Last year, Baiyu was No. 1 on Singersroom’s “Most Popular R&B Songs of the Week” list several times. It made us question, “Who is this new artist beating out the competition?” She is a Twitter power influencer leading over one hundred thousand followers without a record deal. The Princeton grad has taken a stance to seek inspiration and jump into the experiences that are revealed through the honest emotions in her art. Baiyu has a simple goal: “To continue to share songs that I personally am proud of and enjoy, so that’s really it. I’m hoping that somewhere, somehow, I create a spark of inspiration.”
For her my recent project ‘Ayahuasca,’ named after the Peruvian psychedelic brew, she literally packed her bags for a journey that is said to bring enlightenment. If you want to take the voyage without any nausea just let Baiyu be your shaman and press play on her album.
In our chat with Baiyu, we uncover the ingredients that guide her current perspective as an artist.
Early Start on Career Path
College Never Stopped My Art… I actually finished high school early to pursue music for a bit, but college was a must do. A small part of me wishes I could have graduated University earlier, but I love those four years. Going to Princeton has never stopped me from taking the train from New Jersey into NYC every chance I had though!
Parents Job Dreams… Don’t go into music. Kidding. Come on, I have tiger parents! They’re naturally not going to fawn over the idea that I want to be a musician, as much as they love the arts. I totally get it and understand that. Growing up, my mom and dad always wanted me to be a lawyer or doctor. I think they almost felt bad that they didn’t feel like they could help me find a mentor of sorts in the music space, but that’s also what made me want to pursue it even more.
I want to be that mentor for other kids who didn’t want to do something conventional. I think that’s always been especially critical in Asian American culture.?
To Make Art, Live Art
Drinking the Brew of Ayahuasca… From the beginning, I loved the idea of Ayahuasca – the whole element of going on a personal journey and really facing who you are head on. I suppose loving an idea and acting on it from both a more literal, and in this case creative, standpoint can sometimes be very different.
I’m not the type to talk the talk and not walk the walk, so although I knew that going down to Peru and experiencing the actual Ayahuasca ceremony wasn’t going to be easy, I also knew I had to just suck it up and do it. Thankfully, it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! It really validated that I’m going down the right path, and that having worked on my inside pretty extensively, I’m close to being who I think I am and want myself to be.
Expressing of the Best Lyrics… I kind of feel the same way about lyrics as I do songs. I haven’t written my best song yet, and in that sense, I haven’t written my best lyrics yet either. Thinking this way makes me look forward to my own growth as an artist and reinforce that music is something I’m always going to try and get better at. I want to give the art room to breathe and evolve as I do, and I also want to believe that my next project is going to be better than the last.
Fans in the Creative Process… In a way, I think that it’s one in the same. Fans are really savvy and intuitive. Especially given the plethora of music that’s out there for them to choose from, I want to believe that if I speak/write/sing honestly, then hopefully that’s what connects. At the end of the day, music’s all about expressing truth in a tongue that’s native to the human spirit.
Although I can admit that this hasn’t always been the case throughout the years, I am proud to say that as I’ve matured, so has my music. That’s what Ayahuasca is. It’s me.
Music is For Ears, Not Eyes… It’s all very deliberate. Looking a certain way comes with an inherent bias, and I wanted to get rid of that to some degree. Music is so personal, and the appreciation of expression should be void of that type of preconception. I wanted to encourage people to just listen to the tunes with the hope that when they form an opinion about it, positive or negative, that it’s only related to the song itself, and how it made them feel.
Work Husband… I work most closely with one particular member of Grand Staff that goes by the name of KQuick and he’s just a phenomenal musician that I’ve jived with for quite some time. It’s very rare for me to feel like I speak the same musical language as someone, or in that case, to find a partner in crime who can truly help me bring my vision to life, and Quick is that for me. He gets it. He gets me. What’s better than that!