90s Workout Barbie Aesthetic: An Interview with BAD

Photo courtesy of Matt Lewis
Julia Brex and Jackson Hoffman began collaborating before they were friends. It was during their high school era, but made an impact on their professional relationship that still rings true today.

The New York-based duo started their band, BAD, almost a decade after they began creating music together. They actually started out as artists before making the switch to writing for other people, but are keeping the music from that era a well-kept secret. However, writing for other artists wasn’t something they wanted to do permanently.

“When we realized we weren't that passionate about that project is when we started writing with other people, and separately falling in love with funk and soul,” Hoffman said. “That's when we decided it might be fun to start writing some music like that ourselves. And once we started working with some musicians in the genre, we knew we wanted to have them play on our stuff and perform live with us--that's when BAD really came to be.”

Their sound pulls elements from 90s/early 2000s pop and R&B thanks to Brex’s love for artists of that era that collaborated with Max Martin, the Swedish record producer that worked with the likes of Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. When they discovered him and his influence on songwriting that has continued into today’s pop charts, they fell in love with his production style and knew they wanted to bring his influence into their music.

Their debut EP, GOOD, isn’t meant to be serious. The creation process was all about having fun and they want listeners to have as much fun listening to it that they did making it.

“...sometimes it's fun to just do exactly what we want; make the sounds we want, tell the stories we want, and not have to compromise with anyone else's vision,” Hoffman said.

BAD’s lighthearted take on the world shines bright in their debut EP, yet still inspires confidence and, as they put it, finding your inner B.A.B. They are a mix of nostalgia and contemporary with a dash of self-empowerment, and they are sure to be the next best addition to your playlist.