“Sorry guys, we’ve just taken some shrooms and have no idea how it’s going to go.”
As far as opening sentences in an interview go, if it was anyone else those words would strike fear into the heart of a journalist. But when it’s muso duo Yung Gravy and bbno$, collectively known as Baby Gravy? It is literally music to your ears. This fateful comment came during a preview listening event for their latest album, the succinctly named Baby Gravy 3. Which is, beyond its catchy hooks and uptempo beats, an album built on the joys that is a true friendship.
Blending the same irreverence, the same jocularity and lyrical twists that made the first two albums such an immersive escapade, Baby Gravy 3 brings a new level of wit and craftsmanship to the music.
Ahead of the official album launch, ICON sat down with Yung Gravy (Matt Hauri) and bbno$ (Alex Leon) to discuss their collaboration, what drives them to make music and, of course, how those shrooms went.
ICON: The last time we spoke, you had just taken mushrooms. How did that go?
bbno$: It went great!
Yung Gravy: That was awesome. Yeah, we had a great time.
ICON: How long were you both in the studio putting together the new album, Baby Gravy 3?
bbno$: Definitely more than we have in the past. Typically, we just send each other verses and whatnot, but this album was a little bit more prominent of us working in person together. I would say we did six or seven sessions of first ideas sitting down and then we would chip away on them from here and there.
Yung Gravy: We definitely spent a lot of time [in the studio] and once the songs were close to them, we both went in with the producers on our own. Since our schedules are crazy, we can’t always be together.
ICON: During the listening session, someone asked about music and the meaning behind it and you, Alex (bbno$) had a really interesting response. You said “Things aren’t that serious, it’s about fun.” Do you think that a lot of music today has lost sight of that sense of fun? Is that what you’re trying to bring back?
bbno$: I honestly think that stylistically, everyone is with the joke now more than ever, in my opinion. You have the Playboi Cartis of the world, amazing artists, forward-thinking obviously, but there is no way that he isn’t with the joke. You know what I mean? Everyone memes him and creates this artificial world about how opium or scene he is, but you know he’s giggling at all the shit that people make of him and funny memes of just frogs listening in a paperwork card.
I think that now in this day and age, if it’s not inherently funny or infectious through some sort of comedic value, people are not going to attach to it as much in my opinion. But that’s just my opinion. So I just like that we do what we do great, it just be goofy and fun and make objectively sound decent music.
Yung Gravy: That’s all we want to do, basically.
ICON: Watching you two talk now, bantering, it feels more like witnessing two mates hanging out than two professional collaborators. Does that closeness ever hinder the creative process?
bbno$: I mean I just trust Matt’s judgment more than I trust someone else’s judgment just because we’ve been friends for so long and moreover, it’s just we get each other I guess in a sense. I don’t know, we’ve been through so much, so it’s like, it’s all the same shit. We both deal with the same shit.
ICON: Alex, you actually said that ‘Super Smash Brothers’ was your favourite track on the album. What’s the reason?
bbno$: I really like it! So we put out ‘Goodness Gracious’, and it’s in a similar lane as that in just upbeatness. And I was convinced that ‘Goodness Gracious’ was one of the better songs, which I still think it is, but I honestly think that the hook on S’uper Smash Bros’ is infinitely catchier.
Yung Gravy: It’s interesting because when we had the original version of that one, it was catchy but it wasn’t as addictive.
bbno$: I was honestly pulling teeth to get everyone to remix that song. I was like, “Dude, there’s something here for sure.” There’s some good lyrics, there’s a lot of good flows and decent hook. I was like, “We can make the song better,” and everyone was like, “Oh, we don’t like the song.”
Yung Gravy: I’m glad you did.
bbno$: I was like, “Trust me, we can make the song better.”
Yung Gravy: I agree. It might be my best verse at least for a while.
ICON: Matt? You actually said that yours was “Nightmare on Peachtree Street”. What’s the reason for that?
Yung Gravy: It’s more like my classic style. We became pretty close with Freddy when we toured with him. He came as an opener on tour and it was cool to get in a studio with him and bring Jason Rich back into production because my last album didn’t have him, so that’s just the kind of music that I listen to, I guess. It’s a banger and it’s out finally, it just dropped a couple days ago.