THINKING back at all the favourite musicians that have featured on my blog…
and Lydia Baylis will always be near the top. She is a young artist that impresses me immensely. Able to seduce and enchant crowds in a coffee-house setting or impress with cinematic, dramatic music videos – someone who is capable of drawing you in and capturing the heart. Not only are her lyrics revealing, open and intelligent: Baylis has a voice at once sensual and inviting; hurt and affected the next. Previous singles Into the Water and Mirrors rank alongside by favourite songs by any new artist. It has been exciting catching up with Baylis and asking about her future – whether we will see a new E.P. arriving. She is heading to play New York’s Pianos later this month and is excited about the coming months. Baylis talks her about the importance of her family (to her music) and how she unwinds away from music.
For those who are new to your work: can you introduce yourself to us?
I am a singer-songwriter working and performing in London.
I see you are playing Pianos in New York (on 25th). Are you excited about this and is this your first time in New York?
It is my third time performing there – I am REALLY excited! I love New York and Pianos is a great venue!
PHOTO CREDIT: Patrick Ford and Jenni Davis
In terms of America as a future possibility: could you see yourself moving there or are you pretty settled in the U.K.?
I would love to move to America one day. I would love to live in L.A. for a bit. Any change of scene I think is good creatively for artists.
The last time I featured you on my blog, you were performing a series of gigs at coffee houses around the country. What was that experience like and can you see yourself doing it again in the future?
It was fun. Travelling is one of the best bits of this job.
I like being on the road and meeting the challenges of doing a difference venue, even two, every day.
You have a fascinating family – Lydia’s grandfathers both helped drive the Germans out of Brussels during World War II – and have strong Welsh roots. How important were you family with regards your career in music?
They were, and still are, so important.
My parents are my greatest supporters and brought us all up to follow our dreams.
Having studied at Oxford – and returned there to perform – do you get a chance to revisit your alma mater and family? I imagine the demands of music keep you pretty busy?
Music does keep me very busy but Oxford has a very special place in my heart (and I love to go back).
Into the Water is my favourite song of yours. Can you remember what inspired the song? I see new cuts Anyway and You Don’t Love are available. What is the inspiration behind the two songs? Have you been putting them into recent live performances?
I love Into the Water too. It was inspired in part by Virginia Woolf (who drowned herself with stones in her pockets), but more figuratively, feeling (in life) like you are drowning sometimes – and that it might be you dragging yourself down.
Anyway and You Don’t Love are about the same period in my life: being unsure about someone and how they made me feel.
Can we expect a new Lydia Baylis E.P. or album in the near future?
Yes! I have been working on it for a long time and I think that I am nearly ready.
I know Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks are big influences of yours. What is it about those singers that attract you? Which other vocalists/musicians have inspired you?
Both of those women are irreverent in some way – they might not vocally be perfect but the attitude with which they perform and write is so real and soul-baring.
In terms of the albums that have meant the most to you: which three would you rank as the most important?
Astral Weeks by Van Morrison; Lungs by Florence and the Machine and Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
How do you spend your time away from music? Do you get time to unwind or is it hard finding moments to disengage?
I love travelling, dancing and reading – but music is a constant companion.
Are there any new musicians/underground musicians you suggest we check out?
Equador are awesome.
What advice would you give to any upcoming musicians looking to follow in your footsteps?
Do it because you love making music, not if you want to be famous.
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can select any song (other than your own as I’ll include one) and I’ll play it here…
You Only Live Once by the Strokes – there is not a problem that song cannot fix.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Brad Inglis (UBPICS)