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Q&A with Caiti Baker

SINCE COMING OUT AS A SOLO ARTIST EARLIER THIS YEAR WITH THE RELEASE OF HER ENERGETIC AND SOULFUL DEBUT SINGLE ‘HEAVY ON MY HEART’, CAITI BAKER HAS BEEN CARVING A PRETTY FORMIDABLE PATH FOR HERSELF AS A POWERFUL VOCALIST AND PERFORMER.

By Chelsea Heaney.

Baker, who is also one half of Darwin hip hop duo Sietta, is currently on tour with Dan Sultan, ahead of her own headline tour in December. The NT songstress took some time out recently to chat with Off The Leash about the big year she has had and what lies ahead for 2017.

What has it been like going out on your own and beginning your solo career?

It’s been fun, crazy, exhilarating, exhausting, rewarding and soul soothing. I get to live my dream every day. It’s hard work but it’s the best kind! I’ve been developing as a singer, performer and as a human in general; learning more about my abilities and strengths as well as my weaknesses.

What have been some highlights for you this year?

This year has been one big highlight! Releasing my debut single and accompanying video clip for ‘Heavy On My Heart’ was definitely number one. Introducing myself and my music to the world was extremely fun and humbling. Going on tour down the East Coast and playing festivals (like Darwin and Caloundra) was also amazing. Jumping up on stage with A.B. Original for the Hilltop Hoods' Restrung Tour across the country was also pretty damn cool.

What does 2017 have in store?

I’m excited to perform at the Blue Mountains Folk Festival in March. I’ve always wanted to play that festival and now I get to! I’m also pretty lucky to be a part of A.B. Original’s hosting duties for the entire national run of St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival. I’ll be releasing a new single early on in the year, which I’m so excited about, as well as my debut album in the second half of the year! I also hope to travel as much as I can, performing to whoever will listen to me!

Who are your biggest musical influences?

Big Mama Thornton, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Irma Thomas, Fiona Apple, Missy Elliott, Aaliyah, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Frank Ocean.

What has the process of making your first solo album been like?

It’s been quite a journey. I didn’t speak to my Father (who is a blues musician) for about four years. When we reunited, he bestowed upon myself and my producer James Mangohig a USB key filled with soundbites of his original guitar licks, harmonica lines and drum pattern ideas that he had recorded on an old mobile phone. A producer’s dream! James has been cutting up samples, creating amazing production and passing tracks over to me so that I can write some of the best songs I’ve written yet! The tracks get passed to my other producer and double bass player Michael Hohnen who lays down bass lines and works with James and I to craft the arrangement and other instrumentation. In a nutshell, the process of creating my new music has been completely different to anything I’ve ever done before. It’s been healing and seriously fun!

Where do you find inspiration for your song writing?

Personal experience and emotions, my friends and family; their experiences and emotions; a line from a novel I’ve read or a movie I’ve watched; or a four hour YouTube binge on a couple of comedians I love. Inspiration comes from everywhere!

Baker plays Darwin Entertainment Centre with American rhythm and blues musician Son Little in December - click here for the event listing.

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