Q&A: Kiwi soul musician Louis Baker on his new album

Q&A: Kiwi soul musician Louis Baker on his new album

With his new EP out and doing the rounds, soul crooner Louis Baker took a moment to chat with What's Hot New Zealand about BBQ, crowd singalongs, and favourite venues.

Congrats on the release of your new EP, Love Levitates. Can you tell us a bit about the record? I wrote most of the record during Covid and then as soon as we came out of lockdown I started on the production with producer Devin Abrams (Pacific Heights, Dallas Tamaira). It’s a modern soul record and evolved out of my musings on love; be it whānau, friendship, observation, philosophy, and beyond.

What would you say is different about this compared to your last album? Open was a collection of songs I’d written over a period of years that reflected my experiences of growing up and figuring myself out as a young man. I worked with a bunch of different people on that album. With this record I wanted to work with one producer and record with my band. In some ways my songs are like a diary of my life.

What’s your songwriting process? Lyrics, concept, chords, melody, structure, refine lyrics, demo, record, refine. And it’s never the same twice.

It’s been a transformative year for many artists – what would you say has changed for you? All of us were forced to look at how we would survive in a full Covid lockdown, so it presented an opportunity to reflect on what I was doing, how I was doing it and to focus on what matters most.

How is Louis Baker, the artist, different from Louis Baker, the person? I’m the same person, really. Definitely less serious than the artist on stage. I love a good laugh, and I can be a goofball.

What’s your favourite part about performing live? The connection with the audience – when the crowd sings along – and feeding off the band energy.

What do you do when you’re not making music? I love to cook. At the moment it’s all about BBQ.

What are you listening to at the moment? Khruangbin and Mara TK.

What have been some of your favourite venues to perform in? Auckland Town Hall was incredible. I’m so looking forward to playing at The Opera House in Wellington and of course the James Hay Theatre in the Christchurch Town Hall.

What’s your favourite part of the country to hit up on tour? Why? It’s hard to go past Wellington. Nothing quite like the love you receive at a hometown show.

After you’re done with the tour, any big plans for the rest of the year? The rest of the year is full, I have more music to share and will be hitting the road again with an awesome lineup that I can’t talk about yet, plus lots more writing.

Hollywood Theatre Auckland – Saturday 3 July
Theatre Royal Nelson – Friday 9 July
Christchurch Town Hall  Saturday 10 July
The Opera House Wellington – Sat 17 July

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