Maxim Meyer-Horn

On Our Radar: Babet Is Rocking It On Her Own Now

She wrote songs for international artists but it’s her own music that made us curious about the Dutch singer Babet. After living and writing in The States, she returned to the Netherlands to continue her solo path, and she’s finally starting to reap the rewards for her hard work. To introduce her even better, we decided to invite her to Antwerp for a little editorial with photographer Robin Joris Dullers.

We shot our little editorial on a sunny day in a park. How did you experience our shoot?

It was surprisingly fun. I’ve never really done outdoor shoots in Europe, only in hot countries, so it was something new for me. It was nice to get back to basics in nature, and it was just such a cool team. I’m happy that we made something beautiful.

Based on what we’ve seen from you so far, it looks like you invest a lot of time in visual storytelling. Do you already visualize your songs while writing them, or is it something that comes afterward?

Since I was young, I was already very visual in my ideas. It was a struggle to express myself in words as I think in images. Whenever I’m in the studio, I usually imagine a clip in my head instead of writing a song based on feelings or with a poetic idea. For every project, I try to find the right people to tell my stories.

You also started painting. Do you think you can write a song based on a painting you made?

I don’t think I’m quite there yet because I only started to paint recently. I wouldn’t say that I’m already the artist that already feels or sees something in every form or shape, but I do feel that I’m already able to translate my feelings on a canvas. It’s possible that I’m able to write a song based on a painting in the near future because it’s close to how I write songs now.

What’s the main emotion or concept of your recent single “No One Else”?

I always had to do many things on my own in my life, and I was often disappointed by other people. That’s a feeling everyone knows and can relate to. I was in the studio and told my producer that it felt like I needed a helping hand to guide me to all the things I want to achieve in my life. That’s not only career-wise but also on a personal level because everybody loves a bit of guidance in some situations. While thinking about that, I felt like I had to be my own helping hand because you don’t have anyone else except yourself. We translated that into a metaphor where I ask myself for a dance and tell that you don’t need anyone else if you find a balance within yourselves.

Do you currently feel that you’re very sure about your artistry, or are you still searching for yourself?

As a person, you keep developing, and it’s always a new quest to what fits you at that moment. You keep learning throughout your life, so thereby I’m sure that it’s always a search for identity. However, I do feel like I laid my foundations, and I know what kind of musical direction I want to go for. From there, I reflect on my emotions and try to create a song from them.

Top by Otilia Vieru. Jewellery by Bobby

During our shoot, you told us that you want to step away from the pop music you have released so far. What do you mean by that? What kind of artists are you referencing?

Freddy Mercury has always been my biggest source of inspiration, and I think the ’80s references have always been in my music. I’m working towards a more minimal production now because my previous songs were always quite bombastic. I’m more attracted to something more simple or subtle now. I have a lot of inspiration, and there are many artists I really like at the moment.

 

Will it be something completely different from what we have heard so far?

I don’t think it’s completely different because the sound of my voice is quite recognizable. Even when I would sing something completely different, it would be in the same line because of my voice. It’s not completely different, but it depends on the perspective of how you’re looking at my music. What I did so far was aimed for the radio, but what I’m making now is closer to my heart. I’d say that it’s a bit less commercially focused.

You decided to continue as an independent artist. What kind of changes do you expect as consequences?

I feel like there’s a big weight off my shoulders. My new freedom makes me feel like I don’t need to succeed in any expectations. When you’re signed with a label, you immediately want to think huge, but I can do it now at my pace. I’m now able to decide, for example, whether I want to release a song of a minute with a sick visual or not. I can follow my intuition more, and that can push me to go further.

Outfit by Joëlle Leenders.

Do you have something lined up in the near future? What’s the first thing you want to do as an independent artist?

It’s quite early to say what I’m going to do since I became an independent artist very recently. Of course, I was already thinking about my future, and I’m working on new tracks. I have a song that I’m very excited about, but it’s not really clear yet when we’re going to release it. I’m currently working in the studio on new music, so that’s definitely coming.

To conclude our chat: where do you see yourself within a year?

I try to think from day to day because I’m more mindful then. I’m training to live more in the now: the present. I do think ahead a lot, which can be a pitfall, but I have a lot of ambitions. I got new management in New York, and they put some pressure behind it like I haven’t felt it before. I just hope that I can do something overseas and that my music gets a platform there as well. I wouldn’t say that I want to be famous because that’s absolutely not what I’m going for. I just hope that more people connect with the stories I’m telling.

Dress and gloves by Michelle Vossen. Jewellery by Bobby.

Jacket by Michelle Vossen. Jewellery by Bobby.

Outfit header by Otilia Vieru.

Photography by Robin Joris Dullers
Make-up by Camila Catalano
Hair by Pelle Storm
Styling by Sabah Mesbahi
Creative direction by Robin Joris Dullers
Tooth gems by Bluetooth Gem
Video by Rutger Claes
Text and production by Maxim Meyer-Horn

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