Meeting somewhere between John Mayer, Prince and Stevie Wonder, Kris Baya is responsible for a refreshing soul-pop sound. He popped into the studio to record a stripped back performance of Ain't the Same - a track that is sitting pretty in its 7th week in The Amazing Chart - and Sex, Lies, Secrets and Heartbreak.
So, has it always been just Kris Baya, or were you in previous outfits?
Well, back around the last year of school, a friend and I started experimenting with music and writing songs just as something to do. We figured that since the girls seemed to be into musicians; we were on to something! Haha! Somehow we were spotted by a management company and I guess that’s where my musical development started. To cut a long story short, the management company wasn’t really taking us anywhere and we terminated the contract. I guess my friend lost patience with it all and stopped, and from that moment I became a solo artist.
It's been a while since we've had a pop act in our studio so I have to ask, three best pop albums?
Oooo, that’s REALLY hard. But I’d say the top three are The Gold Experience by Prince, Thriller/Dangerous by Michael Jackson (bit of a cheat!) and Continuum by John Mayer.
Your manager told me that you’re a self taught musician, have you been around music your whole life and how did you get into it?
For as long as I long as I can remember, music has always been very prominent in my life. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to such a wide variety of music growing up, which I guess is a result of the music that I make. I get asked all the time “How do you describe your music?” and I always struggle to know how to answer, because it truly has elements of everything from soul to latin, jazz and funk... so now I just call it “credible pop” to make it easier for everyone!
Your session was stripped right back to just you and a piano or guitar, what can people expect at your live shows?
I like to change things up musically all the time. I like the dynamic of a different sound to what people are used to hearing on the original version of a record; whether it be a stripped down acoustic version, or played with a full band doing a slightly different arrangement. But however I decide to do it, I think people can expect a great show.
Would you say that it’s harder to break into a scene playing soulful pop music than being say, an indie guitar band?
A few years ago, I’d say absolutely yes, but if you take a look at the charts at the moment; you’ll see that soulful pop music is dominating now and even having major success in the US with artists such as Adele and Corrine Bailey Rae. What I have learnt about the music business over the years is that there are certain trends that will come and go, but great music and classic songs will always have a chance, no matter what the current trend is.
Do you have any advice for emerging artists trying to get themselves heard?
I would say to get to know yourself as an artist. Understand what you do, what your strengths are and what makes you different. Experimentation is very important for musical growth and there’s nothing wrong with it, just don’t lose yourself in the process.
What have been highlights for you so far as an artist?
In all honesty the biggest highlight is just being able to do what I love; which is creating music and have it be appreciated by people. I have a great team that I’m so lucky to be working with; from my management, to my producers, band members and everyone else that is involved in the progression of my career.
Your single Ain't the Same is an Amazing Radio favourite, what can we expect from your next single?
You can definitely expect something with the same kind of ingredients as Ain’t the Same, and you’ll definitely hear my guitar somewhere in the mix as always. You can expect a great record that you can bob your head and tap your foot to!
Lastly, how was your Amazing Sessions experience in our studio?
The session was definitely worth the 5 hour journey it took to get there! Haha. But seriously, the guys were fantastic and made us feel right at home. Had a great time chilling out and playing for the good people at Amazing Radio. Thanks again for having me in for the session, and for all of your support of the record!