PHOTO CREDIT: Richard Parsonson
THIS might be the first time I have…
featured an artist from New Zealand. There might have been others but, for the life of me, I cannot think of any right now! Louis Baker talks about the New Zealand scene and why his new song, Black Crow, came together so quickly.
I ask whether there are tour dates ahead and which artists he counts as idols; what comes next for the songwriter; what advice he would give to new songwriters coming through; if he gets chance to relax away from music – Baker tells me a favourite memory from his time in music.
Hi, Louis. How are you? How has your week been?
Doing well, thank you! The week has been super-busy with interviews, but really exciting to see my new single, Black Crow, go out.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Louis Baker. I am a singer-songwriter from Wellington, New Zealand and I love what I do.
It has been a year or so since your last single, Addict. Was that gap down to the need to create something worthy of following such a strong song?!
I appreciate that, thanks. To be honest, the time frame wasn’t planned. It was just about writing until something struck me…
Is it true that Black Crow was written in six hours in Sydney?! How did it come together so fast, do you think?
I don’t know. Some songs are like that and you can’t understand why.
Steve Rusch produced the song. What was it like working with him?
Steve is the man - super-relaxed and open to ideas. He’s a proper mix engineer, with a huge knowledge of using outboard gear, or mixing in the box, not to mention an absolute ninja on Pro Tools (and a top producer).
I do not get to speak with too many New Zealand-born songwriters! Is there quite a large and varied music scene in the country?
There absolutely is. I think because of N.Z’s geographical positioning, we seem to take on a little piece of everything. There’s no doubt that there is a huge diversity here.
Which artists do you count as idols and guides? When did music come into your life?
Music came into my life at four-years-old. My idols include The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix; Michael Jackson, D’Angelo; Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley; Al Green, Marvin Gaye; Allen Stone and Jamie Lidell etc.
Might we see an E.P. or album coming later this year?
Do you have any gigs lined up? Where are you heading?
I’m at the airport now. I’m heading to London to do nineteen dates through U.K./E.U. and finishing my new record in L.A. on the way home.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
A new record (released) later this year; two tours through the U.K., E.U.; Australia and N.Z.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Meeting Q-Tip in N.Y.C. at the Red Bull Music Academy.
If you could select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Electric Ladyland - The Jimi Hendrix Experience; Grace - Jeff Buckley and Voodoo - D’Angelo
I picked these three because they have all equally influenced me to be the artist I am today.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Work hard, find management; practice every day, write down your goals; learn and listen from the best, have a clear and tangible idea of your message and the kind of artist you are; know your audience, take care of your friends and family.
IN THIS PHOTO: Allen Stone
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Not really. Netflix and chill.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Leon Bridges - Bad Bad News
Much love; thanks for having me x Louis.
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