Who knew a breakup could sound so dreamy? Between the lyrics and production, Bailey Baum’s latest single “Bad for Me” lulls you into a trippy, almost shimmering spell, where you just want more.
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Listeners will get it fairly soon. Raised in Texas and now based in Los Angeles, the 24-year-old Baum attempts to make love, heartbreak, and friendship more relatable, infusing her songs like “Bad for Me” and previous releases like “Over It” and “Take Me All the Way” with a sense of vulnerability. The approach has worked: With just a handful of singles, Baum has garnered over 7 million streams to date, and she’s preparing to launch her debut EP titled Over It on July 30 through Ultra Records.
Baum crafted Over It as a five-song ethereal ode to young love. Following the June 18th release of “Bad for Me,” we had a chance to speak with the singer who’s been compared to Lana Del Rey and Lennon Stella about the track and her upcoming release.
What was your inspiration for “Bad for Me”?
“Bad for Me” is about realizing someone isn’t good for you anymore. You want to call, you to want to text them, but you know if you do, you will fall back into an unhealthy pattern. It’s hard when you want to go back to someone because it’s easier than being alone, but you have to find what you love about yourself and know your own worth. That’s what the song means to me.
How would you describe the relationship between lyrics and a song’s production?
I think the lyrics are the main focus in this song since the production is light and really allows the vocals to sit where they need to be. Chad Copelin is an amazing producer, and he knows exactly how to balance the music with the melodies. I’m really grateful to be able to work with such incredible creatives like Chad.
“Bad for Me” is one of five tracks from your upcoming debut EP. Where does it fit within the overall theme?
The overall theme of the EP is all about the process of falling in love with someone who isn’t right for you, realizing that, and being able to get “over it,” as the name of the EP suggests. This single, “Bad For Me,” sits right in the middle of the project because, for me, it happened after I fell for the person and was in a relationship—that wasn’t even actually a real relationship—for a little while. After realizing the toxicity of the relationship and finding out the person wasn’t the right fit for me, I had to take a step back and be like, “Okay, this person/this ‘relationship’ is actually bad for me.” Realizing that was the first step in being able to heal and actually get “over it.” The songs on the EP that follow “Bad For Me” are all reflective of that process after I made that realization.
What else should listeners expect from your EP? How did the release come together?
I’m really excited for this EP to come out. It’s easily the most real and authentic I’ve ever been. Over It explores the process of falling for someone and then getting over someone, and all of the feelings you go through during that time. It came together over the course of several months.
I was traveling to Oklahoma and Nashville to collaborate with songwriters and producers who helped me share my story through these songs. It was a long process, but we took out time making sure everything was perfect. Listeners can expect to feel the very raw emotions that I felt throughout this relationship, and I know it’s something that people will be able to relate to. I want this project to be a reminder that we all go through the same difficulties and low points when trying to get through and get out of a difficult relationship. You’re never alone and all the thoughts and feelings you have are totally valid.
Tell us about your musical background – how did you start singing and how did you start writing songs?
I have been singing since I could talk, but I started taking voice lessons when I was 8, and I started performing when I was 11. I used to carry a giant speaker with a microphone attached around my house and put on full concerts in my living room. I wrote my first song when I was 12, but I didn’t really have much I wanted to say back then, haha. I also started singing in my hometown church when I was 15 and learned a lot of valuable things about performing and working with a team.
After moving to Los Angeles and meeting so many new people within my industry, like writers and producers, I’ve grown so much as a musician and songwriter. Everything I started doing at such a young age has really prepared me for where I am now and shaped me to be the artist I want to be.
As an artist, who are your influences?
I am heavily inspired by artists like Lana Del Rey, Kacey Musgraves, and The Neighbourhood.
What’s your approach to writing a song?
I am always writing down song concepts in my phone, as well as little voice memo recordings, but I typically co-write my songs with friends and songwriters. I have all of these ideas constantly flowing, and I’m great at putting them into bits and pieces, but I love working with talented people who can really help bring these ideas to life and help me create the visions I have in my head into fully fleshed out songs.
So far, you have over 7 million streams from your singles. How does that feel?
I am proud of my accomplishments, but I still have so much I want to achieve and do. It definitely feels amazing to have people that are listening and loving the music I’ve worked so hard on. Sharing music is vulnerable but having people connect to what I’m singing means everything to me.
What future aspirations do you have as an artist?
It has always been a big dream of mine to go on tour. I want to do more than just sing though – I want to connect with people around the world and curate a full experience within my set. I’d love to do something fun with hair, makeup, outfits, and the music. Curating a vibe and an experience for people to enjoy is just as important to me as the music. I always find video, photoshoots, and getting to be visually creative really fulfilling. I would also love to work and collaborate with other artists that I’ve been inspired by – I think that’s my next goal and will be happening sooner rather than later, which is super exciting.