"Sometimes it's also hard to know if people are treating you a certain way because of your age or the fact that you're starting out rather than the fact that you're a woman."
Women are killing it in the music industry, and song lovers couldn't be happier! In our column, #WomenCrushWednesday, each week, we'll feature an awesome lady whose tunes are blowing up our playlists and ask them about their musical journey.
BAUM has made a splashy debut at a time when strong women singer-songwriters are absolutely vital. Her coming-of-age is chartered across the deeply personal songs, tackling issues from cat-calling to identifying as a queer musician. She tells us about her experience in the industry, her favorite song from the EP, and much more!
How did you become interested in music?
I was always obsessed with music as a kid! There was always stuff playing in my house and I just took to it and was always singing along. I think it was natural from there to start writing my own versions of what I was hearing. It kind of progressed from there.
Courtesy of Fancy PR
You were born in New York and are now based in Los Angeles. Which coast do you think is better (or at least for music)?
Hm... It's hard for me to judge from an unbiased perspective because when I was in New York I was going to school and not working professionally. I was very much on my own musically and it wasn't until I got to L.A. that I started really collaborating with other artists. I love L.A. so much though and, if I had to guess, I think L.A. has a better music scene overall.
Your music is classified as alternative-soul-pop. How would you describe this genre/the songs you write?
I'd say that is a fair description. The melodies and production in my songs are super pop, but the lyrics make it alternative. I do a lot of weird shit with my voice which gives it the "soulful" aspect you're talking about. I have very weird inflections that kind of come straight from the gut. It's the same with certain lyrics.
Courtesy of Fancy PR
I read you're also an undergraduate student at USC. What's it like balancing music and schoolwork?
I wouldn't know because I dropped out as soon as I started getting really busy, hahaha.
What has your experience been like as a woman in the music industry?
I get asked that a lot and it's hard to answer succinctly because there are so many parts of my job affected by my gender. Sometimes it's also hard to know if people are treating you a certain way because of your age or the fact that you're starting out rather than the fact that you're a woman. For me, something I've noticed is that when you're working with someone and you're being nice, they can perceive it as you being interested in them. Sometimes I have to walk a certain line between being nice and professional and being cold and focused because things get misinterpreted.
Can you tell us a little about the writing and recording process for your latest EP, Ungodly?
I wrote three of the five songs alone and two of them with friends, over the course of a year and a half. I had no idea I was going to call it "Ungodly" until the very last minute. I wrote the title track the night before I went into the studio for the last day of recording and banged it out that day.
Have you got a favorite track from the release?
Hm... probably "Ungodly" because it is completely uncensored. I wrote it straight from my emotions, went in and recorded it, and didn't really change much.
Your songs come from a very personal place and are quite emotionally raw. Is this challenging for you when crafting them?
It's usually very cathartic and sometimes I end up sharing too much with the people I write with. I fully talk about everything happening in my life and try to be as honest as possible in my songs. Sometimes recording is hard because it conjures up the things I've repressed, but usually it ends up just making me feel a lot better. It's sort of like therapy.
What is coming up next for you?
I'm writing and recording a second EP right now and doing a couple collabs!! Hopefully going on tour in the fall as well...I'll keep you guys updated.
Rachel A.G. Gilman is a writer, a former radio producer, and probably the girl wearing the Kinks shirt. She is the creator of The Rational Creature and suggests you check it out. Also visit her website for more.
Have an artist we should profile? Send a pitch email to Rachel.
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