Lydia Baylis is a blonde haired, blue-eyed glowing Welsh beauty, whose roots have been anything but grounded in the turf of old Blighty. Her travels and experiences have given her wisdom beyond her years, providing her with a rich source of lyrical inspiration for her song writing exploits; producing a singer/songwriter who can delve deeper than those twice her age, to creating songs that both move and entertain their listener. With looks to die for and a voice that's divine, Lydia Baylis is set to be one of the voices of her time.
But modesty befalls this beauty, who is totally unaware of the talents and experiences that make her what she is today, "I'm just me," she says. But at 23 years of age, this stunning girl has condensed more into her first twenty-three years than most of us ever achieve in a lifetime. Lydia's story is incredible and she feels it's imperative to begin it before she was even born, with the life of her father who served in the armed forces...
1982 - The Falklands War. Lydia's father, Peter Owen Edmunds, was serving on the Galahad when it was attacked. Lying alongside him was another Officer called Hilarion Roberts, who was badly burnt in the explosion. The bond they formed in those desperate hours was glue-tight and the men stepped into each other's family life forever from that point forward. That's when Peter met Hilarion's younger sister, Helena, his future wife.
The second of four children to Helena and Peter, baby Lydia was born in
the English countryside of Aldershot, Hampshire. But being the child of
a service man means that life doesn't stay idyllic for long and by the
time Lydia was just 2-years-old, the family were re-located to Germany.
Two years on, and the family up-rooted again, this time for a long stint in Russia, an experience which formed indelible memories for tiny Lydia, "First we lived in a hotel where we all made caves out of the furniture! Then we moved to an ex-communal flat, which had previously been shared by 4 families, all living in separate rooms & sharing a kitchen and no bath. I have firm memories of the old communist radios which were sunken into the walls, with no controls (though obviously they did not play anymore)."
The children attended an Anglo American School in St Petersburg, which started off in the basement of the American Consul house. There were just 12 students in the whole school with a wooden board that divided the room, splitting the class into those that knew their English alphabet, and those who didn't!
Just ahead of the new Millennium, the family moved back to the UK, and this is where Lydia's musical tale begins. Lydia enrolled at St Mary's, Shaftsbury, where she dedicated her time to performing in school plays and musicals, as well as joining her first ever band called, 'Lights Out'. She was also head of the debating society and loved every minute of school!
With her performing talent well and truly established, Lydia left school at the age of 18 and immediately sought the bright lights of New York, where she appeared in a Tennessee Williams play off Broadway called 'Pieces of Paradise'. During this time, Lydia met Ronan Coleman, realized that they had an instant musical chemistry and the pair began writing songs together. Alongside the songwriting, Lydia worked as a runner on a set in Queens. It was here that our young artist experienced her first glint of Hollywood at the premier of the film, 'Notes on a Scandal', (starring Kate Blanchett, Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) where the legendary silver screen goddess, Lauren Bacall, made a physical bee-line for gorgeous Lydia and said, "Your hair is simply beautiful my dear."
Lydia's global exploits later took her to India and South East Asia where she stayed for 6 months, earning money by teaching English. Her adventures also landed her on the production team for Liz Hurley's wedding, "My hair was pink from the Holi Festival the week before, where they throw multi-coloured die everywhere and with my hair being so blonde the pink dye instantly stuck. We then rocked up, pink hair and all, at the wedding preparations, where I'd been hired on a two-week contract, it was an unforgettable experience. I actually spent half a day doing nothing but testing the Pimms!"
When Lydia returned to the UK, university was calling and she landed herself an envious place at Oxford, Christchurch College, to study History. Whilst at uni, she worked in the Jericho Caf and she remembers, "Students weren't really supposed to work - once my Tutor came in and I had to hide in the kitchens!" During this time, Lydia carried on singing & writing in Oxford, performing at the Jericho Tavern & The Jam Factory as well as College balls, "I went back to NYC for 2 summers in a row, carrying on writing and performing with Ronan and his band." Lydia graduated from Oxford with a 2.1 & went to work and write in London.
"It's when I arrived in London that I started work on the album & 'finding my voice...!'" she reminisces. Lydia began co-writing with Paul Statham (credits include Dido, Kylie, Jim Kerr) & Ian Pickering (credits include Sneaker Pimps), song writers who she'd met through her management team. She quickly stepped onto the London music circuit, performing her own songs and gaining herself a name in venues such as Troubadour (where she had a residency), Water Rats, The Bedford and Regal Rooms for ASCAP.
It's during this time that Lydia met musicians Richard Cardwell (credits include Annie Lennox, James Morrison, Dido) and Owen Parker (credits include Amy MacDonald, Pet Shop Boys, The Gossip) and the chemistry was instantaneous. Lydia co-wrote half of her forthcoming album with Richard and Owen who would go on to be the production team for her debut album. Drawn by the buzz of the big Apple, Lydia also made frequent trips back to NYC, where she was inspired to write and perform, with production duo, Ronan Coleman and Augustus Skinner, Crispin Thump / Muse IQ, based in Brooklyn.
Fast forward to late 2012 and recording of the debut album, 'A Darker
Trace' began in earnest. A meditation on the darker side of human
nature, this album was inspired by the literature of Virginia Woolf and
the Bronte Sisters, as well as music by artists such as Beth Orton, Joni
Mitchell and Florence Welch. It's an exploration of life's mellow
depths, but also it's over-arching joy.
"The album covers a wide spectrum of topics from everyday love and heartbreak, through to influences that I've had from play or a book in some way or another, 'Whitehouse' is about a mellow drama called 'Murder in the Red Barn' and 'Into the Water' is about Virginia Woolf committing suicide."
Stare into the deep blue of Lydia's eyes and you'll catch a twinkle that tells you that this girl isn't going to stop until she's achieved everything that her passion drives her towards. 'A Darker Trace' is a epic tale that exposes a tiny glimpse of the stunning Lydia Baylis. But this is only the start, the Lydia Baylis tale has only just begun.....
|18 Jun 13||Hoxton Bar & Kitchen||London, UK|
|15 Aug 13||Rattlesnake||London, UK|