Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with BAILEY find out more about him…
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
My name is Joe Bailey, but I write and perform under the moniker BAILEY. I was born in the city of Cambridge, but now live in the country of Cambridgeshire. The BAILEY project is based in Shoreditch, London. That's where me and my producer get most of the writing and recording done. I was an avid pop/rock music fan from a young age. If it was a rainy day and I couldn't play out, I'd sit and listen to Michael Jackson cassettes and CDs back to back while studying the lyrics. I used to make up songs when I was bored, walking to school and back from school, and then one day I decided to learn drums which gave me a keen sense of rhythm (very prominent in my guitar-playing in most songs). Speaking of guitar, I started learning aged 12 because I felt I was ready to turn some of those made up songs into real songs! I played in bands here and there, but organising multiple members for rehearsals, gigs, etc. was too much of a headache so I decided to go it alone. And here I am!
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
I have such a huge list of people I want to mention here! But if I had to condense it, I'd say Michael Jackson was my first musical love - everything he did was just so magical to me - there was just nobody else like him. I inherited a love for U2, Radiohead and David Bowie (my all time hero) from my family. And through some of my own musical discovery, I found that, in particular, Jeff Buckley, Matt Bellamy and Thom Yorke's vocal styles inspired me greatly, and through them I eventually found my own voice. Nowadays, my influences are always changing. I'm always absorbing new things. I really look up to singers like George Ezra, James Bay, Lorde, Banks.
How would you describe your sound?
I suppose if I had to label myself with a genre, I would technically come under the Singer-Songwriter umbrella. But I describe my music as 'elevating pop'. It's acoustic-driven folk-pop with anthemic, uplifting choruses.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
My debut single "The Future" was released earlier this month on 6th April. It tells part of the story of the long distance relationship I was in a few years ago (we're talking continents apart). It was hard, and people would try to get in between us, questioning the validity of the relationship, her parents also didn't like the idea much, etc. but this song is me telling her we should brush all that stuff off and just keep going, keep making plans and stop concerning ourselves with what other people may think. This isn't their story, and the future is very much ours to make. Musically, the song was inspired by the likes of George Ezra, John Mayer and Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out" (for that big, rushing chorus).
What's your local music scene like?
My local scene is very varied and very much alive. I consider myself a part of Cambridgeshire AND London too, and both have a lot to offer (especially the latter).
What do you have planned for the next 12 months?
The next 12 months include plenty of gigs, including May 12th at The Spice of Life in Soho, London, and a few festivals. Another one I'm looking forward to a lot is 5th May at The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds, for the Bury Fringe All-Dayer! I also plan to release another 5 singles every 2-3 months to follow "The Future".
Is there anyone you'd love to collaborate with?
If I was aiming high, I'd love to collaborate with Kimbra. She's one of my favourite singers, and though our styles are pretty different, I always imagined sharing vocal duties with her would be incredible, particularly because of our shared love of great harmonies and vocal layering.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
I've been quite lucky with live performances! I've performed all over the country and played many gigs, but the worst I've had is people dancing too hard and spilling their drink on me or my gear! Oh, there was a gig one Halloween where I was dressed as a banana...
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
There are two sides to me as a songwriter: the uplifting, bright side kind of guy in "The Future" and other songs, and then there's the darker, more cynical character that dives into deeper emotional waters. It all depends on the song! The only way you can get to see both sides is to follow my journey and keep up with the new releases as and when!