Imagine a voice filled with enthralling emotion put against abstract soundscapes that can best be described as rock and electronic production textures mixed to create rousing anthems; you are now envisioning BAD CHILD’s wickedly captivating sound.
Canadian singer-songwriter BAD CHILD is HOLR’s One To Watch, and for good reason. From being the only Canadian on the soundtrack album for the popular Netflix film, To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, to his music being featured in a global Apple Watch campaign, BAD CHILD is an artist on the rise with an exceedingly promising future. Having just released his new single, “$1,000,000,” BAD CHILD is ramping up to release his highly anticipated debut full-length album, Free Trial, on February 26th. Here at HOLR, we had the privilege to meet with BAD CHILD to learn more about who he is and what we can expect from his upcoming music.
You are a musician of many instruments. Can you tell us about your musical process and how it led you to create the Free Trial album?
I’ve always loved the process of learning new instruments from very little training. I feel when someone teaches themselves how to play an instrument with no formal training they develop their own language and style much quicker. I spent a very long time teaching myself the instruments to build Free Trial but I think the most important instrument wasn’t actually an instrument – it was the production. The production of this album was extremely DIY and I think it’s very important to the sound of what’s been created.
The $1,000,000 music video features a compilation of what seem like happy moments in
your life, from laughing with friends to performing on stage; what was the inspiration
behind this video’s concept?
The video was an exploration of how I got to where I’m at now – it’s an appreciation of the people who pushed me every step of the way.
When was the moment you realized the power of music, and what was your initial
reaction to this revelation?
I was about 12 and my mother had given me her old iPod shuffle. I was trying to find music to put on it and a band stuck out to me called “Nine Inch Nails”. The name jumped off the screen and my father saw and said I should wait a few years before listening to that band. Obviously, that made me want to listen more so I downloaded it in secret. I would listen to The Downward Spiral on my walks to school and it was the first time in my life I had felt confronted by music. It felt as if Trent was screaming at me. That was the moment I knew I wanted to make music.
Who are your musical inspirations? What kind of impact did they have on your sound?
Trent Reznor, Jai Paul, Thom Yorke, to name the top. They’ve all shaped how I think about the musical process from start to finish. From writing to production they all have such different sensibilities, and I often find myself inspired by them all simultaneously.
What about your upcoming album, Free Trial, has you most excited? How do you hope
to make people feel?
Free Trial is a fairly conceptual album about the transactional nature of modern relationships. In business, in love. It’s a commentary on things like tinder, and modernity. I did not want to be preachy in my ideas though I think the album rounds and talks about a lot of different aspects of self. The reduction of yourself to a Free Trial. Being used as one. I don’t hope people feel one specific thing. They’ll come to their own conclusions which is important with art.
The lockdown orders in Ontario have undoubtedly impacted everyone differently; how do
you keep sane during these difficult times?
Well first off I don’t. But it’s helped a bit to remain in a constant cycle of creation. Every single day I try and write something important to myself. We are all going through this together though and there is some comfort in that. I’m extremely excited about the positive changes to the world that could come out of this horrible time.
Who is your dream collaboration?
Thom Yorke. Seeing how Thom Yorke is able to skirt the confines of the genre so easily and create sonic spaces that feel like new discoveries is incredible. I’m just very interested to see how we could push each other into new territory. I have a feeling a collaboration would result in a very unique world.
Is there a message or word of advice you would like to pass on to your supporters?
Stop waiting and just fucking do it.