A Cool Guy with a Guitar- Isaiah Baudanza

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Tyra Garrett

Isaiah Baudanza (12) smiles for a picture at the LAC Festival

Olivia Cornell, Reporter

At the recent music and culture fest put on by Highland’s LAC (Latino Advocacy Club), there was a wonderful opportunity to watch and listen to four live music performances. Among these performers was Isaiah Baudanza (12). All musicians, like Isaiah, have different stories and unique backgrounds, and they all have opinions to share on different aspects of the music world. To get to know more about these passionate individuals, and the man behind the music, I asked Isaiah a few questions.

When and how did you start playing music?

“When I asked my parents for a bass, because I thought bass was cool, and that was in junior high.”

Did someone specific teach you, or are you self-taught?

“I’d say I’m self taught. I would try to play with people who were better than me, as often as I could. When you’re doing that, you kind of just learn things from them.”

What instrument do you play? Which one is your favorite?

“I play guitar and bass; those are the only instruments I feel that I play well, but I can kind of play drums and keys. I’m better at guitar because I have more opportunities to play it.”

What style of music do you like playing the most?

“Each genre of music offers its own individualized experience. Jazz is more free form improvisation, based around decades of this musical language that has been developed. And then punk rock comes with this anger and physical experience. Hip-hop is more groove based; same with indie.”

What are the frustrating aspects of being in a band? 

“Oh, my God. I mean, I’m constantly dissatisfied with myself, like all the time, and that just goes to every aspect of musicianship. As a producer, I don’t like what I do, as a guitarist, I don’t like what I do. I mean, I like what I do, I’m just not satisfied. I wanna make it better. All the time. But being in a band is way worse, haha. It’s fun, but, you know, it’s frustrating trying to work with people.”

What does it feel like to rock a show? What does it feel like to bomb a show?

“*Laughter* I have bombed many shows. Rocking a show feels nice, I mean, to a degree, because you’re never happy, but *laughter* it’s like everyone compliments you and everything, and then you’re like “oh, yeah I’m bad.” But bombing a show also feels bad. Well, it’s not that bad, because you’re never satisfied in the first place *laughter*.”

Is music an emotional outlet? How so? 

“I mean yeah, like, everybody does to a different degree. I mean, music has this unique relationship with us. People like to say music is a universal language; it’s not. Music kind of caters to everyone’s individual experience. So for me, the sound of Thom Yorke or Radiohead is gonna hit me really strongly in the emotions, where it might not hit everybody. For some people, it’s like worship music, because of their background and what they grew up listening to.”

Who inspires you? 

“As musicians, I think we’re constantly trying to imitate people who came before us. There’s this quote that says ‘Good artists borrow, great artists steal.’ So yeah, you’re essentially channeling everything that you listen to whenever you play.”

What has been your best memory performing?

“Every once in a while you get in a situation where every band member is really prepared, which doesn’t happen all the time. And you’re in a situation where everyone is listening to you, and the music turns into a more shared experience, and it turns into a conversation that I’m having with my other band members. I’ll play a lick, they respond to it, and the excitement is shared by everyone in the room.”

What did it feel like the first time you were on stage?

“It’s kind of a thing you have to adjust to because the first time I was on stage, I was just staring at the floor with this pit in my stomach. There’s just been certain experiences I’ve had where the feeling of anxiety is heightened because of maybe how many people there are, or how prepared you are; that’s definitely a big one. But as I keep going, I feel like I get more confident. It’s more of an interaction with the audience as well as everyone else in the band.”