My Baby chat storytelling, the hero’s journey, and forging new genres

Since they were discovered in 2012, My Baby have been entrancing crowds with their music, staunchly hard to categorise yet linked by an undeniable hypnotism. At times it’s world music, at times it’s trance, but whatever they’re blasting from the stage, audiences simply can’t look away.

Before My Baby head to Australia as part of their massive album tour, we sat down for a chat.

my baby mounaiki

How do you categorise a band like no other? Before they check into Australia this month, we caught up with My Baby.

HAPPY: Hey, how are things? What are you up to at the moment?

MY BABY: We have just started the New Zealand leg of our tour and have crossed over to the North Island for our show in Wellington.

HAPPY: What do you say when people ask you what kind of music you make?

MY BABY: At the moment it’s roots-driven, hypnotic dance, but our sound is always evolving so soon we’ll have to think of something else.

HAPPY: What kind of music do you listen to when you’re hanging out as a band?

MY BABY: We listen to a lot of ‘world music’, in particular obscure danceable stuff when we are out in a club or bar. We get inspired by cool and interesting grooves which we try to replicate when we play live or in the studio.

HAPPY: You released Mounaiki in October 2018, what has the reception been so far?

MY BABY: We have had a good reception right across Europe and hope the album is well received in NZ and Australia.

HAPPY: What do you find your audience is like?

MY BABY: We tend to have two types. One that is more appreciative of the albums, which are more laid back and sonically varied. And then the type who enjoy the more energetic live shows, the party people.

HAPPY: What kind of energy will you set out to create when you play Mounaiki live?

MY BABY: We try to combine the full energy of our danceable material with the lyrical storytelling of the album. So there is an element of the theatrical, which is hard to combine with the frenzy and intensity of a certain rock improv… so it’s challenging. We just continue developing and getting that balance right.

HAPPY: This album is a story about a hero’s journey, can you take us through how you turned a narrative into songs?

MY BABY: To make it easier to write together we developed a fictional character, the My Baby character, our phantom muse so to speak. It’s more or less the combined personality of all three band members. A figure that represents our collective views and feelings.

For our latest album we worked on a script for a story that takes place in the fictional universe the My Baby character inhabits. The story follows the narratology of the hero’s journey and every chapter/stage is accompanied by a song. In many ways it was like composing for film… without losing track of the typical My Baby sound.

HAPPY: What’s your dream collaboration?

MY BABY: To once do a session with Sly Stone.

HAPPY: Do you think about genre when you are making music?

MY BABY: Not particularly, perhaps in terms of creating new ones, but that’s mostly not a conscious effort.

HAPPY: You are often described being influenced by ’70s punk, Afro desert blues, Moroccan Gwana, Indian raga and trance-infused EDM, how do you come to such varying influences?

MY BABY: We are drawn to music that puts you under a spell, trance inducing as it were. Repetitive beats, hypnotic grooves and hymnal invocations is how I would sum it up; that is the foundation of what we are inspired by and want to create. So that is a common thread in most of the music we indulge in.

HAPPY: Thanks for the chat!

MY BABY: Thank you.


NZ Tour Dates

17 Jan 2019 – Yot Club – Raglan
18 Jan 2019 – Soundplash festival – Raglan
19 Jan 2019 – Neck of the Woods – Auckland
20 Jan 2019 – Totara st – Mt Maunganui
31 Jan-5 Feb, 2019 –  Luminate festival – Canaan Downs
8 Feb 2019- Golden Bear – Mapua
9 Feb 2019- Marlborough Wine and Food festival – Marlborough
15 and 17 March, 2019- Womad – New Plymouth

Australian Tour Dates

23 Jan 2019 – Gasometer – Melbourne, Australia
25 Jan 2019, Rainbow serpent – Lexton Victoria, Australia
9 March 2019- Womadelaide – Adelaide, Australia
11 March 2019- Womadelaide – Adelaide, Australia

Mounaiki  is out now.