Barbare Mchedlishvili AKA Bakko, was born February 4th 1993 in Tbilisi, Georgia (located in Eastern Europe). She came to America at age 6 and grew up in central Virginia. Her singing career started at the age of 12 (to date she has had no vocal lessons) and she learned to play the guitar during visits to her native country (it only took her 2 months to learn how to play chords). She has attended an art school her freshman and sophomore year called CAPA (where she majored in visual arts) as well as Taylor Allderdice her junior year. During her enrollment at Taylor Allderdice she began writing hip hop and rapping on her guitar. She recently moved from Pittsburgh to Atlantic City where she currently resides. Barely old enough to vote, best believe Bakko’s creepin’ on a come up.
DeFY. New York recently caught up with Bakko
DeFY: Where did the name “Bakko” come from? How is it pronounced?
B: The name bakko has been my nickname since I was born. Everyone in my native country calls me that…making “bakko” my stage name is kind of my way of not forgetting where I came from. It’s pronounced how it’s spelled.
DeFY: What made you want to get involved with music?
B: Ever since I was young I have always had a passion for music…especially soul music. When I realized that I actually had a voice and that people enjoyed listening to me, I decided it was what I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life. I had many hobbies as a young girl and they all dealt with art..but music has defiantly stuck with me.
DeFY: Do you ever feel discouraged, and if so what keeps you motivated?
B: Of course I’m not perfect so when I feel discouraged, sometimes I shut down but most of the time I just write. In a sense I take advantage of my sadness…I believe that sadness brings masterpieces. I try my best to turn the negative into something positive because through every bad thing there is something good. In the ugly there is beauty and vice versa.
DeFY: The video showcasing you rhyming and singing compares you to the likes of Kreayshawn, what are your thoughts on that?
B: The guy that filmed me rapping actually decided to give it that title. I didn’t even know about my video until a friend sent me the link. I personally have nothing against kreayshawn..in all honesty it does get aggravating constantly getting compared to her but in the end of the day, she is a completely different artist with a completely different style. I don’t see her as competition..In fact I’m happy for her success and I hope one day I can be as successful as her. The direction I plan on taking my music is a lot different than the direction she took hers.
DeFY: How do you prepare yourself for a performance?
B: Before I perform I sip a little whiskey haha. It opens up my voice and gives me that emotion that I need. Each time I perform its different, it always depends on my mood.
DeFY: Who or what influences your music?
B: I have many influences…I remember when i was about 12 I would fall asleep to Otis Redding “A change is gonna come” on my mp3…every time that song plays, I get a tad bit emotional. I guess you could say I was an old soul trapped in a young body. I listen to a mix of everything…artists like Gill Scott-Heron, Al green, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Stan Getz, Bob Marley, Ray Charles Erykah Badu, Smokey Robinson, Roy Ayers, Amy Winehouse, and Etta James have really inspired me growing up and still inspire me today. I could go on and on about musicians that influence me but I don’t think I could ever finish the list!
DeFY: Who would you like to work with?
B: I would honestly love to work with common someday…It would be an honor considering he is one of my favorite rappers. His lyrics and his voice really move me. I’ve also always wanted to do a song with miss Erykah Badu, her voice is so smooth and funky and her lyrics move me as well.
DeFY: What’s your favorite time period for music and why?
I would have to say the 70’s is my favorite period for music mainly because it was the highlight of some of my favorite artists. (Marvin Gaye, Roy Ayers, Gil Scott Heron, Bill Withers, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Jackson 5, etc..) Everything seemed more alive and passionate. In my opinion, music had so much more meaning and creativity back then.
DeFY: Will we get the Lauryn Hill treatment (a little singing a little rhyming?)
B: YES. Trust and believe people will defiantly get the Lauryn Hill treatment! haha.
DeFY: Has anyone from the industry reached out to you?
B: Nope unfortunately nobody from the industry has reached out to me yet.
DeFY: Since DeFY. is a sneaker heavy site I ask everyone that I interview, whats your favorite sneakers and why?
B: I’m a big fan of Converse All Star sneakers (the ones that are all black) and I also love adidas. I’m a big fan of simple colors…I find beauty in simplicity.
DeFY: For those nosey ass people wondering, are you single?
B: Haha no actually I’m taken.
DeFY: What’s the five year plan?
B: I’m hoping that within the next five years I will have a lot of success and hopefully a record deal.
DeFY: Where can everyone go to follow your work?
B: Everyone can follow my music at Youtube.com/itsbakko
If you haven’t heard Bakko yet, be sure and check out one of her tracks below.