I’m working on a gorgeous project at the moment with Polestar Music Studios in Newcastle, spreading the word about their fantastic studio, facilities for musicians and bands to practice, develop, record and perform (in person and digitally) their music… it’s an amazing privilege to work on and I have the pleasure of chatting to and discovering new music from the hottest, upcoming talent in the region.
It’s lush because I tend to get in a total music rut – listen to the same stuff and genres, and I just don’t have the time to seek out new music. So it’s a joy to step into a project, that gets me listening to new music! One such musician is Badmind….I discovered them through Polestar Studio’s Polestar Live Sessions – a programme of live music gigs, streamed directly from their studios to Polestar Facebook page.
Badmind is an urban duo from Newcastle, made up of singer / songwriter Dayna Leadbitter and producer / drummer Jaimie Johnson; they’ve been setting the regional music scene alight with their soulful pop sounds over the last 18months.
Last year, they released their first single out into the pandemic, making waves with their polished pop; fast forward to now and everyone wants a piece of them and the whole North East music scene is buzzing about them. And it’s not hard to see why – they’ve racked up more than 230,000+ streams, been added to Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist, named in BBC introducing’s top tips for 2021 and representing the North East at Radio 1’s Big Weekend. Their new song, Flaws & Phases marks a new chapter for Badmind and I am so along for the ride!
Badmind are performing tonight (12th August) at 7.30pm, so feel free to check in and watch with me, but, if you miss it – the live stream gig will be pinned to the top of the Facebook page for a week, so if you’re reading this just after the 12th, you’re in luck! But before, I rush off to watch their live streamed gig, which is going to be a corker, I thought I’d share this little Culture Vulture interview I did with them so you can get a flavour of what they are all about, why you need to check them out and so much more.
So over to you Dayna…..
Right, hiyer! Let’s go…. introduce yourself for my fellow Culture Vultures?
Hi, I’m Dayna and I go by the name ‘Badmind’. I write songs and sing them live when the world isn’t locked down haha!
Tell me about your adventure into music and how did you meet your producer and drummer Jaimie?
My Dad has been singing and playing guitar to me since I was young, so I knew from an early age that I wanted to sing and do music. I started off wanting to do musical theatre but as I got older, I realised I wanted to be an artist and write my own songs. I met Jaimie when I was 18 and we’ve been writing together since then.
How would you describe your music?
I describe my music as somewhere between Lo-fi, R&B and Pop but tend not to be too worried about genres; I just make music I’d like to listen to.
That’s a good way to think about it! You say you take a DIY approach to your music, but what does that actually mean?
Basically, everything is made in house; I work with a small team (myself, Jaimie, Stu & Jimmy) and together we do everything from writing, production, videos, imagery, branding and live performances. I like to keep a small circle of people I trust.
I really love that and that way you keep ownership and autonomy too! Can you tell me about the 7 releases across 2020? That must have been an epic under-taking!
I had all of the singles pretty much finished before I launched Badmind. I knew 2020 was going to be a development year and a way to introduce people to what Badmind is and to carry that on into 2021. BBC Introducing (Nick Roberts & Lee Hawthorn) have been a very important part of building the project and have helped with so many important opportunities for me.
It’s a great achievement to be recognised by Nick & Lee, so quickly – you clearly have proper talent and it’s a joy to watch you perform, so I can totally see why they fell in love with Badmind. What was it like to feature as part of BBC Introducing?
It was such a surprise, Nick Roberts called me over zoom and gave me the news. It was crazy especially with it being so early into my career.
Aww that’s lush! Your music is such a blend of different genres and sounds – where do you get your inspo from?
There are far too many artists to list but I think my favourite would be Kehlani, it would make my life to do a track with her.
I love Kehlani – I’m an avid unashamed Halsey fan and that’s how I got into Kehlani. Have you done much live streaming?
I’ve done a few bits here and there during lockdown, it is great fun and looking forward to the Polestar Live Session #4. I also looking forward to playing to audiences live again.
What can people expect from your Polestar Live Session?
I’m going to be playing pretty much all of the songs we released in 2020 including my new single ‘Flaws & Phases’ and I’m going to give a couple of unreleased songs a test run, so it’s a bit like a world premiere for that and first chance to listen to them.
What’s the live stream vibe going to be like?
Positive and fun vibes always; I love playing with the band it’s always a vibe!
Why should folx tune in?
What can be better on a Thursday evening?? Haha.
Oh absolutely – Thursdays are the new Fridays! Tell us what you are listening to right now?
I’ve been going back over old Kanye West albums recently they’re soooo good. Also been enjoying Jacob Collier’s work too.
Oh Kanye – I agree, I didn’t really appreciate them like I do now, when they first came out – they kind of passed me by a little. But love them! Can you tell us about any North East musicians you recommend checking out?
To be honest I’m so out of what’s going on locally I’m not too sure what’s been going on locally. Looking to change that over the next few months with gigs starting to come back.
Thanks for your honesty! Before working with Polestar Studios, I’d fallen out the loop so I hear you! Let’s chat the future….what’s next for you folx? what you working on?
I’ve got a new single coming very soon which will be followed by a run of singles till the end of the year. I’m hoping to get 4-5 singles out by the year’s end.
Wow – woman on a music mission – love it! Do you have a vision of a moment that you’d sit and think- “wow we’ve made it!”?
When I can pay the rent / mortgage with money earned from my music.
Very pragmatic answer! I’ve got my eye on a Dan Cimmermann painting that is £10K + – when I can afford that, then I will know I’ve made it! (haha!) So, highlight of 2021 so far?
I’d say getting the Radio 1 Big Weekend slot; that was crazy and hope I get to play more festivals.
Miss festivals and I hope you play more too – would love to see you play a festival….Anything else you want to tell us about?
Head over to Spotify to listen to my music and give me a follow on my socials to keep up to date with what’s coming up!
BOOM – thanks Dayna! All social links below and remember, Badmind are performing tonight (12th August) at 7.30pm, so feel free to check in and watch with me, but, if you miss it – the live stream gig will be pinned to the top of their Facebook page for a week, so if you’re reading this just after the 12th, you’re in luck and you can still experience their live performance!
Connect with Badmind:
Tik Tok: @badmindmusic