bahari interview
photo: Alex McDonell / press

Bahari

Alt-pop and electronic musical duo, Bahari, have just released their latest single “Waking Up the Neighbors,” a track about the paranoia that tends to take over our thoughts and lead us to the worst assumptions. With a new label backing them as well as the hits they’ve been serving lately, you can be sure that Bahari, which means “ocean” in Swahili, is here to make some serious waves. 

Made up of singer and keyboardist, Ruby Carr, and singer and bassist, Natalia Panzarella, Bahari formed in 2014. In 2016, they dropped their debut EP Dancing on the Sun. That same year, they also went on tour with Selena Gomez on her Revival Tour. Since then, they’ve collaborated with artists like Zedd, Illenium, Bia, and more. In fact, their single “Crashing” with Illenium was featured on the hit Netflix film, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

We chatted with them about the new single, songwriting, and their musical goals.

bahari interview
photo: Alex McDonell / press

Let’s start with how you guys ended up forming into a musical group. How did you meet and what made you want to make music together?
We met at Rock Mafia’s studio in Santa Monica, where we still record most of our music.  We were both 16 and didn’t really know other people our age pursuing music, so we really bonded over that. As soon as we wrote our first song, “Wild Ones,” we knew that we wanted to continue writing together and become a band. It was just so natural.

What goes into creating a song for you two as a duo? Lyrically, what do you always seek out?
When we write together we typically bounce ideas off of each other and encourage creativity and crazy ideas during our sessions. Lyrically, we like to write music from our hearts and real-life experiences to ensure we are writing our truth.

What was it like collaborating with artists like Zedd and Illenium?
Working with Zedd was surreal. It was the second song we ever put out and it really opened our eyes to a new side of songwriting. We’ve always looked up to Zedd as an artist/producer and being in the same room was really inspiring. Illenium is also an amazingly talented producer we got to work with! For our song “Crashing” we wanted to find the perfect collaboration and he elevated the song to a place we didn’t even know it could go and then added a whole other dimension to the track.

Are there any other artists you guys would like to collaborate with?
There are so many artists we would love to collaborate with. It’s hard to only pick a few, but at the moment it would be a dream to work with The Weeknd, DaniLeigh, and Burna Boy, who is one of our favorite artists right now.

Let’s talk about your latest single. What inspired it?
“Waking Up the Neighbors” is really a nod to the feeling of paranoia. Sonically and lyrically we really wanted to portray the feeling of chaos that goes through our minds at times. We always write about how we feel, especially when either of us is in a relationship. Sometimes our own paranoia can get the best of us. It’s a constant push and pull with our emotions and we wanted to find a way to show that through this song and video.

The music video is super spooky! How did you come up with the concept?
For the music video, we really wanted to emphasize the feeling of paranoia and the feeling of being stuck and out of control of your situation. In the video, we are stuck in this house and keep getting pushed back into it because the house was controlling us. In the end, we finally opened the door and left. To us, it was liberating ourselves from our own minds.

One of your songs ended up on To All The Boys: PS I Still Love You, which is a massive hit. What was that like?
This is definitely one of the highlights of 2020 so far! We watched the first movie and fell in love with it and were so excited to find out “Crashing” was going to be a part of the soundtrack. We were literally screaming watching it for the first time because the scene it’s in was just perfect for this song.

What are your biggest goals for the rest of 2020?
We want to put out as much music as we can! We’ve been working on our new project with our new partner Epic Records and we really just can’t wait to share it with everyone. It shows a new side of us that no one has seen before and we’re really looking forward to releasing it. Hopefully, we will be able to go back out on tour and keep playing shows, but who knows when that will be!