WHO'S NEXT: Louis BakerFriday , 01 Mar 2013
23 year old Wellington soul singer and guitarist Louis Baker has that classic Kiwi air. He’s one of those relaxed, earnest bros with a smile for everyone. Blessed with a richly toned voice known to make grown men cry, an astute eye for lyrical detail and competent guitar chops, in 2013 Baker is really coming into his own.
A member of both local nine piece soul ensemble Brockaflowersaurus Rex & The Blueberry Biscuits and Vanilau•Maxwell•Baker (with Mark Vanilau and Warren Maxwell), this summer he has also been busy on stages playing solo or with his small band. Capping off a year which saw him secure management, get accepted into the Red Bull Music Academy and start recording with respected New Zealand producers like Benny Tones, Paddy Fred and Julien Dyne, Baker is in a good place. “Things have changed for me in a big way over the last year,” he reflects. “I’ve seen the potential within myself and realised I could really and truly go well if I choose to.” Having been active on the Wellington circuit for a few years now, opening for acts like The Thomas Oliver Band and playing low-key sessions at The Southern Cross Garden Bar, Baker finally found the direction he needed when he connected with his manager, Cushla Ashton of Ashton Road. “Before I met Cushla I was just doing a lot of small gigs that weren’t necessarily achieving much for me,” he admits. “I’ve started to learn a lot more now, and learn a lot faster.”
Deservedly catapulted into the position of opening for the likes of Fat Freddy’s Drop and The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, plus playing with Vanilau and Maxwell, Baker has been placed directly next to some of the key local musicians who inspired him in his late teens. In the process he’s beginning to form his own philosophies on creativity. “I think the most influential, unique people in our history have always been those sort of people who can’t put something down,” Baker muses. Through his fledgling successes, he’s also realising how much he has left to learn. “I’m becoming wise to the fact that I don’t know anything, which I think is one of the wisest things you can realise in your life”
by Martyn Pepperell
Who's Next features New Zealand artists and proudly brought to you by theaudience.co.nz
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