All eyes are on Bazzi. After shooting up the charts with his platinum-certified hit “Mine,” he’s ready for one of the biggest moments of his life. The New York-born and Michigan-raised singer drops his debut album Cosmic today via iamcosmic/Atlantic Records.
“Putting out this album is bigger than going 20x platinum or a huge brand collaboration,” he tells Rap-Up. “The music is everything. I don’t want to play with gimmicks. I want to make Bazzi solely about the music. No finesse. Nothing else around it. Just songs. It’s so powerful and people have forgotten about that aspect of the music.”
Some artists might have their eyes on the glitz and glamour, but Bazzi says that isn’t his priority. “I don’t want fame and money,” he adds. “That stuff is fun, but the goal has always been to make music that people can tune in and listen to. That’s been the dream and the want.”
In between dates on Camila Cabello’s “Never Be the Same Tour,” Bazzi spoke with Rap-Up about his connection to the former Fifth Harmony sensation. He also talked about name-checking Mariah Carey on “Mine,” why Drake is the only contemporary artist he looks to for inspiration, and how he might just drop a rap project at some point in the future.
It feels like your move to Los Angeles inspired Cosmic. How did that impact your life?
I would say the move impacted Cosmic completely. It’s my first time standing on my feet, experiencing life as an adult. When you do that, you go through a lot of things for the first time. Being out here impacted the entire project in good and bad ways. When it comes to music, the good and bad both help because they give you something real to talk about. Art isn’t necessarily always perfect and beautiful. Sometimes, it holds pain and honesty. Being in L.A. for the last three-and-a-half years, it’s given me a lot of perspective and real stuff to talk about in my music.
You have lyrics that feel true-to-life like, “I’m still on your Netflix, girl, I know you love me” on “Why.” How did your real-life relationships inspire the lyrics?
“Why” is a great example of that. So much real emotion in that song, talking about a super toxic relationship. Music is cool because those little lines and examples can pull strings in your heart because they hold so much truth. You’re giving people insight on what your life looks like and what some of these moments felt like. Every single line in “Why” was so concrete-real. I think it’s cool because something could be hurting me personally, I can talk about it, and it’s almost like a getaway or relief for [listeners], knowing that somebody out there relates to them and is feeling the same way they are. It makes people not feel alone and we don’t want to feel like we’re by ourselves on this super confusing journey. We want to feel comfort or a friend who is going through what we’re going through.