In the Spotlight… BAYLA, The Emerging Pop Artist from Montreal

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I’ve been seeing and hearing about Bayla everywhere lately and I am so happy to share the interview I was lucky enough to have with this kind and talented artist from Montreal.

I saw your interview on Global, and I know that you have done several other interviews on Radio stations (such as CJAD, CJLO)-  how does it feel seeing yourself on TV, or hearing yourself on the radio?  Do you think you’ll ever get adjusted to it?

Hearing myself on the radio will always feel strange, but in a cool way!   It’s pretty surreal to be getting media attention lately. But most of all, it’s really nice to finally feel like after so much effort, time and sleepless nights spent on my new music project, people are interested in hearing my music and what I have to say! 

How long have you been interested in singing?  Have you always wanted to be a music artist?

Growing up, if I was feeling sad, or happy, or confused, music was always there to match my mood and make me feel better. It’s pretty funny because although I have always been attracted to music, I didn’t actually sing for anyone until I was about thirteen years old. So being a singer/songwriter just sort of came to me and secretly made its way to the forefront of my life without me ever deciding that it was what I wanted to do. It just sort of happened, and when it did, it was clear that it is what I was meant to be doing.

I heard that when you were younger, you were told you would be unable to sing due to an issue with your vocal cords.  What was that experience like at the time you were told?  What were the emotions you felt and how did you get through them?

I remember feeling like my heart dropped out of my chest. I was about nine years old at the time and music was definitely my go-to thing. Although I wasn’t really singing yet at that point, being told by doctors that I would never be able to sing really disappointed me. I think maybe being told that I’d never be able to sing is what gave me the drive to actually prove them wrong!

How did you end up proving the doctors wrong?  Were there surgeries involved, therapy or was it a lot of luck?

Proving doctors wrong was a combination of Speech Therapy and determination. I had to re-learn how to breathe again, because my vocal cords were closing upon  inhalation. 

Did you come from a musical family?  Where in Montreal did you grow up?

I grew up in the West Island of Montreal, specifically, Dollard-des-Ormeaux. Musically, I was sort of the black sheep. There are creative people in my extended family, but there are no musicians! 

People may know the music you released under your name, Brittany Kwasnik- what made you decide to change it to Bayla and how long ago?

About a year and a half or go, I began writing and recording for my new project. I noticed that my music was taking a different shape – I wasn’t writing emotional ballads anymore. Instead, my songs were happy, energetic, positive and would make people want to dance! It was unusual for me, but as I continued writing, I realized that I was sounding like a completely new artist. I figured I would commit to this new sound, and decided to change my stage name for the project. I thought it would match the songs more, and would be easier to remember. As of June 2015, I started changing my social media pages to BAYLA, and officially released my debut single as BAYLA in September!

Your music has gotten lighter, with a lot of 80’s influence- what brought around that change?

I’m a much happier person now than I used to be. In my personal development, I’ve come from being a pessimist to an optimist, and it was by choice! So, changing my perspective as well as other positive experiences are the reason my music has gotten so much lighter! 

BaylaPromoPicWho are you main inspirations?  Favorite artists etc.

Some of my favourite artists include Dallas Green, Pink, Alanis Morissette, Tegan & Sara, Regina Spektor, Stevie Nicks, Missy Higgins…The list goes on!

You recently released the video of your Debut Single, Turn It Around- what was it like shooting the video?  It looks like it was a ton of fun!

The shoot was so much fun! I invited some of my closest friends, including my puppy, Enzo, to be extras in the video! Having them there made the experience so amazing and unforgettable. It was also really great working with Drei Media, who filmed and directed the video, as well as Don Dada, who helped in the artistic direction. 

The video was shot in Montreal-  what is your favorite part of Montreal?  Any landmarks or areas you especially appreciate?

The video was shot in Montreal, specifically in Westmount & St. Henri! I love Montreal and am so proud to call it home. There are so many places that I enjoy throughout the city, but I really love hanging out by the Lachine Canal near the Atwater Market!

Do you think being an artist emerging in Montreal offers any unique experiences compared to other places?  What do you think of Montreal’s music scene?

Montreal has a flourishing music scene! There are multiple shows and performances each night by indie artists. It’s really inspiring to be in a city that values culture and art so much! Without it, it wouldn’t be Montreal!

When do you expect to release your EP?  Can we know the title or any insider information about it?

I am so excited to release the EP! It will come out sometime in 2016! I’m currently recording the last track for it, actually! It kills me to have to keep this music a secret for a little while longer…I’ve never been this proud of my music, so I am really looking forward to sharing it with everyone! 

What are the best ways for fans to reach you/listen to or buy your music?

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube are all great ways to stay in the loop! As the EP get closer, I will be sharing some snippets and revealing some really exciting things, so go ahead and follow me! My debut single “Turn It Around” is available on iTunes now, as well, and can be streamed on Spotify and Apple Music! 

You heard her, guys!  To find more information on the EP release/events, or to see ways to Follow Bayla, check out her Facebook (www.facebook.com/baylaofficial), Instagram (www.instagram.com/baylaofficial), Twitter (www.twitter.com/baylaofficial)  and Itunes! 

Watch the Official Video for BAYLA’s Debut Singe, “Turn It Around” here and be sure to find me on Facebook for other interviews & more!

Want more information about Bayla?  Read another interview she did with Bob Dubois, for the Montreal Times here– it’s a great interview!

-JLA

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