Excusive: Five minutes with Bakermat

We’ve been gearing up for South West 4 Festival in London this week, and in preparation we sat down with one of our most anticipated acts Bakermat to chat about his life, influences, and more!

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?

Hey there! I’m great, actually having a rest day today which means hiking, reading and hanging out with my friends and family!

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

Feel-good music. It’s very soulful! I love genres like soul, gospel, blues and jazz where raw emotions are a big part of the music. I either make happy or sad music, but I tend to be quite a happy person most of the time. So most of my stuff is really uplifting and summery.

What are the 5 most influential albums that have influenced you the most?

1. Moby – Play
2. Miles Davis – Porgy and Bess
3. D’angelo – Voodoo
4. Elliot Smith – Either Or
5. Groove Armada – Black Light

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?

At the moment I’m listening a lot to Chilly Gonzalez, Tame Impala and St. Paul & The Broken Bones. I always listen to a lot of different genres. At the moment, these guys inspire me the most and they’re all doing really refreshing stuff. For instance, at the moment I’m obsessed with Tame Impala’s use of synthesizers and his sounds. St. Paul & The Broken Bones give the old Otis Redding vibe a new and modern twist. Chilly Gonzalez is an all-around amazing pianist that plays any genre he wants and also collaborated with Boys Noize for an album.

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?

I don’t use a lot of hardware equipment actually. I record everything with 1 mic, the Sure sm7b, and don’t use any analog synthesizers. I guess it’s the software that really defines my sound. I always use Kjaerhus compressors on my kicks and claps/snares. And I tend to use very cheap piano VSTs – I like the imperfection of it. Also I love most plugins of waves that really add dirt and warmth to your channels.

What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?

It’s high speed. People are really consuming music very fast nowadays. Your music has to sound spot on right away, because nowadays less people actually take time to listen to an album a couple of times. For some music (some of the best) it really takes time to appreciate it. So it’s almost impossible for musicians to make complex, experimental music and make a living from it. People nowadays want to listen to a song for a couple of weeks and then move on.

Where do you gather song writing inspiration?

I’m a crate-digger. Not only in the actual sense of the word, but I tend to get my inspiration from the works of others. If I need inspiration I watch Art House films, go to museums, listen to records, read books etc. Of course I don’t just copy ideas that I see there, but I do combine stuff to create something new.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?
I always start with a sample. I tend to start building an 8/16 bar loop around that sample, depending on its size. Then I come up with chords. If I have an 8/16 bar loop that I think is perfect, I start building an arrangement around it.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?

That has to be in the legendary l’Olympia in Paris. I think I was the first Dutch DJ to actually headline my own show there ever. I played with a live violist, pianist, vocalist, percussionist, saxophonist and guitarist. It was the first time I did a full-on live performance. It was sold out and everything went amazing. I even brought my parents along too, they were very proud!

And the worst?
I had to play a two-hour gig in a subtropical indoor swimming pool once. The crowd did not get the music nor did they appreciate it so they started splashing water towards me and my setup. And did I mention it was like 40 degrees celsius in there? And that I didn’t know I was gonna play in a pool so I was fully dressed? And I got a request to play Gangnam Style every 2 minutes. Worst gig ever.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

I think I would be a filmmaker. It is still my dream and ambition to make a film one day.

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?

I’d really love to play Coachella one day. And Glastonbury. Those are the only two left on my bucket list!

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?

Even though it’s impossible I would love to play with the original band Queen. I think they are the best live act there has ever been. A voice like Freddy’s… Their guitar play and solos. Everything.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

Well I just released a new record with Alex Clare called Living. It’s a very original sound in my opinion. Also I have a lot of new tracks coming up as well! Big USA tour is planned for September where I’m gonna do 23 shows in 30 days. My next collaboration is with a big artist, but I can’t say who yet!

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