He may just be 25 years in age, but Bastian Baker sings to a tune of an older soul. The Swiss singer-songwriter’s boyish good looks belie the maturity of a man who certainly knows what he wants in life.
Speaking to Star2.com, the Lausanne-born Villeneuve resident lets on that he was once an avid hockey player. While on the verge of turning professional, he decided instead to drop the sport to pursue singing.
“The only thing that kept me happy all the time – that gave me that adrenaline – was my tunes. I sang a lot back then. Everywhere I go, I would take my guitar,” he relates, regarding his early love for music.
Baker is now considered one of Switzerland’s most dynamic performers. His first and second albums Tomorrow May Not Be Better and Too Old To Die Young both went platinum since debuting in 2011 and 2013, respectively.
Within his career, he has received five Swiss Music Awards and two Prix Walo. He was recognised as “Best Swiss Act” at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards. He performed at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi too.
Baker has charmed audiences at some of the most prestigious venues and international festivals such as the Olympia in Paris, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Paleo Festival in Nyon and the Blue Note in Tokyo.
“My music has always been more folk, or rather, acoustic. From the beginning, it’s just been me and myself, and my guitar, trying to write down my feelings and putting really nice melodies to it,” he states.
According to Baker, he has a very loving and understanding family. His dad, who played hockey professionally, was fine with him switching career paths. However, that could be because of his careful planning.
“When I first told my parents about my music wish, I already had an office with a manager and label. I didn’t want to be that teenager who goes, ‘Hey, I’m 18 and I’m going crazy. I want to make music’,” he quips.
“I had a person believing in me and was going to invest money in me. I had a label that thinks my songs are great, and I had this management company who wanted to help me out. So I had something concrete to convince my parents.”
Baker was in Kuala Lumpur recently to attend an exclusive Omega event held at Starhill Gallery. As it is, his Swiss heritage underscores an apt significance of him being appointed ambassador to the luxury watch brand.
“It is not a stereotype. I think Swiss people are indeed enthusiastic about watchmaking. It’s a real passion and a real pride for us. Everywhere I travel in the world, I see Swiss watches, and that makes me proud,” he says.
Baker feels that having on a really nice watch can work as a conversation starter. He is currently wearing an Omega Globemaster, of which, he reckons has caught the attention of the many people he meets.
“You compare your watches and hear the stories of the watches. I don’t think it’s about one being better than the other. But when you see an interesting watch, you talk about it. You’d want to know why someone chose that particular watch,” he adds.
When it comes to the qualities of a watch, it is the aesthetics that matter more. Technical innovation aside, he personally prefers well-crafted timepieces that are able to make him feel good or confident.
“I was wearing the Speedmaster ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ before this. I also had a Seamaster prior to that. But I really love the Globemaster for not only having a sober design, but intricate details as well.”
While Baker describes himself as more of a “shirt and jeans kind of guy”, the one thing he cannot do away with is his watch. To him, a timepiece is probably the only cool jewellery that a man can wear.
“You will not see me without my watch. If you see me without a watch, I’m probably having a heart attack. Because I’ll be lying on the ground somewhere. My watch is always the first thing I put on in the morning after I shower,” he concludes with a laugh.