Tim Baker talks life, music, & new album

Canadian singer-songwriter comes to Sydenham United Church

Tim Baker played at Sydenham United Church on Nov. 27.
Britney Townsend

Now in a new stage of his career, Tim Baker grounds himself by making truthful, raw music that he hopes will bring people together.

Newfoundland’s Tim Baker of the band Hey Rosetta! came to Kingston’s Sydenham United Church on Nov. 27 to tour his debut solo album, Forever Overhead.

The album, released in April, was a fresh start for Baker. In late 2017, his band Hey Rosetta! announced they would be taking an indefinite hiatus. The band was together for 12 years.

“I started Hey Rosetta!, we toured around the world, and it became my life, my purpose,” Baker said in an interview.

Baker’s love for connecting with people through his music is what spurred him to move forward after the band’s dissolution.

“I really love knowing that the music I make makes a difference in people’s lives. That sounds cheesy, but it’s true,” he said. “I get a lot of emails and notes on social media and people coming up to me in real life saying that it has really helped them through something difficult, and that it’s really connected with them.”

Baker was excited to come to Kingston, hoping to make similar connections with his audience here.

Fellow Canadian musicians The Franklin Electric opened for Baker, paying him back after he opened for them at their Québec show earlier this week. Wednesday’s Kingston show was Baker’s first headline show of the tour.

Two years since Hey Rosetta!’s hiatus started, Baker reflects on the differences between being a musician as a band member, versus as a solo artist.

“[I’ve] had a lot more freedom than previously. I [have] really enjoyed being able to create exactly what I heard in my mind.”

However, he does miss having band members to collaborate with.

“There are a few moments when you’re stuck in the mud, and you can’t figure out where to go.”

Baker says that Hey Rosetta!’s music came naturally to him, while his solo work takes more deliberate thought.

“I had to consciously think, what is the purest way forward? What is this set going to sound like? What’s going to be the most true?" 

Baker admits that he struggles to categorize his music into a specific genre.

“I like real instruments, I can say that. I don’t use a lot of programming or digital samples. It’s mostly real musicians playing real wooden instruments […] At the end of the day, I just hope it’s beautiful and moving.”

This is something he strived to achieve on Forever Overhead. Baker wrote this album during a transitionary period in his life. Not only was he moving from Hey Rosetta! to solo work, but he was also moving from his hometown of St. John’s, Newfoundland to Toronto.

“It definitely had an impact on this record. I missed the physical place of St. John’s. I missed the ocean, and the woods, and the hills. I wrote a lot about that,” Baker said.

At the end of the day, no matter where Baker finds himself, his love of music and its ability to connect people is what keeps him going.


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