Meet The Artist: Brandon Baker

Back in 2009, Métis singer/songwriter/guitarist Brandon Baker picked up a nomination for Aboriginal Artist of the Year at the Saskatchewan Country Music Awards. He has since been named an “Artist to Watch” by the Edmonton Music Awards (2015) and was a finalist in the 2017 Canadian Songwriting Competition, with two of his songs placing in the Aboriginal category. His current project, Electric Religious, is a four-piece rock band based in Edmonton.

In the latest edition of Meet The Artist, Brandon shares his favourite song of all time, the best advice he’s ever received and more.

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Name: Brandon Baker

City: Edmonton

Genre: Indie Rock

Influences:

I’m a huge fan of classic stuff! Everything from soul and R&B to rock and metal. My favourite stuff is jazz, although that influence doesn’t show very much in my band’s music!

The first album I bought:

Ha! Nazareth’s Greatest Hits. Like I said, I love the classic stuff!

The first concert I went to:

I went to a Brooks & Dunn concert with my family when I was a very young boy, but the first concert that I really wanted to go to was Metallica. I saw them in Saskatoon during the St. Anger tour. I don’t think I’ve rocked out harder since.

The last concert i went to:

Jesse & The Dandelions at the Accent Lounge in Edmonton. They’re a fantastic band that I recommend everyone check out.

The last song I listened to:

Full House by Wes Montgomery. He’s becoming one of my favourite guitar players.

My favourite song of all time:

Stash by Phish. I think it’s very unique, the arrangement is clever, and the performance is flawless. It hits all the right emotions for me. It’s off of Picture of Nectar. That whole album is surreal.

The one song I wish i’d written:

Time by Pink Floyd. The lyrical content is so on point, and the production on that is so great. It just goes to show that with the right ingredients, a recipe can really become timeless. Plus, if I ever lay down a guitar solo as good as the one on that track, I think I will die a happy man. I also can’t get enough of the background vocals!

My dream gig:

Musically, it would have to be on the Stevie Wonder gig. He has such high caliber musicians in his band, and to play with them would be so amazing. He’s written some of the funkiest tracks ever made. But in all honesty, I’ve already got my dream gig in being a dad to my son, Arthur!

Myself in three words:

Particular and stubborn, but optimistic.

Best piece of advice I’ve ever received:

The producer we work with, Stew Kirkwood, has given me some amazing nuggets of advice over the years. But the one that stuck with me most was something I actually heard secondhand that he said: “Brandon is going to be an incredible guitarist once he learns how to slow down.” That’s always in my head, and I think my band mates can attest that that will be true, if it ever happens.

Beatles or Rolling Stones:

I think the Rolling Stones are great and all, but the Beatles just did WAY more for contemporary music, on and off the stage, than the Stones ever did.

What I do to pay the bills:

I work as a beverage consultant based out of Edmonton. I get hired to design cocktail menus and train the staff to execute them. I try my best to instill good habits and a compassionate service philosophy. I also help with product knowledge, put on special events, and consult for major conglomerates on events, products and beverage-related marketing.

When I’m not making music, I’m …

In school, finishing my Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Contemporary Music at MacEwan University in Edmonton. Other than that, I am more often than not found with my partner Olivia and our son Arthur. Sometimes, I like to read a book over a pint at the Next Act.

Something people would be surprised to learn about me:

I was more interested in psychology and philosophy than in music during high school. I’ve always wondered how the brain worked, and the hidden forces behind our decisions.

If my life were a song, the title would be …

That’s easy because it’s already the title of my first album: So This Is Life?

 

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