Coming out of the Southern California community of Manhattan Beach, the all-female modern trio Bahari, which is vocalist/bassist Natalia Panzarella, vocalist/keyboardist Ruby Carr, and vocalist/guitarist Sidney Sartini, embody a youthful reflection of the creative spirit of the coastal lifestyle. “I grew up on an island off the coast of Kenya called Lamu, and Swahili is my first language,” Ruby explains. “We were all hanging out one day and the girls were asking me about words in Swahili and I told them that ‘bahari’ meant ocean. We thought it would make a great name for our group. We all grew up around the ocean and are very much inspired by it. Plus our music has a summery, California vibe, so it just felt right.”
With collective influences that span singer-songwriter folk and classic rock to contemporary pop, the members of Bahari have created a radiant, harmony-rich, brightly melodic sound. The songs range from the upbeat, clap-happy pop of “Dancing On The Sun” and “Summer Forever,” to the neo-psychedelic rock stylings of “Altar of the Sun,” to the spare, moody ballad, and first single “Wild Ones,” which finds the girls asserting an almost feral, us-against-the-world pack mentality when they sing: “We wake up to the sun / Burning while we’re young / We’re the wild ones / Raised by the wolves / We howl to the moon.” Warming to that theme, they refuse to “play by the rules” on “Reckless Youth,” which Sidney describes as a song about “doing what you want and being free.” The lyrics not only detail the girls’ lives and loves, they also offer listeners a sense of what it’s like to be a spirited, independent-minded 18-year-old woman in 2016.
Each member of Bahari had an upbringing that reflects that philosophy, with all three intent on following their love for music wherever it led them. “Now we’re like kindred spirits,” says Sidney about the group’s dynamic. Overall, the girls hope people will find their music positive, uplifting, and relatable. “I hope our music inspires people to think about things in a different way,” says Natalia. “It’s about putting our energy into focusing on what really matters, which is finding happiness and peace of mind. We want to explore a new spiritual reality where everyone cares a little more and thinks a little deeper. If we can inspire people to do that, hopefully we can make this world a better place.”