EXCLUSIVE: John-Robert Talks Debut EP ‘Bailey Barely Knew Me’ and More

Buzzing troubadour John-Robert releases new song and video “Pelican” and announces the May 22nd release date of his debut EP, Bailey Barely Knew Me.

“I wrote this song while reminiscing over the innocence of my first love. While I was in the process of making new friends and keeping myself accountable for my own happiness; I couldn’t help but wonder if they were well and/or occasionally thinking of me,” said John-Robert about the track.

John-Robert teamed up with BROCKHAMPTON collaborator Spencer Ford for the “Pelican” video which premiered this morning on billboard.com.

“I loved how creative and collaborative John-Robert is. We had worked together on ‘Urs’ and were able to build off of that creative relationship with ‘Pelican.’ We tried to push ourselves and have fun and hopefully make a good video. It’s great to work with someone who cares about their visuals and wants to make it the best it can be,” said Ford.  Adding, “We use money to make big pelican. Big pelican. Big pelican. Make small pelican too.” 

ECHO had the chance to talk with John-Robert about his debut EP and more!

How are you doing?

I’m doing okay. I was already isolating myself and spending too much time in front of my laptop as it was, however, I’ve had to fight against my manners a bit when I leave the house now.  I’m spending quarantine in my VA home town and the other day I tried to hold the door for this guy when we were both entering the gas station. We both knew that the gesture was polite and wrong at the same time. Aside from awkward instances like that and not being able to give my friends physical assurance, I’ve been managing.

You just released your single “Pelican,” talk about creating the song, what was the creative process like?

The song sort of fell out of me. I made a bunch of gut calls while writing and producing, and it just sort of happened. The approval of every choice I made was based on whether or not I immediately got a little hit of dopamine or not. While writing the song I was reflecting on past relationships, and the hang ups that were preventing me from moving on and exploring myself and my independence. 

Do you have a favorite line from the song?

“Gobble You Up” 😉 

You’re planning to release your debut EP, how does that feel? 

Liberating. They are no longer my songs, now anyone can interact or do whatever they want with them. I’m excited to see how people will respond to the tunes and interact with them.

What does the title of the EP “Bailey Barely Knew Me” mean to you? How did you come up with the title?

It’s about rebirth. When I die I’d like to imagine I’ll be reincarnated as a person named Bailey. I’ll have a full life with new experiences, but a lingering, and extremely faint recollection of the person I am currently in this life. Through this concept, I’m able to explore whether my character was assigned to me, or self-created. Writing through this scenario has led me to new places personally and musically.

Do you have a favorite song off it? 

I love all my children equally, and for different reasons.

What have you been doing to stay creative during this quarantine?

I’ve been experimenting with the Sound toys bundle pack, and taking day trips into nature. Setting up a hammock and reading a book while soaking up the sun has been a new need of mine. When I’m in a good mood, I’m the most focused and creative.

If you could set up a fan in a setting for them to listen to your music, what setting would that be?

Fans aren’t sentient, but I’d prolly install them in my friend Junior Mesa’s attic b/c it gets toasty up there in the summer.

What’s one quote you’ve heard in life that you want to ECHO out to fans? 

“Like icing on a Cinnabon” -Wallpaper

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