Interview By Latonya Pennington.
Edara Johnson, aka Baby G, is the lead vocalist of the genre-defying rock band Shinobi Ninja, as well as a solo artist in her own right. Before joining Shinobi Ninja, she was a dancer for artists like Rihanna, P. Diddy, and LL Cool J. I spoke with Edara about her new music video “$50,000” as well as her involvement with Shinobi Ninja.
SS: Your new music video “$50,000” was just released and features your fellow Shinobi Ninja bandmate Duke Sims. Most songs talk about actually spending a lot of money, but your music video has you wondering what you’re going to do with it in the middle of a gas station. What inspired the song and music video?
BG: Duke Sims and I were walking when he came up with the idea of “$50,000”. We just started talking about what we would do with the money and he decided to help me with the new track. Then we just shot the video at a gas station in New Jersey.
Download “$50,000” on SoundCloud.
SS: Speaking of music videos, Shinobi Ninja’s music video “What If Times” won Best Music Video at The MOVE Music Video Awards in 2015. Is it true that you directed the video yourself? Can you see yourself directing any of Shinobi Ninja’s or your own music videos in the future?
BG: Yes, I did direct it! I had a lot of fun doing that, especially with all the kids involved. I was happy that the video won Best Music Video, especially since directing is a new thing for me. I would love to direct more music videos in the future.
SS: Despite being the only female member of Shinobi Ninja, you have a strong, commanding presence as a vocalist and rapper for the band and as a solo artist. How do keep yourself from being stifled as an artist?
BG: When I was younger, I always liked to sing and dance and later, I ended up dancing for people like Cassie and Rhianna. I just do whatever I like and go from there. I don’t really worry about being stifled.
SS: Both you and the other members of Shinobi Ninja have strong ties to your respective cities and communities and this can be seen in music videos like “What If Times” and “Rock Hood”. How has this impacted your fanbase and work ethic?
BG: We are a really down to earth group; we don’t judge people or anything. It is easy to engage fans on a personal level and that’s cool. Sometimes, we have people who haven’t heard of us come to our shows and end up becoming new fans. Fans like that are why we keep making music.
SS: In addition to your new music video, Shinobi Ninja’s most recent video “Bang Bang” dropped back in December. What can we expect from Shinobi Ninja and yourself in the future?
BG: Shinobi Ninja is performing at SXSW on March 17th! We also have a new album coming soon and more music videos to make at YouTube studios. I also have solo stuff coming up too! I can’t wait for everything to come out.
About the Author.
Latonya Pennington is a freelance writer and rising poet from Alabama. As a freelance writer, she has written for places such as Atlanta Blackstar and The Mary Sue. She is also a proud black girl nerd who loves fantasy and sci-fi, American and Japanese animation, reading books, and learning about black music history.