Last week the busiest man that I have ever met found the time to talk to me about music, life, and himself. Bari Lutalo is a conglomerate of awesome. He’s a writer, musician, rapper, sound engineer, pianist, father, and a BLACK MAN! Yessssss! He’s great, and has top tier people watching skills might I add. Get your water, tea, or other beverage of choice and get to know my good friend Bari.
So, first of all. How are you feeling?
As a spiritually enlightened man like himself would answer, Bari replied, “I’m good. I’m good. I’m in a really good space….peace and blessings to everyone.” Currently, he’s working on his own music as well as with such as Shonski, Wave, Clear Conscience, and Poet Deep.
What came first? Audio, writing, rapping?
“Playing instruments came first. I started taking piano lessons when I was very young. Middle school is when I started writing raps and taking music production more seriously and learning other instruments.”
“I like them equally….I play guitar and piano. Guitar is easier to carry around, it’s more practical when I want to do shows and stuff. So I like guitar for that reason. I feel like the keyboard/piano is more of a composer’s instrument. That’s what I usually use to make beats. So, both for different reasons.”
So, if you were on an island and could have only one instrument, what would it be?
“An acoustic guitar, because I can carry it around and I don’t need electricity.” If electricity, and portability wasn’t an issue, “It would be piano, definitely. I just like piano. Also, because like I said it’s a composer’s instrument and you can play multiple things at once.”
When was your first performance?
“That’s a great question…I played something on piano in middle school for my music class.
When you hear the word “music” what happens in you?
“I associate it with lines and colors honestly. I feel like when I think of the actual word, the line and the ways it moves and the vibration. There’s rhythm in everything. “
What about when you hear music?
“Usually when I listen to music I listen from a very analytical perspective. I just listen to what’s going on harmonically- all of the chords, the rhythm, the drums, the production, the mix. Then I pay attention to the lyrics and the feel. But a lot of times, I feel like lyrics are secondary for most songs. I feel like it’s more so the rhythm and the vocal delivery of the artist. I’m really into lyrics. But it also depends on what artist I’m listening to. Imma give a different response if I’m listening to like Young Dolph versus Tupac or Kendrick Lamar.”
How does being a dad influence you as an artist and a man?
“I don’t know if she really influences me on a conscious level as far as the music I make. But as far as how I conduct myself, I’m super thoughtful about things. I can’t be as free as I used to be. My time management skills, they’re still a work in progress, but I understand how important it is to have that. She always comes first. I have to plan around her, it’s not the other way around where I’m planning her time around my music. It’s a gradual thing that I had to adjust to.”
What’s your most memorable performance?
“Dang, there’s so many great ones! I had a performance in DC at the Washington Memorial and what really stuck out about it is the sound was really crisp. If anybody is a performer and has worked with different sound engineers, everybody has had really bad shows because of- whether the mic was too low, or it kept going in and out. This was around the era when Trump had just been elected. So there was some political implications. I performed a song called ‘,Facades’ that I wrote with Wise. That song means a lot to me. It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve written. I feel like we nailed that performance. We killed that. I’m really proud of that performance.”
“Another performance we did was at a little hole in the wall over on Maryland Avenue in Baltimore. It was at this little tattoo shop. That was really cool cause the audience was real chill, real cool. For lack of a better word it was in a little hood spot, and they was really fucking with it and I had fun. Those are the two that are popping out to me.”
What’s your dream city to perform in ?
“Mmmm, I’ve got family in England. I want to perform in London. My father’s Carribbean-British. Anywhere overseas.”
How has Rona impacted you as a performer and personally?
“As a performer- I’m not performing. I’ve been chilling, which is good! That’s a great thing. It’s a good thing to just sit down and chill. I feel like before Rona we had a lot of shows booked. And I was doing a lot for different people as an instrumentalist- playing for different bands and artists. So it gave me the chance to sit down and actually do more work in the studio. So I appreciate that. Personally, I haven’t been able to travel as much. My last trip was to Miami, I went to see my father.”
“Peace to the people.”
This interview is only the tip of the iceberg of who Bari is. Be on the lookout for him, he’s on his way to the top.
See you next week for me pieces of peace.