Carrie Baxter is a brilliantly talented southern Irish artist, who is proud to present her new single ‘Lady.’
The now solo artist boasts a sound that bends genres such as neo-soul, jazz, 90’s hip hop and indie.
Verge had the absolute pleasure of catching up with Carrie where we discussed her musical inspirations, the state of music as well as what drives her to continue to make music.
Paulie: What was it about music as a whole that made you want to like make a career out of it?
Carrie: I think it was just the freedom of it really, but I didn’t know that at the beginning. I always loved music, I’ve always grown up with music and my household was always full of music. I danced a lot when I was younger, so music was just there the whole way through. Then when I started writing,
I actually didn’t really know what it was that I was doing. I was writing for a good two or three years before I wholly understood the reason of why I wanted this to be my career. It was only actually really recently that I think it became the freedom of it, the almost therapy of it and just the creative expression. I was like, Oh Hey, I could actually do this for a living and get away with it.
So at one point, you had a stage name and now you just go by Carrie or your full name. Can you talk a little bit about going from the idea of having a stage name and then sort of just being yourself, the artist?
The stage name came from a band that I was in. I really liked the sound of it but I think deep down what I was doing was not being okay with everything that I was making. The band name, the groupness of everything to shelter me, it wasn’t truly me. All I actually wanted was to be a solo artist for a really long time and I think the stage name was almost like a cover-up that I didn’t realize it was.
Then as soon as I started to make music that felt authentic to me, something just clicked. It was almost this feeling of, “what are we doing with his name?” My logos, my website, anything that was branded with that, none of it felt right. I’m not gonna lie to you. The decision to use my own name terrifies me just a little bit, but I don’t think you’re growing unless you’re a little bit petrified of what you’re about to do. Right?
Talk to me a little about like your influences. Growing up, what music we’re you listening that inspired you and helped you become the artist you are today?
When I was a kid, I had the privilege of having a mother with impeccable taste in music. Whether you know it or not, subconsciously that impacting you in a big way when you’re still so young. My family, in general, played a lot of instruments, a lot of people sing in my family too. I was introduced to things like Fleetwood Mac, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Nora Jones. They were all being played in my house.
So then in my teenage years, I started to dance. I was a breaker for a little while and old school, nineties hip hop was the wave for maybe like six or seven years. Mainly like a tribe called quest, things like that. That real heavy sort of street hip hop, you know? And again, I didn’t realize it. When you start to break down your influences when you make music, you’re like, Whoa, I really liked them when I was growing up, you know?
Then I actually studied musical theatre, so that’s kind of when jazz came into it in a big way. Big band and the drama of everything really set in. When I studied musical theatre, I actually didn’t pursue it after I studied it. But it sunk into my musical blood somewhere and then that kind of melting part of everything came out when I started to write stuff.
You mentioned your background in musical theatre. Is there, a favourite play or musical that you have like off the top of your head?
Wicked. I’ve seen it five times.
That was fast. How about your favourite film?
I know I’m going to be judged for this but I’m going to go ahead and say Dirty Dancing. It’s a classic. It’s Patrick Swayze, you know, come on guys. Seriously. I mean I like so many films, but I think it’s just because it’s attached to your childhood. I remember watching it and copying the dances and then that leads you to want to be a dancer.
What is next for you as an artist? What are you building towards for the future and for your career?
Well, I think a project, a whole project is a big thing for me over the next year. I’m taking it as it comes to be honest with you because I always have these big huge plans. I’ll tell myself this is going to happen. Goals are fantastic, but I’ve learned the hard way just to roll with what’s happening and take it in small chunks rather than one big whole.
So with that mentality, how do you feel about the current climate of music as a whole? How do you think you fit into the music world today?
I think there are pros and cons to it, of course. I’m super old school at heart, to be honest with you. So I find the new age of music pretty difficult. Even though I can very much intellectually see the pros of it all. There’s so much music, there’s something for everyone. It’s accessible to everyone, most importantly for independent artists. It’s incredible.
But I am super old school in the way that I want to go about things and the way that I receive music and I get attached to artists very quickly and sometimes it’s just too much noise. I don’t want any more music. I just really love this person right now and I want them to give me a big body of work. I can just sit and listen to.
Ok here is the last question, and it’s my favourite question. If you had to pick your favourite song of all time, only one, one singular one, what would it be?
I’m like going through the eras, like, um, okay, I’m going to go with the first one that came to mind, which is actually from Kerri Chandler. It’s called You’re in my System. It’s proper old-school Chicago house, a vocal-driven track with big pianos.
I think it was when I heard that, it was the first time that I thought that I could do that. I could sing over this kind of music. Then I saw him for the first time live like three or four months ago. When I heard that song live, it was indescribable because I remember the moment when I was 15 and heard it for the first time.
Check out Carrie’s Baxter new single ‘Lady‘ today! Listen now on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.