Brothers Augie Pink and June Summer are well known in Miami as rock musicians, but with "Mala Fama," their debut single as the duo Baby City Club, they've officially come out as closeted Latin-trap singers. Most friends and fans are surprised but intrigued by the transformation, the two say.
"Us coming from rock 'n' roll to trap, a lot people are like, 'What the fuck? Are you guys really doing that? Is that really you?'" Pink says. "A lot of our friends were doubting it, [but] as soon as we came out with the song and the video and they saw the whole thing — image and meaning — they were like, 'Yo, we do get it now.'"
Adds Summers: "Yeah, we've been getting both types of reactions, but as soon as they listen to it, they get hyped."
Summer is the lead singer of the Miami-based garage-rock band Plastic Pinks. He and Pink were born and raised in Puerto Rico and moved to South Florida to start the band in 2010. The group has since become one of the most recognizable acts in Miami music. They recently worked in the studio with Gordon Raphael, a producer best known for his work with the Strokes.
The pair hadn't personally identified with trap music until they witnessed the meteoric rise of Puerto Rican Latin-trap and reggaeton singer Bad Bunny. Now they've come around to the genre as a whole. "We were just at Rolling Loud, and we were seeing Lil Yachty going insane in the mosh pit," Pink says. "It's almost like trap is rock 'n' roll in a way. Trap stars are the new rock stars."
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But Pink and Summer never expected they'd become trap artists themselves.
"Originally, we were just joking around with a song — this song, actually — on top of different beats and whatnot," Summer says. "Then we went to record it just to have it, and we were like, 'Wait, we actually have something here.'"
"Mala Fama" is sung in Spanish, but according to Pink, the melody is intended to transcend language barriers. "We wanted to make sure it was like an earworm, something that stays there," he says. "Even if you don't know the words or understand it, you're still going na-na-na." And it's not as if there's a deep message buried in the song, Pink says. "The first line of lyrics is something like, 'I don't give a fuck what you say about me/Spark up another blunt, baby.'"
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"It's just trap," he says. "There's no deep meaning necessarily. It's just, 'Fuck it, we're having fun, we're doing this.' We're still being real, but not in a serious way."
Pink and Summer will continue playing in Plastic Pinks, but they're also serious about the new project. They've recorded about half a dozen tracks as Baby City Club and intend to drop them as singles in a deliberate manner. "We want to keep everybody waiting for that next single," Pink says. "We want to release a single with a video, kind of ride it out for a while, and then the next one comes in."
Once the band has built up a small catalogue, Baby City Club will start playing live shows and maybe consider a tour. But it's one step at a time.
"We don't want to do it half-assed," Summer says. "We want to make sure this project comes out strong."