FACT FILE: Baba Ali

06 Nov 2017

Get to know Baba Ali ahead of his upcoming show

Baba Ali's Nomad EP is on constant rotation here at RFB, go check it out now if you haven't heard it yet. Baba will be playing Montague Arms later this month and was kind enough to answer our FACT FILE questionaire. 

Which do you prefer, CD, Vinyl or MP3?
I actually prefer cassette tapes. I grew up with a yellow Sony Walkman attached to my hip.

Last album you bought?
The White Stripes: The Complete John Peel Sessions

Tell us a story:

When I was 16 years old, I met a ghost but didn't realize it at the time.

I had just gotten out of school in the late afternoon and was waiting on the side of the road to cross over. I was standing next to an old woman who was wearing all black, with a black lace veil. I went to Catholic school, so this wasn't strange to see since the school has a chapel that old people would visit all throughout the day. As I was was standing next to her, I could here a voice telling me "Go Away". At first I was confused then a bit angry, because I wasn't bothering her in any way, just standing there waiting for the light to change. Then I heard the voice again and I turned  to look at her and realized the voice was speaking to me but her lips weren't moving. It was really strange but I was still upset, so I didn't really focus on the strangeness of this whole situation. The light changed and I crossed the street...I Iooked back across to where she was standing, and there was no one there. I still get chills whenever I tell that story.

What was the first gig you ever went to?
I honestly can't remember the first gig I ever went to, but certainly the most memorable and inspiring was seeing D'angelo play the Apollo Theater on 125th street in Harlem. Look up that venue, it's literally a museum for soul music. When James Brown passed away, his body was laid in state at the Apollo Theater. It's that type of place...

If you could support anyone on tour, who would it be?
Its a 50/50 between Parliament Funkadelic and The Kills.

Recommend us a book:
"Ghosts of My Life", by Mark Fisher

Ultimate ambition?
For me its always about doing good work, making an honest effort and connecting with people I encounter.

Leave a question for the next band
In which city would you love to play a show at, that you haven't yet?

Who are your musical Guilty Pleasures? (Question left by White Kite)
Cam'ron, Juelz Santana and Jim Jones. It was the music that seemed to always be in the ether when I was growing up.  To me it also represents a very specific time and mindset in New York, and it seems like now people are just starting figuring out how influential those guys were. When they were at their peak, I don't think a lot of people took their music that seriously. Everyone knows "Hey Ma", but I will proudly defend Diplomatic Immunity as a genuine Hip-Hop classic.

Get tickets for the Montague Arms show now.

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