Words By/Robert Frezza
Photos By/Valentina Cytrynowicz
Singer/songwriter BAUM gets it. She is wise beyond her years. She gets what it is to have emotional intelligence and maturity. It shined through when Ladygunn interviewed her and it beams in her music. Ladygunn sat down to talk to her about her single, “Bad Kid”, the themes behind her music, and her sexuality.
How did you get started in the music business? What was the deciding factor to launch your singing career?
I was always obsessed with music as a kid and wanted to be a “singer” but I didn’t know what that really meant. There wasn’t a defining moment for when I got into it professionally, I’ve just been working on music forever and eventually got to a place where I could play shows and release my songs. I started putting songs out on SoundCloud in high school and then releasing on Spotify/Apple etc. a couple years later, and that’s when it became more of a real job for me.
Your song “Bad Kid” shows you at a vulnerable time in your life. What is the story behind it?
“Bad Kid” is a song about losing someone and not really having closure. I lost someone close to me and had no intention of writing about. I didn’t know where to start a song about such complicated, heavy thing. Normally, for me, a song is just about one simple event or idea, but this was about everything I was feeling inside and it seemed too big to write about. I really didn’t expect it and then this song just happened one day.
What made you choose Iceland for the “Bad Kid” video shoot? Was it as cold as it looked?
Oh my god. It was so, so much colder than it looked. My hands would literally thaw when I got back inside the car.
I wanted to go on a trip with my friends. Some of them had been to Iceland before (shooting a video) and wanted to go back. My friend Marcella who directed it was like “let’s take a trip, go back, and shoot something.” It was really the perfect place to show the isolation and physical journey of grief.
Your EP Ungodly was released last year. Are there any plans for a follow up?
I’m working on a project right now that’s going to be a lot heavier than the first one. This year was super intense for me and I grew up a lot. I don’t want to hold back at all in the music, so what I’ve been working on is just very transparent and sort of intense. I don’t have an expected release date yet, but there will probably be a few more singles.
What does it mean to be gay in the music industry right now?
I think it’s a really interesting time to be a queer person in music. In the past, being an openly queer artist had the potential to put you in a box, but I don’t think that’s the case as much today. There are definitely issues with people wanting to market and commoditize your sexuality, but for the most part, I do feel like my queerness is celebrated and accepted by the people around me in the industry.
You sing about a variety of topics—feminism, sexuality, and body image. What other themes are important for you to get across to your audience in 2019?
Those are still themes that I’m working on – they’re lifelong issues for me that I will continue to learn about. I’ve learned a lot about myself recently, so the way that I want to talk about those issues feels different and more transparent. I’m in a place right now where I don’t want to water anything down and I think it’s important to talk about how these issues affect women in a very real way. I guess I’ve been writing a lot about regret, shame, and rejecting the feelings that came as a result of being different.
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