Louis' beautiful vocals are highlighted by the acoustics of our He Taonga Māori gallery and the traditional taonga puoro instruments played by Horomona Horo.
This session also features Victoria Kelly (vocals, missionary organ) Chris O'Connor (drums, percussion) and Sandy Mill (vocals, percussion).
Introducing Louis Baker
Louis Baker was playing guitar at 11. By 16 he was writing his own songs. His talent was recognised in the national Play It Strange competition for secondary school students.
In the decade that's followed Louis has been selected for the Red Bull Music Academy in New York City, released singles and his self-titled EP, and was a finalist in the 2014 Silver Scroll songwriting award.
In 2016 he was selected to participate in the inaugural APRA Songhubs workshops and the ASCAP Songwriters Retreat in France, which has hosted the likes of Ellie Goulding, James Bay, and Mike Posner.
Born and bred in Wellington, Louis draws on multiple influences in his songwriting but credits the musical environment he grew up in with shaping his love of music.
'There were always people at my place playing music, popping in and out,' says Louis.
'It was just a musical household. We’d hear jazz from Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis, and then that'd switch to psychedelic rock music. From there it could move to classical, to soul, to funk. It was all there really, and it gave me heaps of colour to paint with.'
Despite a love of metal when he was a younger musician, Louis says he was drawn to the pared-back purity of blues and then developed his own style from there.
'I started moving away from how many notes I could squeeze in there to how few notes I could play and how much I could make them sing – and that all came from the blues. And from there, the soul and the R 'n' B started to creep into the music I was making. That’s the path I’ve pursued ever since.'
Hear more from Louis in our Volume Museum Sessions interview.
In an interview with Radio New Zealand, Louis observed that music seems to take people to different places and his own career has taken him all over the world.
He has toured New Zealand and Australia, played at a series of international shows including Field Days in London, Sonar Festival in Barcelona, Sziget Festival in Hungary, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and Splendour in the Grass, Australia.
Louis has also played international support slots for Fat Freddy's Drop, Morcheeba, Cody Chestnutt and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, and completed an 18-date tour throughout the UK and Germany.
Louis' voice has been described as timeless and soulful, melodic and rich, and imbued with emotional maturity.
Louis released the tracks 'Rainbow' and 'Fade' in 2016 and has several more releases planned in the coming months.
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