Lydia Baylis

Lydia Baylis

Lydia Baylis is an artist to watch out for this year as she releases her debut single Mirrors later this summer.

We caught up with her to chat about the single, the upcoming album and what lies ahead.

- You are set to release your debut single Mirrors later this summer so what can we expect from this new track?

The EP will be the track Mirrors and then we are going to do an acoustic version of it as well as having a B-side track as well. It is quite dark; it is about obsessive love and the lyrics are quite dark.

There is quite a lot of heavier instrumentation so it is not a very cheery summer song (laughs). It has got some movement to it and, hopefully, it is exciting in its own way.

- As I say it is your debut single so how does this track introduce you what does it say about you as an artist?

Dark and cinematic pop was the vibe that I was going for and I think that it totally manages to encapsulate all of those things. It is a taster of what the album is going to sound like.

- There is still a few weeks until the song is finally released but how have you found the response so far?

Very good; which is really exciting? It's interesting how people interpret the lyrics and everyone has their own ideas of what they think it is about - that has been quite interesting for me.

Lots of people pick up on the slightly obsessive element of this particular relationship. When I wrote it I was actually thinking about an experience of my own of a platonic relationship rather than a romantic relationship.

But a lot of the people that I have spoken to do see it as maybe an abusive romantic relationship of a stalking scenario; people do interpret it their own way.

- This is the first track to be lifted off the album A Darker Trace so how does this track introduce to the rest of that record?

Hopefully it is an indication of what it is going to be like musically; it is that big guitar led cinematic sound.

Then also there are darker and more uncomfortable lyrics that I have written about for most of the songs.

- You teamed up with Paul Statham, Richard Cardwell and Owen Parker to write the album so how did that come about?

I was introduced to Paul Statham through my mangers about two and a half years ago and he is really generous songwriter and a lovely man. Through doing some gigs I was introduced to Richard, who then introduced me to Owen.

But it was probably a year after first getting to know them that we started writing together; they then went on to produce the album. So it was all very organic but these things take a bit of time.

- How did you find the whole co-writing process?

I definitely find it very helpful as it is good to have other minds and ideas in the room.

It is always good to have something to bounce your ideas off as well; sometimes you will come up with something and you think that it is great and then someone has to tell you it is pretty rubbish (laughs).

I personally find it very rewarding writing like that, I really do like it.

- Richard and Owen have also gone on to produce the album so what has their influence brought to this record?

That is an interesting question. We all sat down and talked about where we wanted it to go and they suggested and then lead having a bigger, fuller and broader sound.

A lot of my influences are quite folky and acoustic and they beefed that up in their producing roles - that was great because I probably wouldn't have been brave enough to try some of those things without them.

- How have you found the whole experience of getting into the studio and getting your music recorded?

It was really fun. The recording is interesting because you do have to sing the same thing again and again and again and then sing it like you mean it; by the time you have sung the same line for the seventy fifth time you are like 'I don't care anymore' (laughs). But it was very fun and I really enjoyed it.

- So where did you love of music start? And what music were you listening to as you were growing up?

I was very much influenced by my father's love of music and what he was listening to. I remember Van Morrison and David Bowie and that whole generation of music was really the first stuff that I listened to.

When I was eleven or twelve I found Tori Amos, Regina Spektor and Joni Mitchell and I was like 'wow, here are all these amazing women and they are singing about their feelings and everyone is listening'.

- How has that music influenced the music that you are making now?

That is a really good question. I think firstly the confessions and lyrical style of a lot of people that I like I really took encouragement from as I realised that I could write about how I felt and people were going to be interested.

I guess that is the thing that I have drawn the most. Compositionally it is quite different to the other stuff that I was listening to then.

- We are always hearing about how difficult it is for new artists to find their way into the industry and land deals. So while it is a little easier to get your music out there with social media it isn't as easy getting yourself established. So how have you found that whole process?

It is an interesting one because on one level music is so available on the internet and it is so easy to make. And then with things like SoundCloud it does make it easier to put music out there.

The next level up - where people are actually listening to it rather than you just pushing out and no one is paying attention - is quite difficult.

You hope that you are going to be in the right place at the right time and someone is going to go 'I pick you' - but that doesn't really happen. You just have to work at it and you just have to chip away at it a lot.

- You are just starting out on your music career so is there anything in particular that you would like to achieve over the next couple of years?

I would love to do a proper tour and I would love to do a European tour as well. I would also love to play on Later With Jools Holland; you feel like he only lets you on there is you are good and so that would be an amazing assurance.

- Are you and the label already giving some thought to getting your music out outside of the UK?

I think they are certainly giving it some thought. We are focusing 90% on keeping it UK based at the moment - but if any leads did come up we would be there in a flash.

- You have talked about how you would love to do a tour but are there some live shows coming up over the summer?

I have one on 9th July at the down at The Bedford in Balam. Then we have one on the 15th August, which is the EP release, which is in a venue called The Rattlesnake in Islington. So we do have live stuff to look forward to.

- Finally what is next for you going through the second half of this year?

We are doing more gigs come the autumn as well as releasing a second EP in October. We are hoping to do some regional dates around that as well. But I also have a string of radio shows coming up as we continue to plug everything.

Lydia Baylis' singe Mirrors is released 5th August.

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