615 Spotlight: Kaitlyn Baker & Her Debut Single 'Burn'

Kaitlyn Baker
Paula Rowe

Things are definitely going at a quick pace for newcomer Kaitlyn Baker as of late. The songstress has just released her debut single, “Burn,” which hit iTunes Tuesday (June 24). She’s taken to the airwaves to promote it. “We had a TV interview this morning in Nashville, and did two songs from the project on-air. That was great, and we’re extremely excited about the single being released. I’m really looking forward to seeing kind of feedback we get from it.” The SilverCreek release will be going to radio soon 

The Virginia native says that seeing her music on the popular online digital site has been a dream come true. “I’ve never had anything on there, so being able to log into iTunes and see my stuff on there will be the most rewarding feeling – especially since Scott Arnold and I wrote the song. For people to be able to sing along to it, that’s going to be the coolest thing.” Was she up at midnight yesterday to see the listing of the song for herself. She pauses for a moment, smiles, and says “Uh....yeah!”

Music is something that runs in her family, as she tells Billboard. “My papaw sings, and plays guitar, piano, and mandolin – pretty much any instrument. I grew up listening to a lot of Bluegrass music, and started singing in Church at an early age. My dad’s mom played. She’s 82 years old now and still plays and sings. It’s always been in the family, so it’s just second nature for me to pick it up and do it myself.”

She recalls that music was her release because she admits there wasn’t much else to do in her hometown of Pound, Virginia - a little town with about 1,000 people. “We had no red light. There wasn’t a lot to do there. On Thursday nights, we have a thing at the town hall where we go listen to some bluegrass music. That’s pretty much it. We don’t really have any major restaurants in town except a place called Robo’s – which is one of the best places to eat hamburgers and hot dogs. That’s all we got – a bank, a Dollar General, and an IGA,” she says with a dose of small town charm.

When it comes to her influences, Baker says that two stand tall above the rest. “My favorite artist has always been Elvis Presley. I grew up listening to a lot of older rock music, bluegrass, and country. I also listened to a lot of Martina McBride. She’s such a classy artist, and her voice is so powerful. I’ve always looked up to her.”

Having made several trips to Nashville to cut her debut project, Baker says she remains amazed at how deep the talent pool is in Music City. “I wouldn’t call it intimidating, but I was so overwhelmed by how many people who do the same thing, and were trying to do the same thing in the business. There are so many super talented people. Back home, we don’t really have bars or clubs where people can go perform except for the Town Hall, and there’s only a few people who go there. That was all new to me, and it was very inspiring to me,” she said.

Working closely with Baker is singer / songwriter / producer Scott Arnold – formerly of the duo Bulls Gap. She says she couldn’t be following her dream without him. “I think the biggest influence I’ve had is Scott. I’ve spent so much time with him in the studio. He helped me to learn harmonies, and songwriting. It gives me a way to express how I feel, and hopefully people can relate, and take back something from it, I’m one of those people who are always writing about something that’s real, and something that happened to me or someone else that I have known. All of my songs are real, and I love that you can reach out to people and be yourself.”

Baker plans to hit radio stations this summer to promote the single, and is actively booking dates for the rest of 2014.