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Baker's Dozen

Creating A Songwriter: The 13 Albums That Made Thundercat
Rob Hakimian , April 14th, 2020 08:53

The virtuoso bassist takes Rob Hakimian through his musical life story with a baker's dozen that traces his trajectory from kid messing with his parents' records to the in-demand player that he is today. Photographs by The1Point8.

When one thinks of Thundercat, it's usually an image of a larger-than-life guy with a huge bass and an even more enormous talent for playing it. We don't tend to think of what he was like in his childhood – can you even imagine him as a small child?

Yet as revealed in his Baker's Dozen, music was formative from his earliest memories playing video games and messing around with his brother, to his teen years as a rocker and joining Suicidal Tendencies, and then into his adulthood where he's always working on something but still searches out obscure records from unexpected sources.

Across these selections, Thundercat highlights which artists showed him what was possible on the bass, and, perhaps more interestingly, the ones which taught him how to become a songwriter. He talks about learning to appreciate high levels of musicianship at young age, discovering the importance of honesty in expression, and the delicacy of making it all connect with the listener.

These are elements that Thundercat is still learning and honing in his own music, and this musical and songwriting development is evident in his new album, the beautiful It Is What It Is, out now on Brainfeeder.

Click the Thundercat photo below to begin reading his Baker's Dozen