Chloe Baker, who goes by the stage name Bitter’s Kiss, is the latest (and youngest) hot voice in EDM. Even those familiar with her voice may not realize that she is an incredibly talented indie-pop artist first. As a (recent) 16-year-old from Weehawken, NJ, no one is more surprised at her success than, well, herself. She started simply by recording one song in her basement and putting it on Soundcloud, which then grew to being the voice behind the anthem for 2016 Life In Color tour. Bitter’s Kiss is far wiser beyond her 16 years, which was apparent within the first moment of our conversation. See for yourself.
Tell me a bit about Bitter's Kiss. When did you start this project?
BK: I have a recording studio in my basement and my dad was a musician growing up. I grew up around instruments and I always loved writing and singing, so I was writing songs from a really young age. About two years ago, I decided to record a song and put it out on Soundcloud and that first song got a lot of positive reviews. My dad thought it was something special and so I decided to do a whole album. I didn’t expect it to take off the way it did. We were coming up with a name for my Soundcloud and we thought a lot of my songs talked about the bad things that come from the good things and how there’s a silver lining, even in the worst things, and we decided to call that silver lining the bitter’s kiss. And so that’s how we came up with the name.
What was your first big break?
I had no idea it was going to take off until the Soundcloud started getting a lot of plays. I think that’s when I realized that this could turn into something that could last as a career for me. It seems far fetched that a music career will work out because a lot of the time they don’t and so I didn’t think I was an exception, and then we put it on Soundcloud and all of a sudden we’re getting all these plays. Then I started a Facebook and I think the second that I saw fans that we genuinely interested in my music and me as a person, I realized that this could actually work and this could actually take off for me.
Tell me a bit about the anthem for Life In Color, "Rise Up." How did that opportunity come about for you?
(I did an EDM song) that did really well in Europe, so the producer for the "Rise Up" anthem, David Solano, heard that song and he liked my voice, so he wanted my voice on the track from the anthem. He sent over a track and the track was super cool, so I wrote over it and sent it back to him, and he liked it and we happened to be in Miami at the same time, so we met up at a studio there and finished up the track.
Your individual music and EDM is very different. What was going through your head the first time you recorded an EDM track?
It’s a lot different because the music under the words sets the mood for the track, so you have to play with that, so it wasn’t just I had to sing a different way or adjust my vocals in the track, it was the message behind it. It was fun to write music that was more playful and I think it taught me a lot about my own music going forward because even in conventional pop music today, a lot of people will not give credit to it because the lyrics aren’t super deep or there are a lot of metaphors but there’s definitely something to be said about a catchy melody or catchy words that get someone to sing your song. If a song gets 100 million people singing it, then there has to be something good about it and I think with EDM I’ve learned to put the message and the deep words with those playful lyrics and turn it into a song that everybody can understand. While it’s important to write a deep, meaningful song, it’s even more important to make sure that everybody can understand what it means and interpret it in their own way.
Who has inspired you musically?
Carol King, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Tupac. Rappers gave me an idea lyrically, and the way I like to sing, more like Carol King did, are my inspirations but then I think I learned a sense of beat and melody and rhythm from people like Michael Jackson and Tupac. My dad had me listen to a really large variety of music that benefited me a lot.
What's on your playlist right now?
I listen to a lot of bands like Milky Chance, Vampire Weekend, The Lumineers, and I listen to rap as well, like Chance the Rapper I was listening to just (his new album) for two weeks and I didn’t even get sick of it.
How does it feel to be featured on a song ("Lost and Found") that has over three million hits on Spotify?
I think as much as it feels good to me, I wish that it was my song which was remixed too. That makes it better because it was my melody, my message. I think it’s hard to actually realize what that means when it’s a number on a screen. It feels good but I think the thing that will really be nuts for me is when I start playing in front of larger crowds of people, when I have personal experiences with fans.
What's coming next?
I’m writing a new EP right now and I’m building a team for myself, so I’m really developing as an artist, not just my music but the way I look as an artist, what I’m focusing on, what I’m really trying to say, exactly what that’s going to be and what that means to me, what I’m going to show everybody about myself and my music. It’s going to be a really fun and interesting transformation from my everyday high school life to becoming this artist and figuring out who exactly that is. I’m excited to see how that shows in my new music and how I develop as a person.
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