Baird is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter born in the suburbs of Baltimore. Most classically trained musicians hang on every aspect of their schooling, Baird is in the process of musical unlearning. Baird lives in Los Angeles, his two projects – Baird & South Hill Street Experiment (or S/H/E created by him and his brother and their merry band of misfits) – pull from the past while sounding like nothing before. A manifesto they wrote for this project: “Not overthinking things, not second guessing things.” We could all use a little more self determination for our self actualization. With Baird, we’d argue there's a cosmic difference between him and the rest, he is trying to unearth how to write a true story, a true song, all with a smile, just so maybe we could get a little closer to understanding why we’re really here

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What was it like growing up in Baltimore, what were you into?

My buddies and I formed our first band in first grade, we were called “The Broken Halo,” and I was the tyrannical Paul-type leader. Just writing everybody's parts out. My friend was the lead singer, and we would write the songs together. We broke up because right after Halloween, the drummer kept running off to eat candy and then throwing candy at other people and farting. I just got really pissed at everybody, and then we broke up. They were like “Dude, why are you being such a nerd, just relax, and eat some candy.”

(Laughing) After that did your solo career start?

I was like, “I'm going solo.” (Laughing) I honestly didn't really take music that seriously for a long time. It was always something I did. I took piano lessons and stuff. In high school I started taking it more seriously. I think it's a typical Baltimore thing where you’ll have row homes and alleys behind. Our neighbor across the alley was this older kid, Peter. He was starting to get into DAW music production, making beats, downloading loops, that sort of thing, electronic stuff. It felt accessible for the first time to make music on your own.

Then after high school what did you get up to?

I started putting out a lot of music on SoundCloud. I put out two songs with this label in Paris and actually went over there and did a DJ set when I was 18. They paid me 300 euros cash, I did the gig and then got an overnight train to Spain, just spent all the cash over the course of a few weeks.

Why Spain?

Well I went there because I wanted to get better at Spanish. I took Spanish classes at this university in Santiago, and lived with this family, all in all it was a month and a half. That was actually the summer before I went to college, I worked half the summer on this farm – I went from playing this DJ set on the Seine to shoveling chicken shit. Then a month later to college, with a bunch of people throwing ping pong balls and throwing up.

How was taking all of that in?

It’s just another way to do shit. Earn a little money, spend it on something that lets you learn, or at least is a trippy experience.

Absolutely, did you study music in college?

I studied music and Latin American studies. At first I tried to be an environmental studies major, then I thought about linguistics for a bit. I ended up taking a bunch of humanities and history classes. I really liked all that, but then the thing that I just kept coming back to was music, it became the path of least resistance. The music program was cool. There were some intense theory bits, there was a really dope jazz theory class that rearranged my brain and cool exposure to weirdo electronic music. In general I did feel it was a little too focused on impractical applications in academic music.