Interview: Baggi Begovic Talks Tiësto And Freedom In Dance Music
Perhaps it’s a freedom that Baggi enjoys the most about being a DJ. As Tiësto’s protégé, the Musical Freedom artist has overcome whirlwinds and years of adversity. Releasing his debut single “Compromise” exactly 21-years after losing his father to the atrocities of war in his home country, Ajdin Bagovic is a true symbol of an artist who lives freely through the way of musical expression. A stamp in the Netherlands house music circuit, but driven to prosper his craft, he serves as a catalyst to the global phenomenon, crossing musical boundaries, merging with artists like Kelly Clarkson, Rita Ora and expanding his catalogue. Now with Tiesto as support, Baggi plans continues to create even more captivating sounds the global club circuit with enjoy every time. Making his rounds on his US Tour, VIBE caught up with the DJ after his amazing set to discuss his new music, his new radio show with Sirius XM, Baggage Claim, and who he would like to work with in the future, and why he says if it wasn’t for music, he would probably engage in street pharmacy.
Where did you get the moniker “Baggi” from?
When I came from Bosnia, my real name was Ajdin and I started working in a club and all of the club asked me what’s your name, and I would say Ajdin, and they were like “WHAT!” I was like “Ajdin,” and they were like “WHAT!” My best friend from Bosnia had a cap for more the name “Baggi.” Baggi was his name he was like“ instead of Ajdin, you know I’m going to call from now you Baggi so from that started Baggi. That was everything.
Your signed to Tiësto’s Musical Freedom label, who’s obviously very instrumental in your career. How’s your relationship with him now compared to when you both met earlier?
It’s amazing. Tiësto is the best support system you can have in your life. Our relationship is so much better we speak every week on Skype or emails. He’s always involved in what I’m doing or happening, so it’s amazing.
How'd you meet Tiësto?
I’m from the Netherlands, and he’s from the Netherlands so basically the Netherlands are like a small country, everybody knows everybody in the business. I met Tiësto six years ago when he was working a record store like me, I was working a record store on the same street! A couple of times I ran into him at a couple of festivals. Then all of sudden he got famous, but he noticed me and a couple of my tracks. I did “Freefalling” and “Chasing The Sun” was like his favorite track. From that moment we met he was following everything that I was doing so he’s a really good guy he’s always searching for a good talent.
Has he ever given you any advice? What was it?
Just do your thing, you know just what you want to do and do what you like to do. If you like to do this, everything is going to happen so stay focused on what you want to do.
Do you see yourself following in the same footsteps as Tiësto?
No, Tiësto’s like an icon, no one can be like him. For many years he’s been number one. Definitely I want to be like him [laughs], my goal is to be like him someday but no.
What was the craziest experience you've had on your US tour so far?
New York [laughs]! It’s amazing!
What about you career?
You know to be honest, I spoke with my agent today, I just met my agent from USA, and I told him “too many crazy things happened in my life to consider what’s crazy either good or bad.” I really love every tour experience I’ve had, good or not good. If you ask me what’s the best or craziest gig so far, I can’t tell you because everything’s for me good, I love what I do so I can’t tell [laughs].
You’ve got two new records coming out “Dragon” and your collaborative track with Bobby Burns “Right On Time.” What was the process in creating both those tracks? Where did you draw your inspiration from?
I met a guy from the Netherlands who was living in LA, while I was out there and I was like give me some great vocals. He gave me two amazing singers one was Julie Michaels and the other one was Bekuh Boom, but they were one track. Since the vocals were so good, but the track was bad I took the vocals had Julie Michaels had for “Dragon” and Bekuh for “Right On Time.” Julie Michaels is incredible, she sounds like Bjork .
What about “Right On Time?”
"Right On Time" with Bekuh Boom, she sounds really amazing, she sounds a little bit like Rihanna. Tiësto called me and asked “what’s happening with that track with Bobby Burns and yourself, because I heard everyone’s talking about it?” I was like, “ok I’m going to send to you to see how you feel about it.” So I sent it to him, and then he was blown away. He asked “who is that girl?” I was like “she’s from LA, she sounds really amazing.” Tiësto then replied, “let’s roll out this track!”
You crossed genre boundaries via mixes with Kelly Clarkson, Rod Stewart, Rita Ora. Any other artists you would like to work with in the future?
Yeah, there’s so many. I really would like to work with Beyonce and I was talking to Hosh (manager) to get Rihanna. Those two artists really inspire me, they’re like always on point like Beyonce’s she’s a mother but she’s always working and I went to the concert of hers and she was killing it you know. The body, the performance, everything, she’s a big inspiration for me.
What about rappers? If you had to collaborate with one rapper, who would it be and why?
Jay Z! Yeah, Jay Z. You know Jay Z always has cool beats, always something’s always special on his records, and I like to add some Baggi special to his music as well.
You’ve overcome a lot of adversity with music. If you didn’t do music, what other ways would you channel your story?
To be honest, I think if I didn’t have music, I would be a drug dealer [laughs].
Why do you say that?
Well, coming from Bosnia, the first time I came to Netherlands, I was always seemed to meet the wrong people. Anywhere you go, you’re going to always meet negative people. They always tried to get me on selling drugs but I always was strong. I told myself, “no I love music, I’m not going to sell drugs, I want my father to be proud of me,” so you know, I chose the right way. But if I didn’t have music, I’ll probably be a bad influence.
What can fans expect from your new show Baggage Claim on Sirius XM?
Baggage Claim is something that definitely represents Baggi because I have a lot of baggage with me. So, what I want to try is to play all music that I like, it’s not just going to be EDM, it’s going to have hip-hop, house music as well. The show will have all different kinds of music that I like that I will share with everyone, so I hope the fans will like it. The show “Baggage Claim” in my eyes is going to be the next best thing in my life. Everything about “Baggage Claim” has something to do with my past, present, and even my future.
What’s next for your in the fall?
There’s more new releases I got coming. More gigs coming. I have some new tracks coming with Musical Freedom, including “Dragon” and the new track with Bobby Burns, “Right On Time.”