Inspired by hip-hop, meet the UK’s next singer-songwriter superstar.
Joel Baker is a name you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the coming months. For this young singer-songwriter is fast becoming one of the most-talked about new music talents in the UK. With a beautiful voice similar to Ben Howard and Jason Mraz, and a guitar-style that is perfect for a summer’s evening, he’s got all the quality to become a real star.
His debut single ‘Further Than Feelings’ has already been played by some of the main tastemaker DJs on daytime radio, and his summer continues apace with festival shows. We talked to him while we had the chance!
Hello Joel, we hear you have an interesting job as well as making music?
Yes! After I moved to London from Nottingham after university, I started to work in the House of Commons. I'm still working in Parliament full time.
When did you start making music?
As soon as I moved to London I met some amazing producers and rappers that inspired me to pursue music seriously. For a year I've been gigging around London, and I've done a national tour with Ryan Keen and recently had a few plays on the main UK station, Radio 1. I would describe my music as 'soulish folk', as it's organic, story-teller music, but with the same raw character as early soul music.
Is there an artist or band you'd love to collaborate with?
I'd love to jam with John Mayer. I'd love to work behind the scenes on a Kanye West project. And I'd love to collaborate with either Drake or J.Cole, hmm, do I have to decide?! I'd also love to sit down and talk about songwriting with Ben Howard or Ray Lamontagne.
Where in the world would you love to go and perform?
I would love to perform in the States or Australia. I love both cultures, and they have a rich appreciation for singer-songwriters.
What do you have lined up for summer?
Lots of festivals. My EP is coming out in July too which I'm super excited about, and I'm also recording my next release. Busy, but good-busy.
Tell us about the location you have chosen for your Placelist?
The location is Holloway, London. Holloway is where it all started. Holloway is a very special place for me, because it's where I've recorded all my stuff up until now. I do all my rehearsals, showcase all my new ideas, and generally 'do life' in my producers’ flat in Holloway. It's home for me, in spirit and soul and I love the realness of it.
Do you write your music at home?
I think the best music is made when you are completely at ease in your surroundings - as a songwriter it makes it easier to free yourself and let things come out in the lyrics.