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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.


Stanley Clarke - Journey to Love and School Days
This is when I first started taking my bass seriously. This was this was a when I got hungry to understand what it meant to play bass. I thank God that there was a Stanley Clarke as a frame of reference to what to what is possible with the bass, along with Jaco [Pastorious] and Marcus Miller.

There was a period where I stopped liking the practice, I was like 'uh I don't wanna practice', and my mom was really clever about it. She offered to pay me to transcribe Stanley Clarke's School Days. And of course, I'm like, 'I want to buy comic books and Marvel cards', so of course I transcribed School Days.

Journey to Love and School Days became really personal to me. It was just like, I felt like this was my n**, and I felt like this was who I am; I identified with those two albums. I didn't even discover the self-titled album until later in life; I was very much married to School Days and Journey to Love.

I think that Journey to Love is still very much a story to me that I feel resonates in my mind and body. I don't know what you would call it musically, but I paraphrased the album on my very first album, sonically.

He remembers meeting me when I was a child. He signed my copy of Journey to Love and he wrote some crazy message in it when I was about maybe 10 or 11. My older brother went on to start playing with Stanley out of high school, so he became a bit of a family friend. But, more than that, I think these albums definitely define what created me as Thundercat.