|   |  3 min read


Louis Baker has been one of the country's most feted, awarded and successful artists of the past decade, despite only one album and one EP in that time.

He was nominated for three Silver Scroll (songwriting) awards, a couple of Tuis (New Zealand Music Awards) and won a Red Bull scholarship to New York.

His smart, sophisticated and soulful style has won him a huge audience (as has his humility) and with a new EP Love Levitates (co-produced with Devin Abrams, the first single the lovely clip at the end) and tie-in tour it is time for Louis Baker to answer a few questions . . .

Where did you grow up, and with who?

I grew up in Newtown - Wellington, with my Mum, Dad, and sister.

Was music an important part of your childhood?

Totally! My mum and dad were big on music and it informed a lot of my music taste - Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, Miles, and Hendrix were always on the record player.

What are your earliest childhood memories of music which really affected you . . .

The first memory that comes to mind is listening to Rubber Soul by The Beatles with my Dad when I was about 5. The other is dancing to Michael Jackson cassettes with my sis at age 6.

Was there a time when you felt it was going to be music and nothing else?

Not an exact moment, but just about. Cricket was my first real passion. I spent a lot of time practicing and I wanted to be the best batsman in the world. So there’s no doubt I was passionate about music to change the trajectory and put my life into writing songs. It was when I was 15 at school. I would wag class to play my guitar. I was so focused on getting good at it,  I couldn’t put it down.

louis_copyWhen you started your music career were people around you supportive or did you have to find those people?

I’m lucky. My family and friends supported me,  and I am fortunate to have had that support.

The first song of yours which you really felt proud of was . . .? And why that one?

Birds is the first song I felt proud of. I remember spending a lot of time crafting the lyrics, and had to dig really deep to get them.

Any one person you'd call a mentor, angel on your shoulder or invaluable fellow traveller?  

It would have to be, Cushla Aston. She is a loving, wise and all-round incredible human being. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to know her in this lifetime.

Where and when was the first time you went on stage as a paid performer?

Katipo Cafe - Willis Street, Wellington. (Not there anymore)

Ever had stage fright or just a serious failure of nerve before going on stage?

Many times. I used to be the shyest kid in class, and I’m not sure how I got into being a performer.

As a songwriter, do you carry a notebook or have a phone right there constantly to grab ideas they come? Or is your method something different?

I’m often writing notes on my phone, or taking voice memos of melodies and lyrics. I also have a stack of notebooks that are my favourite to write in.

What unfashionable album do you love as a guilty pleasure?

Back at One - Brain McKnight (Love this album!!!)

Any piece of advice you were given which you look back on which really meant something?

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants ~ Isaac Newton (and) 

The further one goes, the less one knows ~ Lao Tzu. 

It's after a performance/concert and you are in a hotel room or back at home, what happens then?

Probably a few beersies with the brothers.

Is there any fellow artist you admire for professional and/or personal reasons?

Stan Walker. He is an incredibly humble, generous and talented person with the biggest heart.

And finally, where to from here for you do you think?

Releasing my new record Love Levitates on June 18th, and my headline tour in July. Buy tickets now from to go and SEE YA BOI!!!!


Louis Baker photos by Ashley Graham used with permission.



Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   The Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire articles index



New Zealand singer-songwriter Erin Cole-Baker spent time in the US earlier this year and, given how her work would easily sit with both country and folk audiences it is no surrise that she is... > Read more



Saxophonist Andy Sugg is Melbourne-based and touring regularly across Australia and to Europe and the US. But he hasn't made it to New Zealand . . . yet. In April he brings his band here to... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Elsewhere Art . . . the Pipkins

Elsewhere Art . . . the Pipkins

After a lifetime listening to what Noel Coward dismissively called “cheap music”, Elsewhere is in no doubt about the reductive nature of pop music. But sometimes that's part of its... > Read more

SJD and Shayne Carter, Mercury Theatre, Auckland, October 10 2015

SJD and Shayne Carter, Mercury Theatre, Auckland, October 10 2015

In his funny, insightful and barely disguised autobiographical novel The Big Wheel of 1990, Bruce Thomas – then the former bassist with Elvis Costello's Attractions – tells of... > Read more