Rising singer-songwriter Bastian Baker, who will open for Shania Twain in Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Hamilton, London, and Toronto, was originally expected to follow in his father’s footsteps as a professional hockey player but couldn’t stop dreaming about becoming a musician. He released his first radio single at 18 and soon after was headlining shows, topping album charts and sharing a stage with Elton John and Bryan Adams.
Now 26, he’s back with his new single “All Around Us”, and is preparing to release his most ambitious album yet, one that pushes his unique blend of upbeat indie rock, infectious pop, and breezy folk into bold new territory as he solidifies his status as a genuine international star. Not too shabby for a kid who was supposed to spend his life on the ice.
In our new interview, Baker talks about opening for Shania Twain, his new single “All Around Us”, when fans can expect his new album, and more!
Tell me about your new single “All Around Us”, how was it created and what is it about?
I was inspired to write this song because there is a lot of good around us, even though we tend to focus on the drama and negative stuff. Some people in life who do good things don’t get noticed, but they are beautiful and deserve to be seen. This is a song for them, a song about always keeping a positive attitude no matter what. I just did a music video in Nashville with my team at Blue Rose Music. I’m so excited to share it with you once it’s ready. I’m even doing some almost dance moves in it (laughs). Shania and I enjoy bouncing songs off one another and this one just so happens to be her favorite too!
Despite being expected to follow your father’s footsteps as a pro hockey player, you decided to become a musician instead. How would you describe your first ever performance?
I was 5 years old, singing REMs “Losing My Religion” on the bar of my dad’s restaurant. Then later, my first performance as “Bastian Baker” on a bigger stage was at Montreux Jazz Festival, a stage I had dreamed of playing all my life. What a feeling.
You’ve shared the stage with the likes of Elton John and Bryan Adams. Do you approach these types of shows differently than you would a headlining show?
Of course! They’re extremely different! Headlining shows are usually with my full band. When I’m the opener it’s usually just me and a guitar! I love both! When opening for some bigger acts, I usually have 1/2 hour to show my songs and my personality, great challenge.
Opening for Shania Twain on such a high-profile tour, what does that mean to you?
It’s such an honor, I’m very grateful. She’s a good friend and a mentor, so being on tour with her is very special. It’s a great exposure and I really want to make the best out of it!
When can fans expect a new album from you?
I am working on the new album in between tour breaks. It’s going well and I’m happy I got to work with great people on these new songs, like Jacquire King in Nashville. I would say the album will be released beginning of next year.