Wobbles on the Cobbles

Hak Baker talks to Les Back about G Folk and East London Life

7 February 2022
Originally published in our Old Blog.

In this edition of Street Signs, Les Back talks to musician Hak Baker about the power of songs as a way of understanding city life.  There are so many songs about London.  They are often the voice of hope and the demand for something else.  And just like Hak Baker’s tales from the Isle of Dogs, these songs frequently characterise a particular part of the city.
Hak talks to Les about his early years as a young rapper, his time as a chorister in Southwark Cathedral, learning the guitar and developing his unique musical style – which he calls G(uvnor) Folk.  The best folk songs make the listeners inhabit the world of the characters within them.  Hak Baker’s music is like this, and he makes us confront the joy, pain and particularly the complexity of the lives of young men.  In this podcast Hak Baker explains how he writes his songs and we also hear his extraordinary music. 

Les Back is Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Director of CUCR.