No matter how long it takes, all great music will have its day if it’s that undeniable. Fortunately for indie rock artist Bakar, that happened sooner rather than later when his 2019 single, “Hell N Back,” saw a sudden influx in popularity, going platinum this year and being used in the first trailer for Pixar’s Elemental.

Now, in 2023, he’s currently wrapping up the Australia and New Zealand leg of his ongoing tour, with his UK and Europe leg set for all of November, including two sold-out shows in his hometown of London. Though never entirely in obscurity, the British singer saw moderate success through his debut album Badkid and the EP Will You Be My Yellow?, of which “Hell N Back” was a single.

artist to watch in 2023

Following up last year’s Nobody’s Home, a solid sophomore album that holds up to the timeless quality of “Hell N Back,” Bakar’s latest offering, Halo, finds the singer spreading his wings and staying true to his early releases in the face of newfound stardom.

“Right Here, for Now,” the second single from Halo, is the type of track suitable for easy listening while offering a little more under the surface for those seeking candid clarity on relationships, not unlike previous material. Opening to dusty drums, the bouncy guitar rhythms drive the song forward as Bakar sings about waiting for a girl and explains Halo is about finding self-love in the outro.

“Alive!” sees Bakar come alive musically, with lyrics catchy enough to rival his biggest hits. In essence, the song is one of the most simple on the album, predominantly featuring a bassline carrying his vocals while he sings of wanting to free his mind and go outside. It’s the breath of fresh air that works on its own and as a coming out on the other side moment after the lengthy lockdown, during which Bakar’s music unexpectedly blew up.

That’s not to underscore what makes “Hell N Back” so unique, a rare breed in breakthrough singles that never quite gets old and is always fresh with its Sam Cooke meets early 2000s Mark Ronson production sound. But in the context of Bakar’s career, Halo was a necessary leap, or flight forward, proving he’s got way more going for him than being a one-hit-wonder.

Words: David Sosa

Halo by Bakar is out on all streaming services. For more on new music and tickets to his ongoing tour, follow him on Instagram and TikTok.

Bakar The Halo Tour UK & Europe Headline Tour Dates 
^ EKKSTACY Support * Tendai Support

Thursday 9th November – Magnolia – Milan, Italy
Sunday 12th November – Kesselhaus – Berlin, Germany
Tuesday 14th November – Melkweg – Amsterdam, The Netherlands [SOLD OUT]
Wednesday 15th November – Burgerhaus Stollwerck – Cologne, Germany
Thursday 16th November – Trix – Antwerp, Belgium
Saturday 18th November – DR Koncerthuset – Copenhagen, Denmark 
Wednesday 21st November – O2 Academy – Glasgow, UK ^
Thursday 22nd November – Academy – Dublin, Ireland ^ [SOLD OUT]
Friday 23rd November – Limelight – Belfast, Ireland ^
Saturday 25th November – Le Bataclan – Paris, France ^
Monday 27th November – Eventim Apollo – London, UK ^*[SOLD OUT]
Tuesday 28th November – Eventim Apollo – London, UK ^* [SOLD OUT]
Thursday 29th November – Albert Hall – Manchester, UK ^ [SOLD OUT]
Friday 30th November – Albert Hall – Manchester, UK ^ [SOLD OUT]