Anna Schaeffer

Singer-songwriter BabyJake is starting an exciting new chapter this week, launching with his thrilling cover of the Rolling Stones' massive 1978 cut "Beast of Burden."

It's officially out on Friday (Feb. 17), but we've got an early listen today on Variance, and we chatted with BabyJake, perhaps better known to some for his his collaborations with the likes of 24kGoldn and Dillon Francis, about embracing his grittier rock side. But this is just the beginning of what will likely be a busy year for Jake as he rolls out a series of new singles and hints at a full-length album.

"It's about time we bring back rock & roll," says BabyJake. "What better way to do it than to show love to the best rock band of all time! I see a gap [and] an opening in the space of live music / alternative music / whatever you want to call it... and I want to fill that space. I wanted to give people something familiar, so I covered 'Beast Of Burden' by the Rolling Stones."

Hear BabyJake's take on "Beast of Burden" below, followed by our chat, which has been edited for length and clarity.

You said, “It’s about time we bring back rock & roll.” How did you land in this space music wise?

The hell if I know! I can’t even decide what outfit to wear for a date. I was always a huge fan of classic rock and I believe it was when I recorded “Anywhere” with Danny Shyman that he said to me, “Ya know, you really got a voice for this rock & roll stuff.” So I figured, why not take a leap of faith I guess? Ended up falling in love. I definitely think this is right where I'm supposed to be…. But I don’t undervalue any of what I did in the past. That was all a trip too, yanno. 

What have you been working on or what can you share about new music?

I'm definitely releasing a 10-song album this year—potentially even more! I’ve been so held back from releasing for the past two years that I'm ready to let it loose. I had a lot of growth in those two years, both in music and in life. We are planning singles for February and March now starting with “Beast of Burden” on Feb. 17. [It's] one of my favorite Stones songs so I took a crack at covering it because why not!

Your album came out in 2021, but you’ve clearly been busy working on new music lately. How would you describe this new chapter?

Two years in the making. I’ve got too many songs to choose from. I’ve just been writing, pondering, writing, getting too drunk, writing, falling in love, writing, and so on so forth. It's about time this new chapter gets revealed for god's sake. I feel like the ultimate cliffhanger. I'm just excited for my fans to hear it ultimately. This new project is 100% Jake, straight from the belly of the beast, straight from the heart. It’ll be a thrill for both parties. I'll tell ya that much.

You’ve recently announced some live dates/festivals. What are you looking forward to most about it?

All of it. Festivals are the best. Big crowds, big energy, great to test new music & see the reaction. If you can swing thousands of people to root for you that had no idea who you were before that set, then it's a win. I personally love the challenge… and of course I've had good days and bad days but that's all part of life I reckon! Just excited for this new music. I think it will connect with people. The image, the sound, the energy… it all makes sense in my head finally. I'm certain it will be theirs too.

You have worked with some great artists already. What’s still on your bucket list?

What's not on my bucket list? A kid can dream right? Fuck it, give me all the opportunities possible! I'm soaking up anything I can nowadays. I feel like I'm a vessel for the art and the art is living on its own. It's a wicked feeling. I let the ego die, I let the “cool” aspect die; I'm just making music for me, making music for the people, and letting it pour out of me. I guess on the top of that bucket list is working with someone from the 60-70’s that I respect before they pass on to the afterlife. That would be great… just splendid, a childhood dream come true.