Interview: Polish Indie-Electro Artist Baasch (Sziget 2023)

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Polish artist Baasch (real name Bartosz Schmidt) was one of the artists at last week’s Sziget Festival in Budapest. Originally from Warsaw, Baasch’s music straddles the genres of indie and electro with an energetic live show. Brno Daily’s Aleksandra Zinkiewicz caught up with him before his set to talk about the festival, his music, and what we can expect from him in the future.

BD: How is your mood before the performance?

I feel great, I am very happy that we will be performing in Hungary again. We already played a few years ago a couple of times. But then we stopped due to the pandemic. Now we’re back on the road again, so I enjoy it a lot. And after a break we’re back at such a festival, so it’s all the better.

BD: There are hardly any other performers from Poland here, in fact you are one of two. How do you feel about that?

It is a great honour, it is a very well-known festival and an important one also. I have always wanted to come here as a participant and finally I managed to do it, moreover as a performer. 

BD: You’ve had quite a few concerts this summer, most of them in Poland, but also two in the Czech Republic, and now Hungary. How do you rate the audiences, and where have you enjoyed the most so far?

I’ve had a very good experience so far. We played at the Povaleč festival in the Czech Republic and it was great, a lot of people, great audience, amazing atmosphere. I can also see that they’ve been following me on social media since then, so I think we’re gathering a new audience. It’s worth trying abroad even if people did not know your music before. 

BD: You have a masters degree in psychology. Do you do something in this field or do you devote all your time to music?

Only music professionally. I think psychology has stayed with me as a kind of stimulation and push to more careful observation, a kind of curiosity about the world and people. I think it can also be useful for me to write lyrics. However, I am definitely not doing it professionally.

BD: How did your interest in electronic, alternative music start? Why such a choice?

Well, you don’t choose your tastes, I like this kind of music. It appeals to me, it evokes something in me and moves me. So it’s never a decision, or at least I don’t think it should be from the artist’s point of view. You should simply follow your heart, and in my case, this kind of music simply turns me on and this is what I play.

BD: A few days ago your latest song “Tlen” premiered. It was really well received and it is a preview for the new album. What is the main theme and inspiration of the new EP IV?

I think that this EP will be a bit more cheerful in mood than the previous album. There will be a lot about love there, and I think that in these times it takes a lot of courage to sing about love without some kind of cynicism. It will be about fulfilled love, unfulfilled love, love in difficult moments, about how to support each other. I think that such themes are very universal, but at the same time probably not very up-to-date in popular music.

BD: Will you reveal the release date?

Very soon, mid September. 

BD: Do you enjoy collaborating with other artists or musicians? Are there any dream collaborations or projects you hope to tackle in the future?

Of course, I like to work with other artists and I’ve managed to make a few dreams come true. The latest one was to work with Rosa Anschütz – a German artist whose music I really like. I managed to invite her to one of my releases. We played our song together, which we recorded at one of the festivals. She was a guest on stage with us, so dreams come true. I’ll want to invite more of these artists to my next release, which will be in English.

BD: Are you going mostly towards English music now?

No, I’m going to sing mostly in Polish, but I want to go back to English one day. I am kind of missing singing in English. I’d also like to do more concerts abroad, so I think it’s a good idea.

BD: What other concerts are coming up for you this year?

Now we are finishing the tour. We are going directly from Sziget to the Fekete Zaj festival, here in Hungary. And that will be the end of our tour. We will also play in Vilnius in September. And that’s it for this year, our next concerts will be only next year.

BD: How do you make music, does it come easily to you or do you need a lot of time to create something new? How do you typically begin crafting a new song?

It’s different with the music, sometimes you can record or write a song in one night and sometimes it takes longer. Certainly the production of the music itself takes a lot more work and concentration. But I try to be, as much as possible, spontaneous and intuitive. Not to think too much about it and let the music carry me away. I think that this is when I create best. As far as the place is concerned, I recently checked how I would write music in another country. I have spent a lot of time in Madrid and my new EP was made there. I felt how it affected the texts, the change of environment is noticeable in these songs.

BD: When creating songs, do you refer to various events from your life? To specific moments, emotions?

Yes, most of my songs stem of course from specific moments and specific events. They trigger something in me. However, my music is also not my diary and it is not a one-to-one record of my experiences. Those are rather some loose associations and processing of certain observations and something that sometimes bothers or delights me, through music. I would call it expressing my own emotions and observations through music.

BD: Do you have any musical dreams? To play on a particular stage, in a particular country?

I would love to play at the Sónar festival in Barcelona. It’s a festival I go to sometimes and it’s such a dream for me to play there.

BD: Do you have any expectations from your performance now at Sziget?

Not really, actually, I want those two concerts in Hungary, today and in a few days’ time, to be a great end to a very successful summer tour. Of course, I want as many new listeners as possible in Hungary and other countries, because that’s also why you go abroad. But most of all, I want to have fun today on the stage.

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