Daydream Believer: Caity Baser

Interview Daydream Believer: Caity Baser

Putting the personality back into pop, Caity Baser is the future superstar you’ll wish was your best mate.

Caity Baser isn’t normally one for prolonged silences - or silences of any length, really - but if you’d have spotted the 20-year-old singer at this year’s BRITs, sat on a table with Matty Healy a stone’s throw to her left and Maya Jama to her right, you might have thought the gregarious popstar-in-waiting somewhat reserved.

“When the music was going on I was alright, but the rest of the time I felt really weird, like how on earth am I here?! I was just sitting there, which is very rare for me because I’m quite an erratic person and I talk all the time. But as the night went on I thought, ‘I’m meant to be here and I need to own this’,” she recalls, dialling in a few days after the ceremony from her management’s Piccadilly Circus offices. “I wanna be there next year performing, so it was a spoon-feed of what I could have and what I could be. I visualise everything, so maybe the reason I was so quiet is because I was scheming everything in my brain… In the end, though, I was running around the afterparty in my socks because my feet were hurting so much; it was iconic.”

Born in Southampton - a town and a youth experience that she “hated more than anything in the world” - dreaming big and manifesting it into reality has been something of a thread through Caity’s life so far. When she was eight, her mum took her to Katy Perry’s bubblegum fantasy ‘Teenage Dream’ tour at London’s O2 Arena; despite being sat in the top tier nosebleed seats, a young Baser immediately felt her entire world shift. “I remember being in this enormous room and thinking, ‘Why do I feel connected to everyone here? Why do I feel like everyone knows each other? How has this person made everyone cry and understand what she’s going through?’” she says. “I remember she flew out onto a cloud into the audience, and I just wanted to be that person that connects the dots for everyone and makes them feel safe and heard. It’s such a special feeling.”

Caity began to write her own fledgling songs and, as the years went on, much better, much less rudimentary offerings - bright and brilliant pop tracks filled with conversational lyrics that she hopes “sound like FaceTime calls, [where] what you’re hearing is probably what I called my best mate about and said exactly like that”. One - last year’s friends-with-benefits-shunning ‘Friendly Sex’ - went viral on TikTok; Caity seized the opportunity and moved to Brighton. “I saw a chance that I could move to a different city and get out of [Southampton] and it’s the best decision that I ever made.”

“I feel like my fans are all my mates and I wouldn’t hide shit from my mates.”

Today’s chat lands just ahead of the release of Baser’s debut EP ‘Thanks For Nothing, See You Never’: a milestone that she says “makes [her] want to smash something in a nice, happy way”. Full of sweary, sassy tracks that tackle love and sex with a cheeky, observational eye, it’s garnered the singer easy comparisons to Lily Allen and Kate Nash - a generation of pop stars who prioritised personality over perfection - but Caity is keen to be seen as her own entity. “I do love their music because they’re so honest and rude and cheeky and that’s what I’m like,” she says, “but they’re not who I wanna be. I just wanna be me.”

Having grown up in a household soundtracked by the all-time greats (Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Fleetwood Mac, The Carpenters) and citing the likes of SZA, Doja Cat, Aitch and Stormzy as current loves, Baser’s palette is clearly different from the indie-leaning sensibilities of her ‘00s forebears. What connects them, however, is an attitude that stands out from their peers. “I just think, in a world of so many things going on, you have to do something a bit different, or just be honest in your music,” she shrugs. “I find it so hard to dress something up or make it sound metaphorical or poetic. I’m just like, ‘Here’s what’s happened: beginning, middle, end! Here’s how I feel!’

“I had so many years of not liking who I was and feeling like I didn’t fit in anywhere, but I’ve never been more comfortable with myself,” she continues. “Now that I’ve got this platform, and people that love and wanna listen to me, I feel so comfortable saying [these stories]. I feel like my fans are all my mates and I wouldn’t hide shit from my mates. The way forward is to keep that close feeling, so I’m just like whatever, say what I want, take it or leave it!”

It’s a spirit that’s clearly working, but now her early manifestations have started to become real, Caity’s upping the ante. “I slept for an hour last night because I was just sat there planning my life; I do this all the time - one hour’s sleep!” she giggles. What’s on the checklist? “I just want to be everywhere. I want to be at every festival, in every country, the name in everyone’s mouths. I wanna be everyone’s mate, everyone’s big sister, everyone’s therapist. I want it so bad it keeps me up at night. I just never wanna stop, no days off,” she grins. “Have a day off when you’re dead.”

‘Thanks For Nothing, See You Never’ is out now via Chosen Music Limited.

Tags: Caity Baser, Features, Interviews

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