About Caiti Baker
Australian vocalist and songwriter Caiti Baker is a musical shape-shifter who was half of the experimental hip-hop group Sietta before embracing a more organic, rootsy sound when she went solo. Baker was born and raised in Darwin, a city in Australia's Northern Territory. Caiti's father was a blues musician, and she grew up in a house filled with music when she wasn't attending blues and folk gigs with her parents. Inspired by hip-hop and R&B -- including Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, and Janet Jackson -- as well as classic jazz and blues vocalists such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Memphis Minnie, Caiti taught herself to sing. By the age of 12, she was writing songs, and using her father's home-recording setup, she spent hours practicing her vocals by singing harmonies with herself.
In the mid-2000s, Baker met James Mangohig, a multi-instrumentalist and producer, and when they discovered they had similar tastes in music, they began collaborating. They formed the duo Sietta, whose music combined deep electronic beats with tropical melodic accents and the soulful punch of Baker's vocals. The pair made their recording debut in 2009 with an independent EP, The Come Back Easy Play. After hooking up with the Elefant Traks label, they dropped their debut album in 2011, The Seventh Passenger, with a remix EP, The Dark Passenger, following in 2012. In 2014, Sietta presented their second album, The Invisible River, but following its release, Baker decided it was time to step out on her own.
After a four-year estrangement, Baker had reconciled with her father, and in return he had given her a USB drive full of guitar patterns and harmonica riffs he had created; sampling the material, Baker and producer Michael Hohnen used them as the basis of the tracks that would form Baker's first solo projects. Caiti dropped her first solo single, "Heavy on My Heart," in August 2016, and it went on to win Best Blues and Roots Song at the NT Song of the Year Awards; her second single, "Make Your Own Mistakes," was also a winner, bringing home trophies for Best Pop Song and Song of the Year. In October 2017, Baker released her first solo album, Zinc, to rave reviews in the Australian press. ~ Mark Deming
- Darwin, Australia