I was first introduced to My Baby while attending the International Festival Forum at London’s iconic Proud Gallery, where they were touted as the next big thing: "The ones to watch out for in 2016"; and after catching their live performance at London venue, Oslo, I can’t say I’m surprised.
Their songs have been compared to the likes of Zeppelin, Hendrix, and Nina Simone - a psychedelic tapestry of soul, blues, and gospel played in perfect unison to a unique dance beat. What is more surprising is that that this dynamic trio play it all live, entirely organically.
Bursting on to the stage with freakishly good vocals, blues guitar, and a strong groove, the band captivate the crowd almost immediately with their performance and hypnotic visuals. In their own words: "It’s like Muddy Waters trying to sound like Armin van Buuren". And it works.
The Amsterdam natives are comprised brother and sister duo, Cato and Joost Van Dijck, and guitarist, Kiwi native, Daniel ‘DaFreez’ Johnston. What started as jamming sessions some 10 years ago (after Joost and Daniel met through their mutual guitar teacher) has now become a sophisticated musical act, with an ever-growing, worldwide following.
After recently completing a tour with Sea Sick Steve, playing to packed venues including the O2 Hammersmith Apollo, Johnston reflects:
"It’s been very inspiring to have someone like Steve as an ambassador for the band. We both share certain roots, so there was an understanding between us. We went somewhere different with our live performance, but that is what he found unique about us, and why we were brought on board, really."
Blending the past and present together into an imaginative landscape, their songwriting is inspired by the artists and genres of the swampy '20s and '30s, the swinging '60 and '70s, and The New Orleans scene including the infamous Dr John Gris-Gris album. Collaborating together, the group are focused on bridging the gap between repetitive grooves and beats inspired by dance music, with musical influences of their heroes from the past.
It’s been a big year for My Baby, playing over 150 live shows and no less than seven alternative stages at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. So, what does 2016 hold for the band? As well as writing songs for their third album, they are due to release a live record, and tour dates are booking fast. My Baby will be finishing the year playing Amsterdam’s legendary Paradiso on Dec 23.
So, is it worth keeping an eye out for My Baby next year? Yes, yes it is.