Bailey Wiley : : Music Talks

“Out of the blue, for the last few weeks I’ve had people asking me, ‘Where are you from?’ And of course I’m like, ‘I’m from Taranaki.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, I thought you were from America or something.’ [laughs] I’m from a town that’s so small you could blink and you would miss it. The only thing we had for years was a KFC. This is real life shit, you know. I was just a kid with a big dream who got out, that’s the difference.”

 

The first time I met Bailey Wiley was June of last year. I was covering bFM’s Morning Glory for Esther, and had broken out into a cold sweat about the technical aspects of operating the show in the midst of a live performance. Fraught with this panic, I missed the beat when a casual angel hovered into the studio. This was the enigmatic Bailey Wiley, for whom I’d scrawled down about five talking points after listening, multiple times, to her debut EP 'IXL'.

 

IMG_2618

Photography by Cam Downey for WG

 

The ads finished. I brought us live to air. We talked - she passionately and graciously, me a fumbling moron - about the fact that she was heading to Berlin, about collaboration with Raiza Biza, her genre, the future. Then came the live performance part of the segment. Bailey started singing, something which I hadn’t at the time yet managed to witness in Auckland’s rapidly growing music scene. If you haven’t seen Bailey perform, you haven’t experienced picking your jaw up off the floor.

 

It’s almost exactly a year after that point, and my only other encounters with Bailey to date have been from a distance, watching her light successive stages on fire. In the past few weeks, she’d dropped S.O.M.M, and, as serendipity would have it, was also about to jet back to Berlin.

 

We met at Karangahape Road’s Verona, Bailey requesting we sit on the street, “I just ate, and I really want a cigarette. I’m terrible Chlöe, I’m terrible.” Far from terrible, even on this (second) first impression alone, I’m about 110% sure Bailey’s exactly the kind of person everybody falls at least a little bit in love with. Not only a badass idyllic heroine of a songstress on stage, there’s something far from cliche in her infectious laugh, something gut-wrenchingly genuine in the way she delivers her opinion, something of an instant classic in all of her tangential comedic observations.

 

 

Born in Taranaki’s Hawera to a non-nuclear family with an art therapist for a mother, psychologist for stepfather, and bricklayer for a father, Bailey recalls, “I didn’t really get a choice with music, you know what I mean? I was born into a somewhat musical family. My grandfather was an amateur theatre director.” So, she was introduced to the game, “When I hit 6 or 5 years old, they were like, yo, we’re going to get you singing lessons. And of course I was like, yeah, I wanna be a pop star. Singing with my hairbrush and shit, thinking I was the business.”

 

At 7, she was moved to New Plymouth, then Christchurch at 9. Dropping out of high school at the end of sixth form, Bailey moved straight to tertiary, taking up a degree at the National Academy of Singing & Dramatic Art (NASDA). She then legged it to Dunedin for postgrad, but two years deep decided to pull out when, “My tutor began clapping me rhythms… I just felt like I was taking a step back.” Instead of gapping with just a student loan to her name, “I made a really conscious decision to get to know all my tutors. Then I started recording my first album, and my tutors started getting me shows.”

 

IMG_2698

Photography by Cam Downey for WG

 

Only three years ago, she yet again decided to uproot her life, “When I came to Auckland, I was super fresh. I didn’t know a soul. But I was like, it can’t be that big. I was a small town girl, but I was like, fuck, it can’t be that big.” She’d been tossing up between Auckland and Wellington, but dismissing the capital for its windy reputation, she decided to take a swing at AK’s scene, hitting bullseye at exactly where she needed to be, “I went to Rakinos, Raks, on a Tuesday when they had Free Piece. I was sitting there having a drink with my friend. And I was like, there’s a reason that I’m here, you know what I mean, and that there’s these crazy dope musicians that are my age right here, and I was like, fuck it, they’re tight. I’m gonna ask them if I can grab the mic.”

 

At the time, she didn’t know Eden Jouavel (or as fans know him, Eno), who would become a close friend and S.O.M.M producer, but it was he who she requested the mic from, “The boys were like, ‘What the fuck, who the fuck are you?’ But it was cool you know, like I found Dunedin - don’t get me wrong, Dunedin’s tight - to be quite ‘tall poppy’ down there. And, you know, if you’re a creative, that’s not the buzz. And then I came here, and I got that response, I was like, yeah, I’m in the right place, and I moved here the week after.”

 

 

In just three years, Bailey Wiley has become an essential ingredient to Auckland’s (let alone New Zealand’s) musical come-up. Entrenched among a crew of the city’s brightest underground sparks, it’s the ebbs and flows, the swell and blow-out of creative energy that she believes continues to propel our musicians ever further. She spills recognition for our renowned local heroes, from the Tron’s Raiza Biza to the Naki’s Louie Knuxx, and champions the tectonic ballooning of young talent radiating from St Kevin’s Arcade (you know, pre their eviction), “I fuck with The Grow Room in a huge way. We haven’t seen something like that since YGB popped off. I respect what they’re doing. They’re really true; they’re not biting anybody’s taste. They’re dope. They’re prolific.”

 

Despite this rapid growth and success, finding her ilk among our hip hop stalwarts, don’t seek to put the babe in a genre corner, “The only box I would kind of put myself in would be neo-soul - but the thing is, with being a vocalist, if I wanted to, I could sing over trap music, I could sing over jungle, I could sing over hip hop. That’s why with the EP especially, they’re all electronic beats, but they’re all different.” Shunning labels, she continues to evolve, maturity enabling a unique respect for her less-honed, earlier version of self, “My first EP was called ‘Inevitable’, it’s really cute. It’s on Soundcloud. I went through a phase of being like, yo, that’s whack, I’ve got to pull that down. But now that I’m older, that project is the epitome of a brand new artist. I was never going to be this Lorde-factor, and whip out an EP, and have it go to number one.”

 

2016’s S.O.M.M dropped two years after IXL, “Because sometimes life just gets in the way.” It’s a project that takes its namesake from words extremely close to Bailey’s heart, “Still On My Mind was the song on that EP that took the longest to write. It was one of the first songs for that album, but it was so hard to finish because it was so close to me. That song is important to me because it’s about home. Home is Taranaki, and I never go there. Do you know what I mean? So, when I’m talking about it, it’s me coming to terms with the fact that I’m not there. There’s a lot of stuff that happens at home when you’re not there. Especially when I was in Berlin, when my grandmother died.” In Germany at the time she finished the album, Bailey reflects on how travelling serves not just as a catalyst for new ideas in creating her work, but a shot at a new headspace to curate, “I was able to connect the dots and be okay with the fact that I was gone, even though I was grieving.”

 

IMG_2641

Photography by Cam Downey for WG

 

With an eclectic artist make-up, itchy feet and a propensity to create whatever she feels, Bailey doesn’t seek to be signed to a ‘shiny’ label, but simply to live off of her craft. Fame is frightening, “I think people knowing who you were would be really scary,” but she’s not a stranger to it, “Even in the last few weeks after S.O.M.M. released, just being in the club, and having people be like ‘Yo, you’re that Bailey Wiley chick.’ And I’m just like ‘Yooooo’… It can be quite hard to identify with people, almost like you have the same conversation every time.”

 

Having spent her life bouncing around our country, Bailey’s pining to shift her mind in the context of another country, and another country after that. Eyes currently set to go back to Berlin, she’s also set a punt on the UK overtaking the USA’s dominance in music: “America’s on that product tip,” currently neglecting individuality.

 

Therein lies Bailey’s wholesale originality: a tendency to take giant leaps of faith with just confidence, hard work, and talent seeing she lands on her feet. It’s the DNA of an artist without fear, one who rejects labels in a world prone to defining, to limiting. It’s a strategy of right place, right time, simultaneously taking control of her future and throwing luck to the wind. Perhaps Bailey puts it best when she speculates, “Imagine if I came to Auckland, and I ended up hanging out with the indie scene?”

 

IMG_2701

Photography by Cam Downey for WG

30 comments

  1. Birkenstock UK 25 April, 2019 at 15:06 Reply

    “Because of the poor economic performance in Europe, we are facing a slowdown in global economic growth,” Kudlow said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. But unlike the White House, at the policy meeting in March, the Fed did not conclude that the global economic slowdown meant that the bank should start cutting interest rates.

  2. Nike Vapormax Plus 26 April, 2019 at 04:04 Reply

    Jing Junhai pointed out that it is necessary to check the end and serious accountability, formulate a rectification plan, do a good job in the aftermath, and respond to social concerns in a timely manner. It is necessary to carry out “reviewing” in the whole province, re-evaluate, re-supervise and re-verify, comprehensively do a good job in poverty alleviation, and strictly prevent the “people’s heart project” from becoming a “people’s resentment project.”

  3. fila sneakers 28 April, 2019 at 18:13 Reply

    I am only writing to make you be aware of what a really good encounter my wife’s daughter gained viewing your site. She noticed plenty of details, most notably what it is like to possess an awesome coaching spirit to let certain people really easily master some grueling things. You undoubtedly surpassed people’s desires. I appreciate you for churning out such good, trusted, explanatory not to mention easy thoughts on your topic to Janet.

  4. reebok shoes 30 April, 2019 at 10:00 Reply

    I intended to post you this very small note to finally say thanks a lot over again for the pretty things you’ve contributed on this website. It is really wonderfully open-handed of you to present easily all that a number of us could have made available as an electronic book to help make some cash on their own, notably now that you could have tried it if you ever wanted. Those tactics likewise acted to be a fantastic way to fully grasp many people have the identical keenness similar to my personal own to understand many more in terms of this issue. Certainly there are a lot more pleasurable instances in the future for folks who take a look at your blog post.

  5. longchamp handbags 2 May, 2019 at 07:08 Reply

    I would like to express my admiration for your kind-heartedness for those who really need help with this important question. Your real commitment to passing the solution across was amazingly effective and has specifically helped those much like me to attain their targets. Your insightful key points indicates a lot a person like me and additionally to my colleagues. Thank you; from everyone of us.

  6. yeezy boost 3 May, 2019 at 13:12 Reply

    I am commenting to let you understand of the impressive discovery my wife’s child found reading your web site. She figured out numerous issues, with the inclusion of what it is like to have an amazing helping nature to let men and women just understand certain multifaceted subject matter. You truly exceeded my desires. Thank you for showing the important, trusted, educational and as well as unique tips about your topic to Janet.

  7. nike react 4 May, 2019 at 00:36 Reply

    I wish to point out my gratitude for your kindness for individuals who need guidance on this question. Your special dedication to getting the message throughout has been astonishingly beneficial and have in every case encouraged women like me to achieve their pursuits. Your own warm and helpful guideline implies this much to me and far more to my office workers. Regards; from everyone of us.

  8. Nike Shoes 5 May, 2019 at 08:45 Reply

    In fact, on this page, you’ll find a bevy of cartoon galleries produced by artists throughout the USA TODAY Network and from Cagle Cartoons — a site that archives some 200,000 cartoons from artists worldwide. We update our galleries regularly. And we’ll try to swap them onto this page so you can enjoy the most recent additions to our collection as they come. Check back often!

  9. michael kors outlet online 5 May, 2019 at 15:32 Reply

    My husband and i ended up being absolutely peaceful when Chris managed to finish up his studies through the ideas he obtained when using the weblog. It’s not at all simplistic just to possibly be giving out tricks that most people have been selling. Therefore we acknowledge we need the writer to give thanks to because of that. The most important illustrations you made, the straightforward web site navigation, the friendships you help foster – it’s most powerful, and it’s leading our son in addition to the family reason why that subject is interesting, which is pretty pressing. Thanks for everything!

  10. gamefly 6 May, 2019 at 22:13 Reply

    Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to
    get there! Thank you

  11. download minecraft pc 7 May, 2019 at 14:43 Reply

    I am curious to find out what blog system you are using?

    I’m having some minor security issues with my latest blog and I would like to find something more safeguarded.
    Do you have any suggestions?

  12. Pandora 8 May, 2019 at 01:24 Reply

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Damian Lillard invited a few people to his home for dinner on Monday night to watch Game 4 of the first-round series between the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.

  13. NBA Jerseys 8 May, 2019 at 17:23 Reply

    That’s exactly what wound up happening on Thursday, when Bosa was taken second overall by the San Francisco 49ers. That means he will be living in one of the more liberal areas of the country.

  14. Steelers Jerseys Cheap 9 May, 2019 at 04:55 Reply

    Saban first revealed the hip injury at Alabama’s spring game last week, and said it started bothering him at the beginning of spring practice. The injury lingered throughout the spring, slowly getting worse.

  15. download minecraft for free 11 May, 2019 at 02:09 Reply

    Heya this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or
    if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how
    so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
    Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  16. nmd 11 May, 2019 at 13:22 Reply

    I would like to show my passion for your kind-heartedness supporting persons that require help with this important theme. Your real commitment to passing the message across came to be definitely effective and has allowed some individuals just like me to attain their aims. Your valuable information can mean a lot to me and a whole lot more to my office colleagues. With thanks; from all of us.

  17. g 12 May, 2019 at 04:01 Reply

    Great goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely wonderful.
    I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it.
    You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart.
    I can’t wait to read far more from you. This is actually a wonderful web site.

  18. g 12 May, 2019 at 12:32 Reply

    Excellent website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article?
    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get suggestions from other experienced people that share the
    same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let
    me know. Thanks a lot!

  19. yeezy boost 13 May, 2019 at 06:57 Reply

    I’m just commenting to make you know of the fantastic discovery my cousin’s daughter developed visiting your blog. She noticed plenty of issues, most notably what it’s like to have an excellent teaching heart to let other individuals effortlessly gain knowledge of some multifaceted subject areas. You really exceeded her desires. I appreciate you for producing these good, trustworthy, explanatory not to mention fun guidance on your topic to Gloria.

  20. coach outlet online 16 May, 2019 at 00:59 Reply

    I definitely wanted to send a simple message to appreciate you for the amazing tips and tricks you are posting at this website. My extensive internet look up has at the end of the day been paid with beneficial suggestions to write about with my colleagues. I ‘d mention that many of us visitors actually are very much endowed to dwell in a remarkable community with so many brilliant people with interesting basics. I feel very grateful to have used your entire web page and look forward to tons of more thrilling minutes reading here. Thanks once more for a lot of things.

  21. adidas ultra boost 16 May, 2019 at 15:21 Reply

    I am only commenting to let you be aware of of the brilliant experience our daughter experienced reading your site. She came to find lots of things, which included what it is like to possess an incredible giving character to have most people easily fully understand chosen specialized subject matter. You actually did more than visitors’ expected results. Thanks for producing these warm and helpful, trusted, revealing and also unique tips on the topic to Ethel.

  22. jordans 20 May, 2019 at 11:59 Reply

    I have to show my admiration for your kindness giving support to men and women who really want assistance with this niche. Your personal dedication to passing the message all through ended up being unbelievably significant and have surely helped folks much like me to reach their pursuits. The valuable help and advice indicates a whole lot to me and even further to my peers. Thanks a lot; from everyone of us.

Leave a reply