Artist On The Rise: Louis Baker
The twenty-something kiwi artist has soul beyond his years8-Jun-2012
Louis Baker, Wellington, NZ isn’t some Thursday night ‘Open Mic’ chump. The guitar wielding twenty-something is a soulful not-so-new voice on the scene. He’s an ‘Open Mic’ ringer. Here’s his narrative:
At 13 he picked up a guitar, 16 started writing and composing songs and today he’s being compared to Curtis Mayfield, John Mayer and Jeff Buckley. When he was 17 his track, ‘Three Ladies’ which surprisingly is not as dirty and NSFW as you’d think, was a finalist in a prestigious New Zealand song competition. And, he’s “a man of principle, good-will, and maturity beyond his years [he] is focused on making the music he loves for people who know how to love.” [via] Brilliant. That’s all well and good, but it’s hardly anything about the singer/songwriter Louis Baker’s music.
When you hear his voice–the falsetto highs, his smoky, aged crooning–it’s not so formulaic and rehearsed. Like with any great soul music it’s as if his music isn’t restricted by tempo, time signatures and measures. That junk doesn’t matter. It’s just an intimate, close encounter with the music. It’s what makes Esperanza Spalding so damn sexy. She’s not just a great singer/bassist. When “I Know You Know” plays it’s like she’s right there in your living room jamming out with you. Every time I play Esperanza it takes me until the last track to realize I’ve been on one knee for the past 30 minutes. She never says, “Yes.” Point is, the soul connection is that strong.
Same goes when listening to Baker’s organic R&B. When he’s jamming to “Birds” is like the dude is right there on the couch next to you busting out his guitar to play for all the ladies that came over to “Study for a Chem test.” Vocally, Baker is just about as good as it gets. Instrumentally, his guitar playing isn’t going to astound, but it does the job.
Baker’s debut EP, Waitin’, still doesn’t have a release date, but he’ll be recording it with TrinityRoots’s guitarist Warren Maxwell. So, that’s good. Recently, he recorded an interview and track, “Even In The Darkness,” at the Red Bull Studios–any more the Red Bull co-sign is like giving your music career wings. And, the twenty-something has some collaborations in the works (one with producer and fellow New Zealander Paddy Fred). Louis Baker is one soulful cat. He’s definitely an artist on the rise and I’m sure we’ll hear more from him in the future. “Check it out now, the funk soul brother…Right about now….”
Where to find Louis: