ake a look into those eyes, those green eyes that change to grey in the light. Their dynamic transformation is a sign… for Bastian Baker, nothing is set in stone. Armed with his guitar and his folk songs, he has avoided cliché and the typical marketed career path. He surprised the world, exploding onto the scene as a sincere and unexpected artist.
Yes, it was unexpected, because even if music flows through his veins, the young Villeneuve (Vaud) resident Bastian was originally destined for a hockey career. Yet, one evening at a birthday party, his plans were forever altered. He met Patrick Delarive, with whom he formed a striking artistic balance. The businessman had contacts and the young man had talent. The former becomes the producer; the latter takes the roles of author, composer, interpreter, guitarist, and artistic producer.
At 19 years old, Bastian Baker released his first single “Lucky”, which instantly took over the radio waves. Claude Nobs, the late founder of “Montreux Jazz,” was captivated by Bastian’s freshness and invited the singer to perform on the off festival stage.
In just a few months, Bastian Baker skyrocketed to success and set the foundations of his ever-expanding universe. His first album, “Tomorrow May Not Be Better,” was released in late 2011, launching his career. Its release assured the single “Lucky” a regular place high in the charts and its tracks echoed the same artistic approach: touching honesty, instantly catchy melodies, charming charisma, and clever arrangements. Two years later, he released his highly anticipated sophomore album “Too Old to Die Young,” where he experimented with richer instrumentation and songs with more accomplished and mature lyrics.
When writing lyrics, he takes inspiration from the everyday, tapping into both his personal life and the general human condition. He takes words as they come, twisting and playing with them in free spontaneity and intuitive creativity. When shaping his sound, he takes advantage of his free-flowing vocal timbre, and his characteristic deep and melancholic vocal style. It’s as if he’s carrying a long, wound-up history in his vocal chords. He’s undeniably more mature than his 20 some years of age. He also knows how to surround himself by big names, recording and playing alongside those who have played with Madonna, Sting, Jamiroquai and R.E.M.
Already a household name in his own country, Bastian Baker has established himself as a headlining act. He rigorously tours across the world, performing in both intimate small venues as well as at massive festivals. He has seen his rise to fame colored with numerous accolades: five Swiss Music Awards, two platinum albums, a MTV European Music Award, a Swiss Award and a World Music Award. Captivated by Bastian Baker, Nagui invited him on to the cult show “Taratata”. In appreciation, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Johnny Hallyday and Mark Lanegan have chosen him to open their shows.
Even though he has kept close to his family and his roots in the mountains, he appreciates his life on tour and his natural ability to entertain and bring people together. He finds beauty at the place where intimacy meets and overlaps with the joyous roar of music. Whether on stage or in town, he doesn’t stand still: he naturally spreads his enthusiasm and electric energy. The media could not ask for more in a celebrity and companies do not have to look further for their perfect muse. Bastian Baker happily assumes these new roles. In 2014, he coached up-and-coming talent on “The Voice Belgique”. His image has also been used for the watchmakers Omega, Swiss Air airlines, and the clothing company Heidi.com.
Curious, involved in numerous projects, and always hungry for more, he does not see his path as a career; rather, he follows his own instinct. What interests him most is the present moment. When he tells stories, he wants to relate the emotions felt at precise moments. It’s in this spirit – and on the road – that Bastian Baker composed the eleven titles of his third album. He touches upon issues of religion, analyzes his relationship to time, and reflects on the attacks in Sydney and Paris. The album is filled with lush production and unique instruments such as the harmonica, mandolin, and banjo. It’s title? “Facing Canyons”. Bastian Baker sends us the lucid message that mankind will always be small in the face of immensity. He reminds us of the importance of keeping things in perspective. It is as if he is pushing vegetation out of the dead cracks in a cliff. It’s a breath of life, triumphantly and refreshingly thrust into the wind.
So yes, it’s certain: nothing is set in stone for Bastian Baker. At every moment, he orients himself toward the light, constantly curling upwards. Such is the destiny of a folk herb.