“the most vibrant figure in Australian music right now” – KCRW
Melbourne, Australia-based, Arnhem Land-raised rapper BAKER BOY is set to release his blistering, joyful debut album Gela on Friday, October 15th. Lauded by Zane Lowe on his Apple Music 1 show, Los Angeles’ KCRW and more, he is a deft, talented rapper with charisma and verve inherited from the genre’s greats.
Known in Australia under a handful of names — the Fresh Prince of Arnhem Land, Baker Boy, the “proud blak Yolngu boy with the killer flow” — the bright-eyed, ferociously talented rapper born Danzal Baker is ready for you to meet him as Gela: his skin name, and one of the truest markers of his identity. Say it out loud, say it with pride, with the honor and respect it deserves: GE-lah. Knowing himself well, knowing himself truly, and when his music can reflect that, there was only one obvious perfect choice for the title of Baker Boy’s first album: Gela. “Gela is who I am,” Baker Boy says, “and it’s my story.”
The Fresh Prince of Arnhem Land’s sudden fame released an internal struggle, between his ties to his community back home, and his love for his art and the inspiring figure Baker Boy was becoming. It’s a struggle undoubtedly familiar to anyone who’s moved from somewhere remote to the big city, but one uniquely heartbreaking for First Nations people who move from remote communities to more populated areas. Gela is the story of Baker Boy overcoming this conflict and coming to terms with himself both as “Gela” and as Baker Boy — an inspiration and beacon of light to his fans, his family, and, most of all, himself.
The record’s striking album artwork, by iconic street artist Adnate, is a perfect encapsulation of this concept, featuring a split portrait of Baker Boy. “I want people to see what my life is like, and where I come from,” Baker Boy says. “The journey from a remote community to living in the city and trying to adapt, and have that balance, is a lot of hard work, [but] it’s an amazing journey.” True to that duality, Gela is a breathtaking portrait — a coming-of-age tale, a powerful political vessel, and a story of a variegated, fascinating life, all in one.
ABOUT BAKER BOY
Baker Boy was first introduced to adoring fans in 2017, with the one-two punch of debut singles “Cloud 9” featuring Kian and “Marryuna” featuring Yirrmal. The entirety of Baker Boy’s art, from his infectious flow to his music’s modern-throwback production to the jaw-dropping dance moves he perfected as part of the Djuki Mala dance troupe, connected instantly. With each successive release Baker Boy continued to establish himself as a deft, talented rapper, with charisma and verve inherited from the genre’s greats.
His list of career accolades include APRA AMCOS Song of The Year Nomination for “Meditjin” feat. JessB; six ARIA nominations; an ARIA Gold certification for “Cool As Hell” and “Mr La Di Da Di”; six wins at the National Indigenous Music Awards; an Order of Australia medal; the 2019 Young Australian of the Year award; multiple placements in Triple J’s Hottest 100; and over 40 million streams of his music world-wide.
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