Coachella valley-based artist Javie Bahama is one of the many musical hidden gems of the California desert. His sound, produced entirely on his own, teeters between lo-fi bedroom pop and surf rock, and the result has somewhat of an air of familiarity with an element of calmness. The discography under his belt seems to be continuously growing, with seven or so singles out this year alone, and a full-length album out next month.
Javier of Javie Bahama answered a few questions below about his creative process, the Coachella valley music community, and his upcoming “secret” festival.
Hi Javier! So something that stood out when I first discovered you is how often you are releasing new music. What’s the process like from start to finish, and how do you continuously find inspiration?
I try to write on days that I know I’m free so I can take as little breaks as possible. I’ll set my alarm at six in the morning to wake up and just start messing around on the guitar, and then if something comes out of it I’ll record it, put together the instrumental, and then eq it in my car. Then once I have that I’ll save it and listen to it on repeat for like the whole day and write, and then I record lyrics at night. I try to release a single at least every week. When it comes to finding inspiration, I’m not sure. I think mostly life experiences and how I feel at the time is what keeps the creativity going.
Coachella is known for it’s big music festival every year, but aside from that is there a vibrant music community there?
Kinda sorta, there’s a lot of bands but not really a place to play so we have to find backyards or small venues to play at. I also started throwing small shows in my apartment just to kinda spice it up.
What got you into making music?
I would probably say that my older cousins got me into making music. I would always remember watching them play in bands and they’re all super talented, so at a young age I would try to emulate them in a way. Then around 10th grade I got a microphone so I would record myself playing guitar and drums and stuff, and then put it together in Audacity.
Do you have any artists that you get inspiration from musically?
Yeah I get a lot of inspiration from a bunch of different stuff like Hombres G, Mac Demarco, $uicideboy$, Pink Floyd, John Maus, Frank Zappa maybe even some John Mellencamp. I try to listen to different things as much as possible to get the juices flowing.
Is Javie Bahama just you or do you have any collaborators?
Yup, everything is mostly me aside from some features. I like working with people who are chill and so far everyone I’ve worked with has been super cool and talented so I hope I could collaborate more.
Check out his song with Joyce, another artist interviewed on Radiotrails.
Anyone local to Coachella that you think me and my readers should check out?
Yeah Ocho Ojos is a super chill band i like what they’re doing for the culture out here,
and then there’s Brightener (Will’s a super chill dude),
Honey The Witch is super cool too, I like playing shows with her just cause it’s always a super cool crowd dynamic.
I heard there’s a secret show coming up on Saturday 3/23… Where’s it at and what’s it all about?
It ties back to the not having a great music scene out here. I figured if I can’t find a place to play then I’ll make one, so I took some inspiration from this really big band out here in the 90’s called Kyuss – which later became Queens of the Stone Age. They would take generators out to a random spot in the desert and then throw crazy shows. I’m hoping to recreate that (just a little bit safer though).
Your newest album Goldenboy will be out on April 5th! Any themes in this album?
It’s mainly just about growing up and having to live up to certain expectations. Growing up, I remember lectures my parents would give me about the reality of life so that’s where a lot of the inspiration came from.
Give Javie Bahama’s latest album a listen below, and stay tuned for Goldenboy, which will be released on April 5th.
THIS INTERVIEW WAS EDITED AND CONDENSED FOR CLARITY