Today, Louis Baker releases a soul-stirring and deeply personal single and video, 'Brighter Day'.
The brand new single draws on the experiences of Baker’s grandfather Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Baker (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Tu) who served in the 28th Māori Battalion. Paying tribute to the triumphs and adversities faced by his Koro, 'Brighter Day' is equal parts uplifting and heart-tugging with sparkling Rhodes keys, Motown-styled guitar stabs, and punchy bass lines. The result is a warm, soulful groove, with Baker’s distinctive vocals delivering his message of whānau pride and hope for future generations.
Baker reveals about the song, “I wrote 'Brighter Day' for my grandfather who I never met. The song is inspired by a letter he wrote to his cousin during World War II, and of the many harrowing experiences he went through. During the war he was shot through the mouth at El Alamein, 1942. After returning home and having surgery on his face, he would spend time repeating the words “today is a beautiful day” in front of the mirror, to train his mouth and muscles to speak again. He was incredibly determined and courageous. No matter what happened, he kept a positive mind-set and looked for brighter days ahead. This is my letter to him.”
The heartfelt track is accompanied by an emotive video, directed by Anahera Parata (2020 AMA Artisan Awards Winner), which opens with the Māori Battalion marching song and black-and-white archive footage. These are depicted as prominent and at times, all-consuming, reflections of memories for Lt. Col Frederick Baker who is portrayed by NZ actor Calvin Tuteao (Top of The Lake, Underbelly, Once Were Warriors). A poignant moment shows Tuteao looking at a photo of ‘himself’ which is in fact a photo of Frederick Baker and his fellow servicemen. Anahera says, “It’s a time capsule that honours our kaumātua who went to war. 'Brighter Day', seeks to remind us to look towards the glimmer of light, that our tamariki are the joy we celebrate and hope for better days ahead.”
'Brighter Day’ is the second single to come from Baker this year, following his summer banger ‘Overdrive’ featuring NZ rapper/producer Kings which shot to No. 1 upon release in February and has clocked over 350k Spotify streams. Both tracks have been produced by New Zealand producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Devin Abrams (Drax Project, Pacific Heights). Baker has recently taken his songwriting talents to TV2’s Popstars, appearing as the first mentor on the new series last month. This follows his sold-out headline show with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) at Auckland’s Town Hall in February that culminated to a standing ovation.
With over 25 million Spotify streams and a loyal global following, the successful touring artist has sold out countless shows in New Zealand and performed on the European festival circuit multiple times. Baker’s debut album Open was released in 2019 to critical acclaim, including a prestigious Taite Music Prize nomination, and Recorded Music NZ nominations for Best Soul Artist and Best Māori Artist. Previous singles ‘Back On My Feet’ (2014), ‘Rainbow’ (2016), and 'Black Crow’ (2018) have been recognised with APRA Silver Scroll nominations.
Stay tuned for more music from Louis Baker this year.
'Brighter Day' is out now via all online streaming platforms