ERIN COLE-BAKER - musician

Erin Cole-Baker is an American born singer songwriter who lives in Northland, New Zealand with her husband Bruce and their two girls (5 year old June and 2 year old Florence). Erin is celebrating the release of her latest album, "Till the Feeling's right"  with a small tour, starting in her home town, Whangarei this month. I've asked her to share a bit about her creative process and her current season of life. 

What does song writing and playing music mean to you?

Music is so deeply intwined with who I am made to be.  At this point in my life I feel so clear that this is who I am made to be.  It's a blessing but also scary to know that!  Nothing about the career of being a musician is straight know?  I find my mind sometimes getting in a loophole sometimes about ahhhhhhhhhhhhh why can't I just have a 9-5 JOB!  That would be so EASY!  But I feel like being authentic to who I am created to be is essential for my wellbeing and the world around me.  I need to play it and the world needs creativity and music in a BIG way.  

How does your current stage of life inspire or conflict with your musical expression?

I feel like the music I am making at this point in my life is the best yet.  It's more full.  Having two kids makes logistics and dreams of travel to play music seem crazy, there is conflict there when I feel guilt for leaving the family.  All the mother stuff is right HERE for me............but it also drives me to be super creative and make what I do count!

When and how did you gain your music skills?

As soon as I could pull myself up I was grabbing for the piano keys.......I continued on my love for piano with classical training, which turned into jazz.....I dabbled in guitar which my brother taught me chord from early double digits and when I left home for uni I took a guitar with it's naturally portable aspects shining high on the list!  I wrote a few songs behind the closed doors of my room and gradually built the confidence to want to share them publicly, which then lead to my dream of moving back to my roots in USA to explore this being a musician thing!

How do you balance family time and creative projects?

I have a super supportive husband, he is everything to me and backs me 150% to go for my dreams.  This album is the first thing I've done in six years, so it'll be a bit of taking things as they come and being a bit gentle with travel plans etc..... family comes first and that's something we will have to juggle and feel out as we go.  I'm so excited to get out and play live again, it's been a long time waiting and it's something I don't take lightly.  I'm so thankful to have made this album and have some gigs on the horizon! 

What would you say to other creative mamas who need some encouragement?

Creativity is ESSENTIAL to life.  For awhile I thought it was bottom rung, but right now I feel an uprising of the importance of creativity in life.  It's ESSENTIAL.  Being creative is easy to suppress and put as low priority in life...........especially with all the other hats we wear in's pure medicine for the soul and vital for us as humans.  Time.  Time is the hardest thing to get our heads around and create some space to be able to be creative.  There are seasons that need to be more quiet, and believe me I've been there.  I had some huge struggles when my children were babies......sometimes we need to cocoon ourselves and get through and be gentle with ourselves.  But boy does it feel good to have a little more freedom now!  So keep dreaming, and take creativity in little chunks where you can get it.  Little chunks, even though they might not feel like much at the time become a bigger picture when we look back!

Lyrics to a fave song on the album.

Get me a ticket

Sitting on the back step trying to take a deep breath, staring at the pale moonlight

Praying for a breakthrough when you going to come through hoping it will be alright

I really need a friend like you tonight  all my dreams seem so out of sight

Take me, get me a ticket to anywhere

Send for me, show me that you really care

Gotta put the washing on and get the dinner done and put the kids to bed

And try to get a little sleep before I get woken up it’s really doing in my head

I really need a friend like you tonight  all my dreams seem so out of sight

Take me, get me a ticket to anywhere

Send for me, show me that you really care

Day in, day out feels like I’m doing time.  I know it looks like I'm coping fine

I could really use a friend to talk it through, to be the voice of reason tonight

I’m at the bottom now, never been this low before.  I’m at the bottom now, can’t take it anymore

Take me, get me a ticket to anywhere

Send for me, show me that you really care.

A statement about that song…

I wrote the first verse to this song in a real parenting pit, and showed it to my friends, we laughed and I said how it sounds like it could be a huge country anthem for parents, but it's not my style of song.  Funny that it came out so groovy.  The content is heavy but it comes across as a light fun song.  One of my friends said it makes her simultaneously laugh and cry - I'll call that a songwriting win...

You can find out more about Erin Cole-Baker's music and her tour dates on her website