Friends, Themes and Poems

Second year Music student, Harry Baker, previously at Weydon School, has recently released his first album entitled Friends, Themes and Poems now available both on iTunes and as hard copy. We caught up with him in a brief break in his busy schedule fitting in College work, gigs and writing new songs. Harry is currently studying A level Music, Music Technology, Photography and the BTEC subsidiary diploma in Music (rock and pop) and chose to study at Alton College because of the possibility of studying the range of Music courses. Since being at College, he says that the music department teachers have ‘helped me immensely, giving me a range of coaching both in terms of technique as a musician and in the broader sense as an artist. The have also helped me record various projects and helped me to achieve my unique sound and tone.’

What is your musical background and who are your influences?

I started playing guitar when I was 10 after begging my parents to buy me a guitar. After I'd been listening to a huge range of music since I can remember, my influences were very diverse from an early age. I started listening to AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Van Halen at the time my parents bought me my first guitar, but as I matured as a guitarist I ventured through loads of different genres, but mainly blues. I started to write songs when I was about 15, and I started to find separate influences as a writer compared to as a performer. These include Jeff Buckley, Prince, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Jack Johnson, Bob Marley and Bruce Springsteen to name a few.

My guitarist influences go from Robert Johnson and Son House (early blues musicians) to Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, Elmore James, Jeff Beck.

What do you particularly enjoy about performing and composing?

Performing and writing gives me a total disconnection from the world; it's my time of total zen and relaxation. I love performing more than anything else in the world. But I can also see it sometimes as a job (but only when I'm not playing my own material). For example I play in a covers band which is like my job. I also perform and play music to express myself and how I feel at certain times.

What plans do you have after College?

After college I am taking a gap year to follow up the musical contacts I have that will get me into the London scene. I plan to focus on writing a load more music and recording. Alongside working and earning some money to travel at the end of the year. I am also hoping to get a job as a guitar teacher somewhere, perhaps a school.

Tell us about the new album and the future…

This is my first album, but not release. It's a collection of all my first ever successful songs. Friends, Themes and Poems represents what was going on at the time I put together the album, how I saw things and how I was feeling musically. I released a 3 track EP named Take Me To The Sun a few weeks before the release of the album for people to get a feel for my sound. 

As a musician, I hope to be always making music. I don't want to be one of those artists that sob their hearts out for 4 minutes on stage and have a week of stardom. I'm not fussed about fame or money, I purely want to have an enjoyable experience when performing and disconnect myself from things. Throughout my career I want to venture through a range of sounds and morph eventually into a distinct unique sound. 

Friends, Themes, and Poems is available to buy from iTunes or take a listen on Soundcloud

Find out more about studying music at Alton College here