story-driven, impassioned and heartfelt, ‘Cool Kids’ shows us exactly why Hak Baker has become one of the UK's hottest names of late.
‘‘Cool Kids’ is the lead single from Hak’s upcoming EP arriving later this year.
Words: David Pratt