BAYLi’s sound is an embodiment of who she is.
If you ask Brooklyn-native BAYLi what genre she plays, she won’t have a straight answer for you. Her sound has West Indian undertones, a foundation in rock ‘n’ roll, and the strength of a power pop sound. Starting out in the music industry nearly 10 years ago, BAYLi is molding her sound in confident strides and creativity. She Shreds breaks down BAYLi’s sound, style and aesthetic.
Sound: BAYLi’s sound is an amalgamation of who she is. Starting out as frontwoman for The Skins, she was always drawn to pop elements. Now a solo independent artist, she is sticking to her roots. “I always wanted to come off as really empowering and really emphatic. A lot of the songs I’m developing, I write them like I’m going to sing this in a studio, arena. It’s a power pop sound…In the pop world of music, I want to make sure that I’m pushing the envelope all the time. It’s a bit of a contradiction. I want the innovation that isn’t blending with any sound you’ve ever heard. ”
Evolution As An Artist : BAYLi learned to love music when she learned how to play the guitar. Her beginnings flourished in a classic rock band, with a Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin vibe, she explains. “I was going for that 1970s Jimmy Page sound. Now that I’ve honed in on writing, I’m kinda tapping in and blend my musical influences in one sound. It’s a challenge for me because it’s hard to explain to people what’s my sound. I have rock, punk, pop, afro-beat and trap influences is all in there. I come from a rock n roll background but being from Brooklyn, I have the West Indian and Caribbean influence, I have the hip hop influence. I’m the amalgamation of all those sounds and vibes.”
Her First Guitar: BAYLi’s first guitar was a Epiphone Les Paul, and creatively envisioned the look of her guitar. “ I pretty much redesigned the body of my guitar. I created a collage of magazine fashion, editorial clips, my favorite artists and papier-mache them on my guitar.”
How Art And Fashion Has Blended With Her Music: Growing up, BAYLi attended after school music programs, but one of her first loves was painting. She went to the Pratt Institute for Oil Painting and Art History, etching a long-lasting relationship with art and music. “Visual is a huge thing for me in music…I think the most iconic artists transcend and hit all those kind of angles. Bowie designed his own costumes for stage and was very hands on with the visual elements. I’m an artist that is naturally hands on with all of my work.”
Relationship with her guitar now: For seven years, BAYLi was the frontwoman for The Skins alongside with talented bassists and guitarists. However, she didn’t get to play many instruments during that time, other than messing around with the piano every once in a while. Now that she is building out her solo live show, she wants to experiment more with the guitar. “I have a lot of guitar on my records and so I think i’m going to bring the guitar back into my life a bit more. I’m really excited about that. The live show is one of my strongest elements as an artist. When I’m in the booth writing, I’m asking, is this gonna be epic? Will this translate with a live audience? Even if it’s a hip hop song. Can we make it super impactful?”
Dream Collabs: “FKA Twigs! And Jack White. I would die! He’d be the perfect match. He’s amazing. I’m obsessed with him, I’m trying to go on tour with him.”
Guitar BAYLi Uses Now: Fender Duo Sonic, all-white surf rock guitar. “We love Fender. It’s Kurt Cobain inspired. He played a Duo Sonic with the body of Mustang. I’m trying to work my way up to that if I can afford it. I’ve been experimenting with the new wave tone. Think of the ‘80s kind of Duran Duran sound, or Prince Purple Rain–flanger, short delay.”
Guidance for Other Musicians: “If you want to be successful in this industry, it’s 24-hours a day, on a mainstream level. You have to understand that and willing to work harder. You’re doing whatever it takes to get there. I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I’m now seeing results. It’s hard not to be discouraged. The most successful people I’ve met, they were so persistent. They didn’t give up before their time came. If it’s really what you want, that’s the sacrifice. The time will come, everybody gets their moment. You just have to earn it.”