BAYNK On Relocation, New Music, And Multivitamins

Photo Credit: Eric Kelly

Updated January 30th at 10:30 PM:  Due to venue constraints, BAYNK will not be setting up full visual production as detailed below; he will instead perform a more traditional DJ set.

    “a divine mixture of light and shade, the rough with the smooth” // CLASH
“shows off the simple 'less-is-more' songwriting...a staple of his output”
// Complex

To say the last two years have been a whirlwind for New Zealand native BAYNK would be quite the understatement. Last year alone brought a sold-out debut U.S. headlining tour, a special guest spot on San Holo’s Fall tour, and the release of four new singles. As if that’s not enough to mark 2018 as one for the books, BAYNK also took the plunge and moved halfway across the world to L.A. 

Taking full advantage of his incredible momentum, BAYNK will be returning to D.C. this Saturday, February 1. Prior to his performance at U Street Music Hall, I had the opportunity to chat with the artist about his adjustment to the U.S., the story behind his latest singles, and how many bottles multivitamins it takes to make it through a tour.

From NZ to L.A.

I wanted to start by talking about your move to L.A.! What was the motivation for the location change?

I guess, first and foremost I was coming out here four or five times a year for shows anyways, so it made sense financially.

Photo Credit: Eric Kelly

Photo Credit: Eric Kelly

I also wanted to get out of my comfort zone a little bit. In New Zealand, there's not a lot of people to collaborate with; I wanted to find people I had never met before. I found that I was doing the same stuff over and over again [in New Zealand], so I wanted to try new things and push myself a little bit. 

I'm a first generation American, so I know that moving to a new country is kind of scary. How was the transition for you?

You know what, it was fine! I had my manager and team, who I had all met before in L.A., so I had a little bit of a base. Also whilst touring, I wasn't scared to push them to set up an apartment. So I've moved since and it's very exciting! 

Environment & The Songwriting Process

You touched on this a little bit when you were talking about why you moved, but I'm curious as to how your approach to songwriting changes when you're in a different location? Do you end up producing a different sound overall?

It changes as required, but I don't think it's necessarily different from space to space. It depends on what's around me; usually, I have a field recorder or a microphone, so maybe I'll record random sounds around me. 

Because it's usually a different music type, I don't think it's the location influencing the process of writing the song. The place I'm at more dictates the emotion the track takes on; however I'm feeling, I basically want to try and make a song that represents that.

"Off Limits" & "Settle"

Your most recent single, "Off Limits" was released in early December. I've been jamming out to it pretty much since then! How did the single come together?

That was definitely a sunny L.A. song. I'm glad you enjoyed it, thank you very much for saying that! 

It was a hot day in L.A., and I loved the girl's voice from Glades. I hadn't heard too much about them, but I reached out and asked them what they were doing. Turns out, they were finishing up their album like five minutes from me in an Airbnb! 

So I popped down the road, and it was the quickest five hours—I sat on their couch and just muddled around. It all just sort of came together...they write really quickly, they're like a writing powerhouse.

Another single you released earlier last year was "Settle". I was watching the video for it and noticed you had a directors credit, which I found interesting! I know that usually musicians usually come with an idea for the video, but it seemed like you had a lot more involvement in this. How did you come up with that concept, and what was the idea behind it?

I've actually directed the majority of my music videos! I get really creative if I'm doing multiple genres of art.

I tend to think of the visual at the same time that I'm making the song; that in a way inspires the song as well.

"Settle" didn't have a lot going on in terms of production and I wanted to use the beautiful words from Sinead [Harnett] as the main instrument the whole way through. I wanted the visual to reflect that, which is why there's a lot of black and white, and there isn't that much going on. It's an idea I had wanted to do for a while, especially the 360-degree camera work.

How was the execution of the video? Was it harder than you expected or did you have an idea of how it would go?

It's always harder to execute than to come up with the idea! I know exactly how I want it to look, but then working out how to do that takes time. It's a lot of watching YouTube tutorials and talking to one of my creative directors, Spencer Graves and my producer Jeremy [Hartman]. Figuring out how to make the video is always the hard part.

Nort​​​​​​h American Tour & Vitamins

The last time last time you were in D.C. you played an outdoor gig, where it was SO hot outside.

Oh my god, it was so hot, I remember was so much fun, but so painfully hot!

That's D.C. for you! Now that you're playing in the winter and also inside, in a more traditional concert environment, what changes can the crowd expect to see?

lot. I love playing outside, but it brings down the production; it becomes more of a D.J. set, which is still a lot of fun. It's nothing like these shows will be though.

I put a lot of emphasis on the stage production for this tour. There's an LED frame-like object that I'll be bringing into the mix. I'm programming it now, so it's pretty exciting!

Musicians have a pretty intense touring schedule, which is difficult on both the mind and body. What do you do to take care of yourself while you're on tour?

I have like five bottles of multivitamins for morning and night [laughs]. No matter what, I get sick on every tour, but this is going to be the tour that doesn't happen!

I try to go for a run once or twice a week; now that it's winter, that probably won't happen. Being on a bus with twelve people, if one person gets sick on the bus then at least like 50% of the others do.

Yeah, it's kind of like being back in college with all those germs spreading around...

Yeah yeah, it's exactly the same thing! It's like revisiting my university days [laughs].

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Performance Details

Performance Details



Friday, February 1, 2019

Doors: 10:00PM

Show: 10:30PM

U Street Music Hall


1115 U Street NW

Washington, DC, 20009

(Google Maps Link​)

$15 - In Advance

$20 - Day of Performance

About the author

Ana Medvedeva

Fueled by iced coffee, Ana is a web developer by day, and avid concert goer by night. With a music taste as varied as her hair color, she loves bringing a performance to life through the power of words. In her spare time, Ana loves to snowboard, hang out with her cat Mimosa, and nerd out about true crime.