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Bairi Is Here to Feed Her Fans

The R&B singer talks about rewarding her Audiomack Supporters.
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This article previously appeared on Audiomack World.

Bairi put on perfume for this phone interview. It’s one of the many charming things about the R&B singer, who has spent the last half-decade finding herself through music. Her fervent fans have come to love her passionate 2021 single “Paraíso,” her openness on social media, and her meme-ready humor. Once upon a time flirting with being a music therapist, Bairi now makes music to be a vessel for fans to feel less alone.

“From 2016 to last year, I was figuring myself out,” Bairi recalls. “[In 2016], I dropped a little EP barely anybody knows about, and I was like, ‘Let me drop an album!’ I put so much pressure on myself when I was so inexperienced.” That pressure mounted until it froze Bairi in her tracks, making it difficult to release music. “I never felt anything was good enough,” she says. “I was trying to be different versions of other artists. I figured out a lot last year when we were in a pandemic, there was a studio in the basement, and I was creating for fun. There’s passion even though it’s not perfect.”

The ability to look past perfection has given Bairi a new sense of freedom, one that she’s eager to share with her Audiomack family through the Supporters feature. Turning to social media to encourage fans to support “Paraíso” for the ability to unlock exclusive messages and to hear a loosie (“Ophiuchus”) a week early, Bairi has been mobilizing her fans and injecting fun and an intimate fan connection into her rollouts.

Audiomack Supporters creates a new revenue stream for artists and an exclusive connection between creators and fans by allowing listeners to directly contribute to releases. Learn more here and support Bairi’s new single “Ophiuchus” here.

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“Audiomack supported me before I was even Bairi,” she concludes. “I wanted to do something creative and thank fans, and feed them. This week, I’m writing a diary entry to the fans who are supporting on Audiomack… It’s about making people feel special, you know?”

Why do you think your fans are so invested in your come-up?

I’m vulnerable and try my hardest to be transparent. Even before I was confident, one of the things I wanted to push for women: you don’t have to be perfect to be a star. I’ve been pushing that. I have no issue telling people I’m not okay. I didn’t post on Instagram for a month, because it was giving me anxiety.

A long time ago, I also wanted to be a music therapist—until I realized music theory is math. I kind of became a therapist in another way. When you go to therapy—I started therapy this month, thank God—you find yourself because you’re saying the things you knew inside. We keep a lot inside and they turn into nasty things because we’re not consulting anybody else. Because I’m so honest about light and darkness, people can be like, “Oh, I feel these things, too. Even Bairi feels this way.” I love that people are relieved that they’re not alone.

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Based on the videos you do post to socials—and your social presence in general—it’s obvious you’re a performer who thrives off of being with the fans. How has the pandemic impacted your ability to tap into that?

I was thriving in the pandemic because I didn’t feel pressured [to be social]. I was saving my social battery and putting it into something that’s more natural to me. I want to connect with people, and going out and networking and all that—that’s not my best. But when I can just be personal and introverted and still mess with people… Of course, I have to live my own life, but when I want to connect with fans, it’s fun to do that on social media.

How does Audiomack help facilitate that connection?

My goodness! Audiomack supported me before I was even Bairi. Audiomack gave me a lot of confidence at first. I did drop an EP in 2016; it wasn’t anything crazy, and when I posted my EP on Audiomack a few months after I dropped it elsewhere I got so many listens. “Hold on! What the fuck is this?” To see those numbers for the first time, it’s like, “Oh, people actually listen. Let me keep doing this.” I’ve been rocking since.

Talk to me about how you’ve been using Audiomack’s Supporters feature to keep that relationship with fans?

It’s really cool to do Supporters because I’ve already been vocal about how much I love Audiomack. It’s very cool, and I feel cooler on Audiomack. I feel like I’m part of something fresh and innovative—the accessibility, the ease, and the ways to interact more with fans are great.

I just dropped an exclusive loosie called “Ophiuchus,” and a few months ago, I dropped an exclusive pack on Audiomack. It just feels cool to be exclusive somewhere. Why not choose the cool kids?

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What has the feature allowed you to do with your work that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to accomplish?

Last year, I dropped “Paraíso” and the fans were so excited about that, and they made it so much more successful than I ever would’ve thought. We sent out email lists about updates to hear the song early, all of that. I did that with “Ophiuchus,” strictly for Supporters. First of all, I said, “Whoever supports ‘Paraíso’ on Audiomack will get to hear ‘Ophiuchus’ early.” And they had it for a week before it came out.

“Paraíso,” the music video, is pushed indefinitely due to creative differences. A lot of things happened in post-production that were out of my control, and it hurt me. I felt like I had this momentum because people were rooting for me and waiting for it. I didn’t want to disappoint my fans. So, I wanted to do something creative and thank fans, and feed them.

This week, I’m writing a diary entry to the fans who are supporting on Audiomack. Within this week, they’re going to get a cut of the music video—it’s not dropping—but they’ll be able to see it. It’s about making people feel special, you know?

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