Radar is the music event that insures to showcase the best unsigned acts and newly-signed talent from across the UK, and it made its welcome return to London’s Under the Bridge, earlier this month. The event was a collaboration between Music Week, ILUVLIVE and MusicConnex and this month’s line up saw a wide variety of diverse artists and bands gracing the stage, including Ghetts, The Lottery Winners, Rascals, Joel Baker and Ayanna Witter-Johnson.
I caught up with some of the artists that are performing at the event to talk about their music, their anticipation for the night and what 2014 holds for them, plus much, much more. This segment features an exclusive interview with Nottingham born singer/songwriter Joel Baker.
Joel Baker’s soulful tones will undoubtedly leave you breathless. After the release of his début EP, Long Sleeves, last year, he stormed on to our radar and many others, and with anticipation reaching breaking point for his follow up, the Every Vessel, Every Vein EP ,it’s set to take Joel Baker to dizzying heights.
With it being an industry showcase, knowing that the organisers of the event have tipped you as one’s to watch, is there any added pressure to live up to that title and performing at an event like this? Also, knowing that there might be influential industry types in the audience watching and expecting to be overwhelmingly impressed, surely that must bring some added pressure, it’s not just like playing another gig?
Perhaps. But you never know who is watching, whether you’re playing to 3 or 300 people. All you can think about as a performer is to mean every word you say and enjoy yourself.
How was it when you got the call that you’re one of the lucky ones to be asked to play the Radar event?
I was pleased, it’s a great event run by great people. I was even more pleased because I know it’s held at Stamford Bridge (I’m a closet Chelsea fan).
What are your thoughts on the other artists that are playing on the night also? Have you heard any of their music?
I’m a big fan of Ayanna. She’s incredible. I also admire Ghetts’ ability. I grew up listening to Ghetts so in my mind he’s a legend.
What can people be expecting to hear from your set?
Soulful, honest music, with a hint of blues.
What’s one thing that people reading this should know about you that they might not know already?
I love eggs.
What’s the one song that sums up what you do, the best, that people should listen to, if they are new to your music?
Further Than Feelings. Although I’m about to release a new song called Every Vessel Every Vein which describes me best so far. So excited to put that out.
There’s a lot of buzz surrounding your covers of Kendrick Lemar and Kayne West songs. What was your thinking behind the renditions of the songs and do you enjoy reworking songs by other artists?
Yeah I enjoy reworking songs that I love. It’s something I hope to continue. I am a big hip hop fan, so it’s a real pleasure to cover those songs and appeal to that audience.
You recently played a gig in Harrods of all places with Katie Melua, how was that experience and how did it come about?
Incredible. Katie Melua was a hero of mine growing up, so it was a maaad experience getting to support her. She was in the audience as I played and I couldn’t believe it. My publishers, Perfect Songs, set that one up.
What’s next for Joel Baker in 2014?
New EP. Maybe 2. Loads of gigs. Hopefully first headline show. Hopefully some more love from BBC Radio 1. And then who knows…. we’ll see !
Is there anything that you’d like to add? Anything you’d like to say to your fans?
Thank you for being so patient for new music. I promise you these next four songs are worth the wait. Let the good times resume…
I wanted to say a special thank you to Joel Baker for this interview and for more info on Joel, check out the following links below.