The Yolŋu superstar Baker Boy (Danzal Baker) relishes keeping people on their toes. Today, he’s revelling in a nostalgic side with his first single since 2021’s acclaimed debut album Gela. The dancer, rapper and singer has reimagined Bernard Fanning’s acoustic folk Wish You Well as a feel-good hip-hop anthem alongside the Powderfinger frontman himself.
Only in April the Fresh Prince Of Arnhem Land went viral with his high-energy rendition of Blur’s Song 2 for triple j’s Like A Version. Mashing up the Brit-pop classic with the Baha Men’s Who Let The Dogs Out (shook!), Baker Boy flowed in his Yolŋu Matha tongue and played Yidaki. The dynamo’s take on Bernard’s vintage Wish You Well – which memorably topped the 2005 triple j Hottest 100 – reaffirms his ability to individualise any style.
Baker Boy instills the bittersweet Wish You Well with his characteristic positivity and communal perspective, putting the mosh into mush. “‘Wish You Well’ is a break-up track, but it’s all about spreading that love,” he explains. “The original isn’t really usual for Baker Boy – that vibe. So I wanted to kind of make it into a story where I can also apply it differently and make it Yolŋu flavour. It’s not just in a romantic way, it’s about sharing the love – whether it’s your partner, whether it’s your friends or family… It’s also for the people that are having a hard time right now. I just wanted to spread some love through music.”
Baker Boy did find it “daunting” to reinterpret “such an iconic Australian hit,” but was assisted by Gela producer Pip Norman (Troye Sivan, Odette) – proclaiming him “100 per cent a genius.”
Baker Boy continues. “It’s Bernard from Powderfinger and a national treasure, you know? So it was crazy. I was just freaking out a little bit. Then I jumped on a call with him. It was so, so amazing to do the track and make it into a Baker Boy track as well.”
And Bernard is enthralled by this fresh, and very contemporary, duet incarnation. “Baker Boy’s music is so full of energy and excitement that I was very happy to collaborate on a new take on ‘Wish You Well’,” he says. “I love the spirit of this new version and am so glad it’s taken such a different musical tack but maintained the buoyancy of the original. It’s the first time I’ve worked in this way, but I found it so easy because the ideas coming from Danzal and Pip were so good.”