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We live in an age of music where genres don't really mean much of anything anymore. One person might call a song "indie-pop," another person might call it "alternative dance," and yet another just might call it "rock." When you really think about it, what does "pop" even mean? You can probably find at least five different answers to that question. Anyway, musical styles are constantly blending more and more into each other, and few bands understand this fact better than New York-based trio AJR, who recently dropped by Baeble HQ to play a few upbeat tunes.

The band of brothers- Adam, Jack, and Ryan Met - began playing music on the streets of New York way back in 2005, busking in places like Washington Square Park and honing their craft by performing covers. Eventually, the trio began writing their own music, which they still record completely on their own in their Chelsea apartment. With inspirations like the Beach Boys and Simon and Garfunkel as well as old pop records from the 50s and 60s, you'd think AJR would be all about writing vintage, nostalgia-laced pop/rock music. But what has made the band stand out from other DIY bands, and has got them the attention of some big names in music, is their ability to take both old and new styles across multiple genres and fuse them together into a singular sound. Take their single "Weak," for example: You hear the typical styles of radio-friendly indie pop, but then out of nowhere, you can also hear elements of hip-hop, dance music, and even classic rock and doo-wop. The result is a kind of unique sound you really can't pin to a specific genre, but we at least know one thing: It's undeniably AJR.

The trio's blend of musical styles has rightfully earned them millions of online streams ("Weak" alone has over 100 million Spotify streams), features in movies like Amy Schumer's Trainwreck, and opening spots for big-time acts like Demi Lovato, Train, and Andy Grammer. Not too shabby for a bunch of guys recording music in their pajamas. We're super excited to share AJR's upbeat Baeble session, featuring a stripped-back setup reminiscent of the band's early busking days. Armed with a ukulele and a sampler, this almost-acoustic session will give you an even bigger appreciation for AJR's distinct songwriting skills.

Transcript

Ryan, if I'm not mistaken, because we love bands of the 1960s.
Peter, Paul and Mary.
Simon & Garfunkel, where they just said their names.
And so we did Adam Jack and Ryan and then some...at some point... - Peter, Paul and Mary.
That would make you Mary, right? - Yeah, yeah.
That was always the plan.
- That's the goal, right? Yeah.
"No, thank you" is what I should've said I should be in bed
But temptations of trouble on my tongue Troubles yet to come, uh
One sip, bad for me One hit, bad for me
One kiss, bad for me But I give in so easily
And "No, thank you" is how it should've gone
I should stay strong
But I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
I'm ooh waaaaaaa ee ya ee ya Ooh waaaaaaa ee ya ee ya
But I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
No, thank you They call me after dark, I don't want no
part, uh My habits, they hold me like a grudge
I promise I won't budge, uh
One sip, bad for me One hit, bad for me
One kiss, bad for me I give in so easily
And "No, thank you" is how it should've gone
I should stay strong
But I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
I'm ooh waaaaaaa ee ya ee ya
Ooh waaaaaaa ee ya ee ya
But I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
We, we fall for that Wake up, we fall again
We, we fall for that Can't wait to fall again
One sip, bad for me One hit, bad for me
One kiss, bad for me But I give in so easily
And "No, thank you" is how it should've gone
I should stay strong
But I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
I'm ooh waaaaaaa ee ya ee ya Ooh waaaaaaa ee ya ee ya
But I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
Ooh waaaaaaa ee ya ee yaaaaa Ooh waaaaaaa ee ya ee yaaaaa
- Thanks, guys.
- Sweet.
- I think it's a lot to do with social media where genres aren't really a thing anymore.
Like, I think I can't remember the last song I heard that wasn't indie pop hip-hop with rock and R&B influences.
Just kind of every genre is blending together and I think that's the most 2017 genre I can describe and that's what we love.
we write all the music and we produce it in our living room in Chelsea.
And we started out street performing and kind of getting our roots there, and learning how to perform for people on the street made us want to keep everything we do super consistent.
So, this kind of do-it-yourself aspect of the videos and the music and putting together our live show I feel like is a very "now" thing.
- Yeah, there's like Chance The Rapper, Macklemore. A lot of these...Jon Bellion. A lot of these up-and-coming guys that are producing things themselves, I feel like that's a very 2017 mentality.
- At some shows, fans came up to us and said, "What is it like to be famous?" And we would always say back to them, "We're not famous.
" They might know a song or two but that doesn't mean we're famous as artists.
So, we wanted to write a song about the positives of not being famous because no matter how big we get, we want to be one of the bands where you can still walk down the street and maintain anonymity.
Where my haters, where my haters I don't got 'em, I'm not famous,
no It don't matter what my name is
I don't got one, I'm not famous, no And I don't hate it, no
You've never heard of me Or the weird shit I do and say
That's my favorite thing That I'm not famous, no
And I'm never on TV Throwing up on an LA street
Nobody judges me 'Cause I'm not famous, no
Paparazzi is at an all-time low Paparazzi, they don't care where I go
Where my haters, where my haters I don't got 'em, I'm not famous,
no It don't matter what my name is
I don't got one, I'm not famous, no And I don't hate it, no
I'm not famous, no I'm not famous, no
I'm not famous, no And I don't hate it, no
You never overheard That I blew twenty grand on shirts
Nobody knows my quirks 'Cause I'm not famous, no
Everyone got their habits But you'll never hear what mine is
Best thing about my life is I'm not famous, no
Paparazzi is at an all-time low Paparazzi, they don't care where I go
Where my haters, where my haters I don't got 'em, I'm not famous,
no It don't matter what my name is
I don't got one, I'm not famous, no And I don't hate it, no
I'm not famous, no I'm not famous, no
I'm not famous, no And I don't hate it, no
Hate it, hate-hate it, no Hate it, hate-hate it
Where my haters, where my haters I don't got 'em, I'm not famous,
no, no It don't matter what my name is
I don't got one, I'm not famous, no And I don't hate it, no
I'm not famous, no I'm not famous, no, yeah
I'm not famous, no I'm not famous, no
And I don't hate it, no, no And I don't hate it, no, no
I'm not famous, no
- We really just enjoy doing it ourselves, we enjoy being able to wake up in our pajamas and produce a song without the label guy or the producer over our shoulder.
It's just such a free feeling, so.
- Because I think a lot of times when you get into a big studio, we've been in big studios when we write for other artists, and there's a different energy there.
It's like you know that you're on the clock so I think you're less inclined to be creative and out-of-the-box because you're like, "Okay, we need to be done in the next eight hours.
Let's look on Spotify and see what's popular right now.
Let's try and emulate that a little bit.
" And I think that's the mentality, we want to stay as far away from that as possible.
So, it works for us to do in the living room.
- It's been a very, very long, slow process of gaining one fan at a time, and now we've gotten to a place where, okay, we're making a certain amount of money, we have a certain amount of fans.
Now we can put some into it, you know.
- The first live show we ever played, there were literally three people in the audience.
- In New Jersey.
- That's where we started.
- And now, those fans, because they experienced that, that we were put on like a full show for those three people, now they come to every show we do.
So, yeah.
- And that just showed us that no matter how many people are in the room, put on a show.
Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions And rainbows have nothing to hide
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me Who says that every wish should be heard
and answered? Wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing? What do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me All of us under its spell
We know that it's probably magic Have you been half-asleep and have you
heard voices? I've heard them calling my name
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same
I've heard it too many times to ignore it
It's something that I'm supposed to be
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me, oh, oh The lovers, the dreamers, and me
- The third song we played was a cover of Rainbow Connection by Kermit feat.
Miss Piggy.
- No, that's not true.
this song... I mean, we grew up with this song.
It's very, very beautiful.
We're big fans of music of that time, and we feel that just the lyrics are so incredibly touching, so we wanted to do our own take on that with the ukulele.
In terms of the ukulele, we bought that ukulele with our street-performing money.
So, that's been around a while.
The sample machine, we just bought... I think I got as like a birthday present one day.
We have a lot of weird samples in our songs, so it's super easy to use that, He's always played bass... - Yeah, but our...so that's our acoustic setup, and then live electric, it's a lot...it's very different, there's like drums all over the stage.
We do some bucket drumming, a lot more samplers, and electronic crazy stuff.
- Fire.
Not at the audience.
- No, not that.
- Like, yeah, just very dangerous.
- The best songs are the ones that sound great with production but also sound great when you just strip it down and it's just a ukulele and a voice.
Because you can kind of tell, "Wow, that's a great song at its core totally minus from any production value.
" So, it's always fun to kind of test out our songs acoustic and see how much of the value of the song is in the production and how much is really in the lyrics.
Come hang out 'cause you're out of your mind
You're working so damn hard you forgot what you like
And come hang out, don't you leave us behind
But I'll be there next time, I'll be there next time
I can't complain, no, I won't be mourning
'Cause I skipped on prom for Elvis Duran in the morning
All of my life I have been starving
Not for a dinner with friends, more of a starving artist
Yep, yep, I'm gonna miss this someday Yep, yep, I missed another Friday
And all my friends say
Come hang out 'cause you're out of your mind
You're working so damn hard you forgot what you like
And come hang out, don't you leave us behind
But I'll be there next time, I'll be there next time
Last album's sales could have been higher
Maybe that's why I haven't seen friends in a while
They're at a bar down in the Bahamas
While I'm doing promo, trying to blow up in Chicago
Yep, yep, I'm gonna miss this someday Yep, yep, I missed another Friday
And all my friends say
Come hang out 'cause you're out of your mind
You're working so damn hard you forgot what you like
And come hang out, don't you leave us behind
But I'll be there next time, I'll be there next time
Come hang out 'cause you're missing a lot
You haven't gone that far, you can find a real job
And come hang out, we can save you a shot
But I'll be there next time, I'll be there next time
Next time
Should I go for more clicks this year? Or should I follow the click in my ear?
Should I go for more clicks this year? Or should I follow the click in my ear?
Should I go for more clicks this year? Come hang out
Or should I follow the click in my ear? Come hang out
Should I go for more clicks this year? Come hang out
Or should I follow the click in my ear? Come hang out
One, two, three Come hang out 'cause you're out of your
mind You're working so damn hard you forgot
what you like
And come hang out, don't you leave us behind
But I'll be there next time, I'll be there next time
Come hang out 'cause you're missing a lot
You haven't gone that far, you can find a real job
And come hang out, we can save you a shot
But I'll be there next time, I'll be there next time
I'll be there next time, I'll be there next time
I'll be there next time, I'll be there next time
- We want to have a personal touch with each fan that listens to our music, I think that's so important and so...what's so special about music. To listen to a song and feel something personal.
I experience that, that touches me emotionally.
I think that's just the power of music and if we can do that for someone, we've done our job.
- The other thing is, the song Weak, even though it's the single, we wrote the EP as a body of work.
And by listening to Weak, you understand one thing about who we are, and we would love if people...if that resonates with people if they start learning about the other pieces of who we are by listening to the larger body of work.

Artist Bio

Indie-pop trio AJR have come a long way since forming 10 years ago, when they got their start busking on the streets and in the parks of New York City.

Comprised of three brothers Adam, Jack, and Ryan from which the group derives their namesake, AJR first achieved major acclaim with their single Im Ready. The electro-pop smash is certified Platinum with over 18.5 million YouTube views, 44.5 million Spotify streams, a feature in Amy Schumers Trainwreck trailer, double platinum certification in Australia and airplay on pop radio stations across the country. The hit garnered praise from Billboard, PopCrush, Idolator and more and secured them live performances on TODAY, Live with Kelly, X Factor Australia, and VH1 Big Morning Buzz.
Their latest release What Everyones Thinking is a 5-song EP decorated with explosive choruses and buoyant synth. Lead single from the EP, Weak, has received early acclaim while racking up over 56 Million Spotify streams. The track currently sits at #32 on SPOTIFYs U.S. chart, #31 on SPOTIFYs Global chart, and is now impacting at Top 40 radio.

From the introspective, yet upbeat EP opener Come Hang Out, to the quirky Im Not Famous, to the emotional Turning Out and closer No Grass Today, What Everyones Thinking has something for everyone and showcases the bands undeniable knack for creating hits.

Adam (bass/vocals), is a 25-year old Columbia University graduate. Ryan (ukulele/piano/ vocals), a bespectacled 22-year old Columbia junior serves as the bands main songwriter (in addition to AJRs music, he has also co-written Andy Grammers hits Back Home and certified Gold record Good To Be Alive). Jack (vocals/guitar), the 18-year old force-of-nature who splits time between lead vocals and also attends Columbia as a freshman.

Raised on the vinyl of the '50s and '60s, AJR was initially inspired by the likes of The Beach Boys and Frankie Valli, but the sound theyve created has now been favorably compared to a modern mix of those classic sounds, with flavors of Imagine Dragons, Fun., and even some hip-hop production elements pointing towards Kanye West.

AJR writes, records, and produces all of their music from the living room of their Chelsea apartment. No pop Svengali overseeing their work. No studio musicians filling in the blanks. No Max Martin co-write. Simply a DIY pop group with Pro Tools and a $99 microphone.

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