Interview: Baron Amato on living in new orleans and album Au natural

BARON Amato is New Orleans based spoken word artist, rapper, actor, and filmmaker. What can't he do? You can catch him preforming his sultry sounds at a Nola COUCHES event, or shutting down a Tribe Called Quest Tribute at Tipitina's. Needless to say, his talent speaks for itself--definitely an artist on the rise in New Orleans and beyond. Check out his  sounds on: baronamato.bandcamp.com

PHOTO BY: HAKEEM FRANK

PHOTO BY: HAKEEM FRANK

So Where did you get your influence for your primary album 'Au Natural'?

A couple years ago I was a couple pounds heavier and I get really sick. I was sick mentally and emotionally and I had to lose weight and my aunt and my mom pretty much coached me through healthy living. It was food and it was also about thought process. I was suicidal, and I was down bad and the whole concept of ‘Au Natural’ is there’s beauty in your life, and I’m just trying to tell people that-- mainly brown people’s lives, so just accept that.

Is this your first album?

No, the first album came out in 2009, I don’t talk about it.

Can I find any tracks from that album on the internet? If I lurk on instagram or something?

If you lurk you can find it. But I don’t recommend that you find it. It was just mixed badly. The ideas were great but the mixing was sub-par. This album I mixed myself, I taught myself how to mix in two years, it took a long time.

Why did you move to new Orleans?

I moved here in 2012, I got my degree in film at Alabama State, then I moved here for that. Now, I still do work in the film industry. I work on a show called SCREEN right now and I also act. I acted in a short film called Love Song. I was lead, we won 2nd place in the New Orleans film festival. 

PHOTO BY:VASHNI BALLESTE

PHOTO BY:VASHNI BALLESTE

That’s Dope! How has New Orleans been apart of your music, if at all... the feel, the mood, and the people... has that seeped into your art? 

New Orleans made me a butterfly. I was in my cocoon...and New Orleans made me a butterfly. The first person that saw me preform was Tank.

Tank and the Bangas?

Yes, I used to live at Inter-Recess, I don’t know if you were around when Inter-Recess was jumping off. Inter-recess was my brother’s recording studio. It was also a venue at one point where we held events and we had the first couches and Tank was at the first COUCHES. It was literally all these people in a living room, so Tank is here doing spoken word and I’m sitting here in awe. The poetry brings tears to your eyes. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. I was a spoken word artist when I got here and I was like, I got to be like her! She’s influenced me, Brass Bands. I always describe New Orleans as like this mud seeping into your blood stream.

That’s really interesting. I know you did a show for the Tribe Called Quest Tribute...how was that? Who are some of your mainstream or secular rap influences? 

The Show was amazing we sold out Tipitina’s it was like 800 people. The band was tight, originaland they were just on it. I did some of my favorite songs. I did “Keep it Moving” which was one of my favorite Tribe songs.

Who did Bonita Applebaum...that’s my favorite!

I did, and the crowd rapped it too.

For sure, that’s awesome. 

As far as influences are concerned, there’s Marvin Gaye, Cee Lo Greem and then there’s Andre 3000, Common, anda lot of people say I come off or look like Mos Def. He’s dope, He’s just not on the list. I like him, but on the list of the tops of top is like marvin gaye and Cee-Lo. If you listen to some of my music you can hear the influences of some from them.