Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: BAYNK

The artist talks the youth-inspired theme of his new album ADOLESCENCE and his earliest memories of music.

Baynk standing
Baynk standing

New music Fridays are always something to be excited about, and if you should be looking for a new album to stick on repeat, BAYNK’s ADOLESCENCE is the project for you. Featuring the artist’s ethereal tone clashing with avant-garde production and collaborative verses from the likes of Tinashe and Rainsford, the album situates itself as a sonic masterpiece, sure to throw you into the depths of his experimental world. With tracks such as “Naked”, which has just received its own music video, “Till It’s Even” and “Esther” filling out the 10-piece project, BAYNK proves himself to be an artist worthy of the name, one sure to dominate the music scene in 2022.

“I’ve been through a few phases in my life where I’ve just run out of inspiration and the music has stopped flowing. I was going through one of these phases and it just occurred to me that I didn’t have to write about how I was feeling now, I could write about things from the past and put a lens on moments that I didn’t have the emotional capacity to understand at the time. It’s a reflection on my youth,” explains the artist when divulging the creative process behind the album.

Upon the release of his debut album, the artist sat down with Wonderland to discuss his first memories of music and looking to the past to inform his present-day work. Head below to enjoy our interview with BAYNK…

Hi BAYNK, how are you? Did you enjoy the holidays?
I am brushing off another tour postponement, which is mildly depressing, but things could be worse! A New Zealand summer has been a fantastic reprieve from the gloomy London winter.

Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions going into 2022?
To do some proper touring with big production, friends and lots of dancing. Writing some meaningful music is always on the list as well. I’m not the best goal-setter and tend to take things as they come.

Let’s start at the beginning! What is your earliest memory associated with
music?

Sitting at my first piano teacher’s piano, aged 5, learning scales and hating it. I was never very interested in theory or regimented learning. I wanted to play songs I loved. In the end, my teacher would trade me practising my scales for her teaching me the “cool” songs.

Who are your biggest inspirations when it comes to music?
They’ve changed over the years but Bon Iver, James Blake & KAYTRANADA have always been staples. I’m currently inspired by Caroline Polachek, Sam Gellaitry, Phoebe Bridgers, The 1975 and Ross from Friends, to name a few out of many.

Can you talk us through the origins of your name, BAYNK?
Nothing too exciting, unfortunately! A shower thought and my requirement to not have a name with any definition.

You now live in London but were born in New Zealand! Do you think spending time in those two very different places has impacted your sound?
I am definitely a child of the internet; any would guess that the large majority of musical impact has come from that realm. In saying that, the experiences I’ve had in both countries are very different, and songs that have come out of a specific place tend to be shaped by that environment. The songs made in New Zealand tend to be brighter and more open in comparison to things I’ve made overseas. It’s not always the case though.

Congratulations on the release of your debut album! How are you feeling about the world hearing it?
Thank you! Ecstatic honestly, I love all the music on it and it’s ready to be out there. Releasing a project is always a relief for me after having sat with it for so long. It kind of consumes your life. Letting it go opens up a lot of space for living and ideation.

Baynk
Baynk sitting
Baynk
Baynk sitting

The album is named ADOLESCENCE Did you look to your own youth to inform the themes present in the album?
I’ve been through a few phases in my life where I’ve just run out of inspiration and the music has stopped flowing. I was going through one of these phases and it just occurred to me that I didn’t have to write about how I was feeling now, I could write about things from the past and put a lens on moments that I didn’t have the emotional capacity to understand at the time. It’s a reflection on my youth.

Can you talk to us about the production process behind the album? How do you usually go about writing and producing songs?
I usually do it in bursts and try to write a lot of songs very quickly. I’m very quick to throw ideas away, which can be a blessing or a curse. It usually looks like me finding a sample or background noise to work over which sets the scene. Following that, I’ll start playing piano to find a good musical base or if I’m feeling more experimental I’ll run some sounds through guitar pedals to get something different and interesting. It’s mainly just throwing things at the proverbial wall and seeing what sticks. A lot of trial and error.

Do you have a favourite track from the album? If so, why is it your favourite?
It changes day to day! At the moment, it’s “When I’m Alone”. It’s just such a simple feel-good tune that makes everything feel uncomplicated and blissful.

You also collaborated with the likes of Tinashe for the album! What was that like?
Incredible. I’ve loved her work for so long, she’s such an icon and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to be in her sphere. Working with her on the “Esther” music video was a dream as well, she’s so multi-faceted and good at so many different things (dancing, creative direction etc.)

Aside from the album, what do you have planned for 2022?
I can’t give all my secrets away, unfortunately, plus these past couple years have made it hard to plan! But there will be shows and at some point, if the inspiration is found, music. I’ve got my first ever performances in Paris and Berlin which I’m excited about, and a pretty big show in my new home town London. My US tour will happen finally and triumphantly in the fall, and hopefully, I’ll be able to perform a few fun festivals and visit new places.

NEW NOISE: BAYNK

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