On The Record: LA-based songwriter Baer talks to us about ‘Addicted To Vibes’, Charli XCX and being independent.

Hey! Could you tell us a little bit about your musical influences?

More recently, I’ve been obsessed with Charli XCX and her latest mixtapes. I love the pushing-edge pop production that A.G. Cook so perfectly combines with the songwriting. It’s the kind of pop music I feel cool listening to, and it makes me want to get turnt, dance, and bawl my eyes out all in one session. The two of them together are magic, and SOPHIE as well. Those are the sonics I’m currently super moved by.

A few other new artists I’ve been fanning out over are Kim Petras and Tove Styrke. I love that their songs are unabashedly pop with great songwriting. It’s so easy to get away with mediocre songwriting these days with the polish of modern production…but a truly well written song stands the test of time.

How would you describe the sound you’ve crafted over your last few releases?

I would describe my music as a fresh take on pop. I love listening to music in a variety of genres within pop (which is fortunately a huge umbrella now) and as somebody who started off as a songwriter, I often had to write in many different genres. Through those experiences, I’m starting to let those skills flow through my writing for my own music. That goes for the sonic choices as well. It’s a blend of electronic, pop, and urban.

Where are you based?

I am currently based in Los Angeles.

How does your city impact your music?

Being in LA definitely impacts my music as this is the heart of the pop music scene. There are so many amazing creatives out here and the hunger and thirst to make a statement in culture, or get that Billboard Top 10, really pushes my music to the next level. I’ve created tons of songs with people thats a result of a good blend of our chemistries, which I would not be able to do by myself/elsewhere.

How has your experience as an independent artist changed over the last couple of years?

I think the biggest thing that’s changed is my mentality – and that’s also taken time and effort as I’ve had to re-train my thinking patterns. I used to feel like I needed a manager or a dedicated team to reach my goals; I’ve been doing this completely solo for about a year and a half now, and I’ve done far more for myself and by myself than I ever did when I had a manager. It’s amazing to be able to have a great manager who will really work for you and a team that can figure out things for you – but that is not a necessity. If you’re getting bogged down trying to find that instead of making stuff happen for yourself your focus is in the wrong place. Also, a bad team player can hurt you more than help you, which people often forget.

Ironically, it’s actually been liberating realizing this for myself; I’ve dove into other artistic outlets that coincide with my music and help me grow as an artist overall. I’ve started tinkering in other areas such as production, graphics, video editing, and recently picked up the drumsticks. Hopefully I can morph into a musical beast in no time – BAER 3.0! Lol.

Do you feel the barriers are coming down for independents, in terms of the ability to create and release effectively?

For sure. As I study new artists that break, it’s definitely becoming more and more easy for unknown people to catch attention and fans. With Spotify’s algorithms, it’s so easy to discover new artists who sound like the artists you know and like already. It really is changing the game for new creatives. Everyone is on a level playing field – if your stuff is dope enough, it will be heard. In addition to that, with spotify streams for independent artists – it is actually possible to make a living from your streams, even if you aren’t as huge as Post Malone, say. That is also a game changer.

What does the new single draw upon thematically?

The new single, Addicted To Vibes, is an anthem for the 90% of “single” people who are just in complicated situations. It was actually inspired by a group of my girl friends in LA – who all claim they are single but come to me every other day with guy problems. With the same guy! Girls, that’s not called being single.

Did the track evolve significantly in the studio from the original demo?

For sure. The song actually started off with just me, my friend JVZEL (who also makes dope music) and a couple of splice loops. We both freestyled a few melody takes  after we made this simple track. I later edited together a comp melody similar to what you’re hearing in the final song. I wrote the first half of the lyrics and then finished it with the help of JVZEL and our friend Mugz. After that I sent the whole song to my friend Zack (who works for Kanye and has done most of my productions, how cool is that) who built a track around the song to what it is today.

What do fans have to look forward to over the next few months?

More new music and some visuals! I have music set to be released until the end of the year, and I’m currently working on new stuff for 2019. Exciting times!


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