Peter Baldwin returned to Orlando back in December for an incredible performance at Backbooth! Check the video by A Nu Day Media below as Peter Baldwin performs “Money” back where it all started. See below for Climax Highlight with Peter Baldwin.
Peter Baldwin x Culture Climax
Before Orlando’s infamous Peter Baldwin packed his bags and headed to the big apple a few months back, Culture Climax caught up with him before his show at the Tastes and Sounds of Downtown at Firestone Live. We asked him a few questions to help current and new fans gain some insight on this alternative soul star in the making.
Tell us about your music inspirations.
Um, really it’s probably 89 percent just Gospel music. That’s what I grew up with. I grew up in church and my mom was a choir director. There are like a million gospel artists I can just name off the top of my head like Kirk Franklin, John P. Kee, Fred Hammond, Mississippi Mass Choir – a lot of southern gospel music because my family’s from Mississippi. So a lot of stuff like that.
What’s the other 11 percent?
The other 11 % I would say is folk music and jazz. Um, John Jacob Niles and Miles Davis’ music. More current things like Vice, John Mayer and I don’t know, whatever hip hop maybe.
Who are your hip hop influences?
My hip-hop influences, like right now, right now? Who I actually listen to is Kid Cudi because it’s so depressing. And Mos Def. Mos Def I think is number one in hip hop. That’s how I feel about him.
So you grew up singing in the choir? Is that how you kind of got into the music scene?
Yeah, a little bit of that and praise team and stuff like that. I don’t know…a little tambourine playing and all that jazz – the drums
Nice. And we’re did you grow up?
So what brought you to Orlando?
You know, it was just a really rational decision to just leave and go to Full Sail. I don’t think there was any good reasoning behind it. It was just time to go, so I just kind of did it.
On the subject of Orlando, what do you think Orlando is missing or what keeps us from becoming a major metropolis like some other major cities.
It’s definitely public transportation. That’s like definitely what’s missing. You have to drive everywhere. You have to drive at least 15 to 20 minutes everywhere you go.
So, on the subject of Orlando, you’re here, you’re about to perform -probably a few songs from your album. Talk a little about your album, Peter Baldwin in Vaudeville.
Um, the title kind of alludes to the relationship between me and the band which has become something like a production company called Vaudeville. That’s really what the whole title is about and the sound is just the range of things – I don’t think it’s the complete range of things we can do, but it kind of shows a little bit of the different directions we can go in as far as the band is concerned.
Congratulations on the album and on the new video. “Suicide Girl” is your first official video, right?
Yeah, first video, first studio project…all of that.
Nice. Where did you guys film the video? Which city?
Here in Orlando, Florida and Deland, Florida, which is about probably 45 mins to an hour northeast of here.
Like you said, your range is a little bit eclectic. You’re into gospel, Mos Def and Miles Davis. Talk about how Peter Baldwin became alternative soul.
Um, I don’t know because that alternative soul kind of is in two categories for me. It’s like musically, there’s alternative soul as a genre that I kind of came up with but at the same time, alternative soul just means like basically that alternative place in my mind that I don’t share with anyone else. That just came from a weird mixture of things in my background. Having a really southern family, growing up in Alaska – just that really Christian background and coming here where everyone here is an alcoholic [Laughs] I don’t know it’s just a mixture of everything in life that I’ve learned so far both musically and with relationships and just everything that makes alternative soul what it is and makes me what I am.
The next question is from one of your fans. How has emerging into today’s very “different” music industry changed your approach and aspirations as a musician? With this new wave of social media and everything we’ve got going on?
It really does change the scope of things as far as my goals are concerned. The dream for a career in music looks a little different than it used to. Now in my mind, it’s not so much about winning Grammy’s and selling a bunch of copies, it’s just kind of like being a source of information and of good art and of good music. It’s just ultimately the career goal now and it really changes everything. It’s like you don’t need a label anymore.
You said you want to be a source of information.
Are you talking more about people having to come to you as a source of information for Peter Baldwin or are you talking about alternative soul and your genres?
Yeah, just everything. Everything that I’m in to, everything that I’m selling, everything with Rock Ya Girl – everything that comes directly from us. Everything without that third party, without that Warner Bros.
Speaking of Rock Ya Girl, how did you link up with Tru and Rock Ya Girl and what has that done for you. Just give us a little back story on that.
Um, I don’t know. It’s pretty romantic. No, it was fate. I quit classes at Full Sail for a little bit and I think Tru did as well and we just ended up starting back at the same time, in the same class which was sessions at Full Sail. It’s a class where you get to finally record and put a project together and I happened to be friends with some of the other kids in his group, still are friends with them – so they chose me as their artist to kind of shop to the “Full Sail label”. So that’s how Tru heard the music and we just started kickin’ it and it just took off from there.
It’s been love ever since [Laughs]
[Laughs] Yep, pretty much.
The main reason why we did the interview today is because it’s the last show in Orlando before you move to New York. So talk a little bit about that transition to the new big city you’re going to and what you’re plans are and how it’s going to open some doors for you.
I’m just excited about being there because it’s really efficient. We went there probably like a year and a half ago or something like that for about 10 days and there was just so much that we could get done in a hurry. Just that feeling of being really efficient and being really business minded and goal oriented and not feeling stagnant. It’s really what that’s all about. I’m just looking forward to getting up there and practicing my instrument pretty much every day and I don’t know…eating a lot of good food. Like I will today [Laughs].
Photos from Peter Baldwin at Backbooth Dec. 7 here.