The sensational Baba spoke to MNÁSOME ahead of her appearance at MNÁSOME LIVE on the 13th of September in The Workman’s Club. We talked inspiration from fellow artists, the need for a focus on women in the music industry and more…
What drives you to write and perform?
I am not sure that it is so much a drive that keeps me writing & performing but more of a inherent need. There are so many times I have tried to ‘give it up’ so to speak, move on, find solace in working full time at something that is marginally interesting and pays well, I most certainly think it would be an easier existence but it is always there somewhere, an itch that won’t scratch. It can be very lonely and exhausting, trying to keep struggling in what is an extremely hard industry but when I haven’t written or sung for a while I start to notice, it’s not good for my mental health, whether I like it or not it is my outlet, my biggest release and I can hand on heart say it has definitely saved my life over the years.
What other musicians, or other forms of art, do you take inspiration from when you are writing?
Vocals are my thing, vocalists that will never be replicated; Nina Simone, Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Jeff Buckley, Freddie Mercury.
An artist who can make me feel something with just a melody, that doesn’t need to be hidden behind how they look or what they pretend to stand for in order to sell records. For me if I don’t feel something genuine from the sound that is being created then what’s the point?
My two favourite artists in the world at the moment are Tim Walker and Linder Sterling, they provoke something in me similar to that paralysis I get with an amazing vocal, that utter inability to explain what it is you are feeling other than just right.
Having said all of that, it is important to note that the Spice Girls are life!
Agreed. Spice Girls are life! Speaking of Girl Power, do you think it is important to put a focus on women in the music industry? Why?
I think it is imperative and even more so I think creating a community of women who can work together, feed off each other and support each other is even more important.
I had always wanted an all female band for Baba, I put the project on hold for nearly six months while I searched and I was astounded at the lack of female musicians actively working in the industry.
At the moment I have one female in my band, the brilliant Rhiannon and don’t get me wrong the males in my band are equally as brilliant but the point is that the amount of males working as musicians greatly outweighed the amount of females and it needs to change.
What women inspire you in your career?
I am inspired by so many women and especially those that I am fortunate enough to work with when creating the ‘Baba’ aesthetic. Women like Kiki Na Art who created the neck-piece I wear for the majority of my live shows and Dolly Delinquent aka Amanda Eustace whose creations I love to wear on stage. Women who are battling everyday against the mass produced, disposable culture we are becoming so accustomed to, those fighting to keep the medium of art alive. I try to do the same with my music and these women inspire me to keep on trucking.
What can we expect from your performance at MNÁSOME LIVE?
I am going to take you on a bit of a journey, some bits happy, some bits not so much, but you will be guaranteed plenty of soul.
Baba is set to release a new single at the end of September with an intimate secret gig planned for it’s release. When the withdrawal symptoms become too much after her performance at MNÁSOME LIVE, you can catch her again for an acoustic set at ‘The Crow Bar Sessions’ on 8th October. Check out her music below…
Featured image by Laura Sheeran.