Jake Roche and Charley Bagnall might have been operating under the name Push Baby since early 2019, but it wasn’t until August 2020 that things clicked into one place. Their colourful single ‘Holding On Is Holding You Back’, released that month, distils their story so far, charting their near-decade as musical partners and the impact that the highs and lows of being put through the music industry machine can have on you. “Why are we here? What do I believe?” Roche questions on it. “Why did I hand the power over to a corporation that lost control of my dreams?”
As members of the band Rixton, the duo saw it all – the excitement of touring with megastars like Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran and Demi Lovato and scoring chart hits, the frustrations of having to compromise on their music to appease major labels, the nadir of being dropped and left wondering what their future held.
While the other two members of Rixton decided to call it quits, Roche and Bagnall weren’t ready to give up. Instead, they regrouped in Roche’s mum’s garage, where the singer says they would “stay up late, just talking about music and making music as mates with no label and no intentions but to enjoy the moment”. “Nine times out of 10 we’d wake up and go, ‘What is this!?’” he adds, but the important thing was that they were rekindling their creativity and discovering a reason to continue.
That reason is very simple, yet one that often gets forgotten when you’re in the middle of the industry whirlwind, fame and fortune dangled under your nose. “Music is always the core thing, and fun,” Bagnall says. “That’s all we want to do now – do it with our mates and have fun. If it comes out alright then it’s whatever. And then we move on to another one.”
Thus, with that ethos settled on, Push Baby are rising like a phoenix out of the ashes, ready to spread joy with their surreal, vibrant pop – but also make you think. Although they acknowledge that “no one wants to hear from a straight white cisgender male” on issues, they’re keen to fill their music with messages of importance, while making “the best pop music in the world”.
AGENT: Jule Konrad