“I try to make things sound beautiful even when they’re not”: An Interview with Martyna Baker

My introduction to Martyna Baker came in the form of a new bands showcase in late 2010. Alone, she took to the stage, guitar in hand, and after the briefest if introduction began plucking melodies that immediately began to quieten the murmuring audience. As soon as she began to sing, they were silent.

With elements of soul and folk, the acoustic set consisting of extremely heartfelt songs was one that engaged and moved the audience. Martyna describes her music as, “Honest soulful (slightly melodramatic) pop music.” “As a child I loved music and used it to escape the boredom of being an only child amongst other things but I didn’t begin to write songs until about four years ago” she says.

Often based on personal experience, much of her lyrics surround affairs of the heart, “Whenever I talk about love its personal and I write very honestly. I find it really cathartic. Though at times it can be embarrassing if the person is in the audience.” One illustration of the influence of personal experiences is Martyna’s favourite track, ‘Love Fast’. “‘Love Fast’ is my baby, I made it straight after speaking to someone I really liked and I just decided they were no good for me and that love was bullshit!” Another favourite is her latest track, ‘Hold Hearts’, “Recently, I wrote a song with Sam Dixon called ‘Hold Hearts’ which I really like too, it just feels really epic, I think Sam’s production is perfect.”

Martyna’s influence doesn’t come solely from past relationships. “I get my inspiration from all the people in my life and but mainly ex-partners and my parents. I find London quite inspiring too and have recently started writing about it. Musically I am inspired by a variety of sounds but Paul Simon and Joan Armatrading are probably my biggest inspirations lyrically. I try to make things sound beautiful even when they’re not.”

In recent months, Martyna has shelved the described lone guitarist image and formed a band. “I want to get better and be more adventurous as a performer and I feel having a band behind me will allow me to do that. Also over the past few months I’ve been doing a lot of co-writes and some of the songs just sound better with a band. My managers recommended my drummer and bassist and my keyboard player is one of my best friends from school. They’re all cool so its been really fun.” Alongside a change in Martyna’s musical ensemble has been a change in her sound and sentiment, “Over the past year or so I’ve become happier as a person and so naturally I have written about more upbeat/lighthearted things. There’s only so much moaning I can do about my childhood! Also, previously I was writing songs alone in my bedroom  and now I’m getting to do writing sessions with amazing writers like Bernard Butler so there has been some movement sonically. “

When asked about any ultimate career goals, Martyna states, “I’ve never been driven to do music by external things like money etc so I don’t really have massive goals. Music just feels like something I have to do.”

“At the moment I’m really trying to improve the live show. I’ve done a lot of writing and I feel like a record is coming together but I’m still writing just in case there are any more gems hiding in there.



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