The Margate-based artist goes through her sophomore LP 'MiiRROR' track by track.
For those not already in the know, BABii (real name Daisy Emily Warne) is a prolific multidisciplinary artist making chilly, distorted electronic pop.With an eye and the ear for the fantastical, her nomadic and creative upbringing by her father laid the foundations for an approach to creation that’s equal parts daring and DIY.
BABii has been making music and visual art for the past few years, both as a solo artist and as part of the GLOO collective. An inspired story-teller, she’s been on our radar thanks to her critically acclaimed 2019 debut album HiiDE, and GLOO collective collaborative album XYZ.
Now, with follow-up MiiRROR she’s delivering some of her most chillingly personal work yet. Below, she runs us through each track from her sophomore album, from inspirations to the creative process.
I started the album off with this song because it sounds like an event that might happen at the start of a movie and could be a catalyst for what’s to follow. It’s not that because there are many different stories throughout this album, but it’s an excellent excuse to start with a car crash of a song. When I was producing this song, I wanted to capture this wild experience that I had as a child. The road our house was on became a hotspot for joyriding at night, and my dad was fuming about it. He got so angry at them that he smashed one of their windscreens with a hammer. Which resulted in the joyriders returning with all their mates and a lot of rage. They started pulling apart a wall and throwing bricks at our house and at my dad’s car. I remember being in awe of the danger while gazing out the window after being told to go inside. It ended with the next-door neighbour coming outside with a meat cleaver and chasing them down the road. So there is a lot of sound design that translates that moment in time.
BRUiiSE is one of the oldest songs on this album; I think I wrote it about 3 years ago. I was in a situation where I had to make a pretty difficult decision, and I had recently learnt how skewed my gut instinct was because of still be in the midst of dealing with a lot of emotional pain. I was trying to figure out if my feelings were true or if I was about to make a choice based on an old hurt, which is where the lyrics “are you my bruiise?” came from. It’s like asking, ‘are you what I really want? or am I just doing this because it is what my pain wants?’
WASTE (ft. Iglooghost)
So I kinda lied when I said BRUiiSE was one of my oldest songs, but it really depends on how you look at it. This song is a remake of this mysterious song called iiNViiSiiBiiLLiiTY that has appeared in mixes over the years. It was never really a fully formed song, but it’s become some sort of legend among BABii fans. It is actually one of the first-ever songs that I wrote for BABii, in fact. So it only felt fitting to finally finish it, as the themes were also in keeping with the rest of this album. The main problem was that it was hard to figure out how to approach it because it was so old. So Iglooghost stepped up to help and came at it from an entirely new angle; it was so fun that we ended up ‘frankensteining’ loads of lost songs, and it became this strange collage of the past mixed with new shiny things.
A lot of the album touches upon my difficulties with the maternal figures in my life, and this song was the catalyst for that. After seeing my mum for the first time in a long time, I wrote this song, and I was really angry and sad after some of the things she had said to me. It opened up the basement of my brain to reveal a giant inner demon that I realised I had never really looked at properly. It is something that I now know is at the core of a lot of the things I make when I look beyond the surface of them. I wanted this song to have a lot of space to make room for the words and to feel quite shy at the start but then become more assertive and passionate as the song progresses. It kinda felt like one of those moments, where you replay a memory in your head in the way you would have preferred for it to of played out because it’s all the things I wish I could have said in the heat of the moment.
This song is a bit of an interlude where I was just having a bit of fun playing the tropes of reflection and mirroring, so I decided to make a song that plays both forwards and backwards. If you reverse the first part, it’s the same as the second part, and if you reverse the second part, it’s the same as the first. It was a pretty fun experiment, and I am happy it actually sounded like a song in the end.
I really wanted to know what it would be like to make a pop song and if I could even do it. So this was the result of that experiment, and it was so much fun. It’s kinda ironic how much fun it was to make, considering the themes within the lyrics are about trying and avoid someone who reminds you of your own sadness and anger at all costs. It was also interesting to explore UKG as a genre, as it reminds me heavily of being in a lorry with my dad driving down the motorway late at night with the radio on and the street lights zooming past and casting shadows across the dashboard and also being at traveller funfairs in the 90s.
HUNTED (ft. umru)
The lyrics for this song are based on a poem that I had to recite from memory at school, and it’s been stuck in there ever since. It’s a nonsense poem that uses opposites in conjunction with each other, and I think about it all the time. It goes, “One fine day in the middle of the night, Two dead men got up to fight. Back-to-back they faced one another, Drew their swords and shot each other” I originally wrote the A Capella for my friend Samuel Organ a few years ago, but he decided it didn’t fit with the record he was making in the end, so I kept hold of it, as I really liked it. It collected dust inside my hard drive for a while, and eventually, I ended up sending it to umru on a whim. At the time, we didn’t really know each other. I was a hell of a lot smaller than I am now, so I didn’t know if anything was gonna come of it, but he was into it, and he turned into something loud and magnificent, but it still had no home until a couple years later when I decided it made sense on this album.
I wanted to this song represent the fluctuating feelings I was having after being cut off by a very close friend. When producing this song, I tried to give the illusion of it going forwards and backwards, like a big swinging pendulum picking up momentum and eventually crashing into things along the way. I even managed to have lyrics that work both forwards and backwards “are you as cloudless as I am, am I as cloudless as you are” which is also featured in the song TiiME/EMiiT and kinda holds a similar sentiment in a different kind of way. Playing with mirroring and reflections plays a big part in a lot of the songwriting and production on this album, but sometimes it is more subtle than others.
This is the longest song I have ever written. I started it whilst I was showing a friend how to produce, and I just started chucking a bunch of stuff into a project really fast. I was like, this is actually kinda cool, so I kept at it, and it just kept growing and growing, and I wanted it to sound like a big magical symphony that thrashes between big metallic sounds to pretty sparkly ones. All the lyrics are a secret code for the person I wrote it for, who has permanently assigned numbers to colours, so it probably sounds like complete nonsense to most people. Apart from the number 0, which just comes from a fascination that I had with voids and nothingness and how zero tries to represent that by circling nothing, but in turn, it becomes something.
For this song, I made the music before the singing part, which is quite a usual process for me, as they usually happen alongside each other. When I was making the music, I wanted to capture some sense of deterioration, like when a tapes magnetic coating starts falling off. You start to only hear parts of a sound or music played on something broken, and it eventually dies over time. Once I had made the music, I instantly knew I wanted to call it MOTHER, and for some reason, I was feeling brave. I felt ready to face my biggest scariest demon, and I used it as an opportunity to write something quite raw and honest and avoid drenching it in metaphors because I wanted its message to be clear. It was pretty scary to write because the themes in this song are not things that I have ever openly expressed, let alone put into the world. Ultimately I think this was a song that I made for myself, and it was cathartic in nature, but I wanted to be brave enough for the world to hear this my secret thoughts.
Stream MiiRROR here.
25 May 2021