Bakar: Nobody’s Home review – a spectacularly strong sense of place

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(Black Butter)
The singer-songwriter’s eloquent if uneven debut album is stamped with the sounds of north London – Winehouse, Blur – the place he grew up

When the up-and-coming north London singer Bakar broke by way of in 2019, it was with an enthralling retro love track, Hell N Back. Breezy, brass-laden but sprinkled with sufficient drug references to take care of a good edge, Hell N Back channelled the classic multicultural London sass of a young Lily Allen; its horns and overindulgence spoke of a love for Amy Winehouse. Bakar’s was a distinctive London voice making an unusual splash in the US (200m-plus streams), earning props, mentoring and even some catwalk motion from the late Virgil Abloh, among other early adopters.

The son of a Tanzanian mom who relocated to Camden, Abubakar Baker Shariff-Farr had different strings to his bow, too. In 2017, his debut single was a snaggle-toothed indie rock reduce referred to as Big Dreams, which appeared like Gorillaz within the raw, all punky delivery and melodic bounce – more of a Blur tune, in truth (each bands involve Damon Albarn).

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