Taking Life’s Inspiration and Turning It into Great Music
Apr 20, 2017 04:00PM ● Published by Nicole Gould
Baron has taken her life journey and portrayed it through her music. In 2011, Baron adopted a little girl from an orphanage in New Delhi, India, which lent tremendous influence to her latest album, Heart of the Great Unknown.
Speaking of influence, Baron has become an avid advocate for Domestic Violence Awareness and prevention, which can be witnessed in her single, “A Little Note.” The video exemplifies the journey of a women’s escape from an abusive relationship, which ultimately captured a 2014 Wammie for Song of the Year by the Washington Area Music Association. Baron raised $6,000 in order to produce the video through her Indiegogo Campaign.
The Maryland native also took home a Wammie for Contemporary Folk Recording for Heart of the Great Unknown and Contemporary Folk Vocalist.
“It was a surprise and I guess it just showed me you don’t have to be famous to have a song break through and we see that through social media. There are unknown songs out there for all to hear. Somehow this song started making the rounds and that’s pretty cool.” – Laura Baron
Head over to the Stoltz Listening Room for a Carole King-inspired evening with Laura Baron Friday, April 28th, 8 p.m. Accompanying Baron will be Pat Quinn on bass and Dave Ylvisaker on piano. Enjoy an evening filled with Barons award-winning music and some of Carole King’s greatest hits! Tickets are $25.
Let’s talk about where it all began. Was music something you always wanted to pursue as a career? Is there anyone in particular you listened to for inspiration?I came from the days of Joni Mitchell, very first inspiration. As well Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne. I started out loving contemporary acoustic folk and jazz. I always sang as a little girl. When I was a teen, I would sing at coffee houses and write my owns songs. I studied a bunch, strictly voice. I started out after all the wedding bands and did a lot of children’s music. I created a company with another woman called Golden Glow Music. We had five records for young children, recorded, and performed all over the area. Some of the main titles were “Good Morning Sunshine” and “Nighty Night.” After that stopped, I did a lot of music teaching for private schools and decided to move out on my own and do my own music. I recorded three records for adults and am currently working on my fourth. I sang in a big band for some time, always loved jazz. I really blend my love of acoustic sounds, blues, and jazz in what I do and my recording runs a spectrum from various introspected, heartfelt, lets sit down and be quiet to let’s swing and do our jazz and go down deep into the blues, and really feel it. I like all the different colors and moods of music. I try to let my writing and performing reflect on that.
I’ve see that you’ve taken interest in supporting Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention. Can you tell me a little more about that, what got you started, and how that’s influenced your music?A couple years ago, when I released Heart of the Great Unknown, “Little Note,” is a story about a woman who escapes a domestic abuse relationship. I was really fortunate to win a Wammie for song of the year and for the album. It was kind of amazing that people really resonated to that song so well. I thought to myself that maybe I needed to do something a little more with this song because it really had an important message to get out. A videographer approached me and wanted to do a video. I thought if there was ever a story I’d like to get out there to support women or people who have been abused, it would be this song. I did an Indiegogo Campaign to raise funds, and while doing it, I met this amazing actress Flo Anito, who stars in the music video. I learned a lot about domestic violence. It’s very common, it’s awful, and I decide to try to use my video to spread awareness and help any way I can.
The song received the 2014 Wammie Award for song of the year. What was that experience like? Did you ever expect that song to reach the level of success/recognition that it has?I felt like maybe the album would win because I knew I was nominated and fairly well-known. I felt proud of the album as a whole and figured I had a good chance. But, when I won the song of the year, I was shocked and when I was nominated for it, I was like, wow that’s so cool, people know it. I tied with another well-known artist, but that doesn’t matter. I’m still considered a winner of it. It was a surprise and I guess it just showed me you don’t have to be famous to have a song break through and we see that through social media. There are unknown songs out there for all to hear. Somehow this song started making the rounds and that’s pretty cool.
Can you tell me about the inspiration behind the song, “Heart of the Great Unknown,” which ultimately led to a 12-track album? I know you adopted a little girl from India. What inspired you to make this decision?The title track was written for my daughter who we adopted from India five years ago. It has a very Indian flare to it with wooden flutes. It’s about my journey to adopting this little girl. That thread runs through that record and through my life. I want to use my music to help build awareness. I’m really passionate about helping children who need homes. I always wanted a little girl. I have a son that’s a freshman in college. It was certainly a journey. She’s a beautiful joy in our lives. We are currently creating a connection with Magic Bus, which brings education to remote village in India.