Montreal-based percussionist Nick Baddeley recently joined the Femoir roster.
What are your own roots?
I grew up in the city of Windsor, down in southern Ontario. Although my early childhood years were spent in the city, my teenage years were spent in the surrounding county before moving back to the city to study music at the University of Windsor.
When and why did you start playing music?
I grew up with music lovers. My mom was who got me into classic rock at an early age. I initially thought that I wanted to play guitar just like my older cousin, but after I just kept tapping rhythms on the pickguard, my teacher suggested that I try the drums. It wasn’t until I was 12 years old when I started learning how to play the snare drum in my grade 7 music class. Idolizing the very idea of music itself, I wanted to be a part of it beyond just listening.
Are they the same reasons you do it today?
I believe I still hold the same values from when I was younger, but now I have a performance bug. I love performing. I originally pursued a career in teaching highschool music but after performing at higher levels, I knew I found my passion. I love every aspect of performing. From the beginning of the creative process – to the event – and to the after-gig reflection.
How have you evolved as an artist over that time?
Every note I play is in service to the music. I’m not just playing drums to play drums anymore; I play to serve a purpose to each song. A lot of that comes from now understanding music fundamentally and figuratively.
What are the challenges of the vocation?
The one that sticks out for me is that not a lot of people truly get what I do. Some don’t understand that there is more than just touring the world with a rock group. To be fair, I do a lot of different types of projects. Between corporate function gigs to being in the pit for a musical, my work is spread out.
What are the rewards?
The job itself is a reward. After all the practicing, networking, brainstorming, and failures, performing music is a reward in itself.
What have been some career highlights?
Most recently I played on an album that came out earlier this year. “Marimba Collage: Open Score Works by Jordan Nobles” was something my professor and mentor from university put together. He had all his students, past and present, play on this album and I was honoured to be a part of it. It might not be considered a true “career highlight” but for me, one of my top favourite gigs was when I played at a winery on Pelee Island (Ontario). I was called in to sub on the gig, we played three sets starting with jazz standards and finishing it off with funk and pop. Each set had the crowd dancing their hearts out. Laying down Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder never felt so good. That was one of the biggest rushes I’ve had as a musician.
What makes a good song?
Melody. Of course, a good beat is the cherry on top but a melody that you end up singing to yourself afterwards is always a good one in my opinion.
What makes a good live show?
Good music but most importantly, good musicians!
What are your first impressions of Femoir?
The groove first and foremost. The rhythm section complimented Karen’s melodies every step of the way and vice versa, making a complete cohesive unit.
What’s on your musical agenda for the rest of 2022?
I’m looking forward to joining Karen on her Montreal debut! Other than that, doing some writing and arranging and planning for 2023!