One of my very favourite Australian songwriters. His song "Nothing Comes Easy" is featured on my "Kindred Spirits" CD.”

— Graeme Connors

Follow Brian's Music on Spotify

Having relocated from Melbourne, Australia, singer-songwriter/producer Brian Baker has set up shop in Whanganui in his homeland New Zealand. He's currently building a new studio space and is continuing to pump out high quality tracks, both of his own work and happy clients that come and record with him. Brian is a singer/songwriter/producer with a passion for the environment, a theme evident in his songs, music, and videos. 


Brian’s solo live show is all about jaw dropping guitar skiIls, passionate vocals, and great songs with a projected video show that lifts the audience off their feet. His experience is evident in giving his audience a great time, with a personal touch. In the 2 years that he’s been back in New Zealand he’s beginning to establish a presence on the scene with regular, successful single and video launches, gathering 5 star media reviews. He’s performed the solo show regularly, notably in 2022/23 at The Spirit Festival, The Okura Forest Festival, Whangārei Fringe Festival, Artbeat, plus shows and supports at the Liegh Sawmill and The Butter Factory in Whangarei, to delighted crowds. 

The show itself is laptop driven, has a silent stage as Brian uses his own in ear monitoring and is a very quick setup and pull down. His stellar guitar skills, uplifting vocals and great songs are attracting a growing following. 

Adding to this is a drummer Brad MacMillan and bass player Johnny Keating - they've called this band BB and The Bullets and are focusing on the blues - Albert King, Johnny Lee Hooker, BB King, SRV, etc.. allowing Brian to stretch out and put his remarkable guitar skills front and centre.

Nixon Street Recordings 

Brian is underway with creating a brand new Indie Record label. It will be in conjunction with having the recording studio functioning to record and release local acts, connecting them with the live music fans that create a vibrant music scene in Whanganui. First release is Socially Awkward, a young band from Dargaville. Next will be BB and The Bullets then a few surprises are waiting to unfold!

In the past…. 

After moving to Australia from New Zealand in 1980, Brian performed with many Australian bands, securing a Sony recording deal with "The Ones". Around this time he scored his first song placement on the second UnCanny X-Men album, (Australian rock act) with the song "Colour Your Answer Blue". After writing and recording the top 20 single “Heart” with The Ones (released on Sony) he went on to co-write the score for the movie "Rikki and Pete" with Eddie Rayner from Split Enz/Crowded House. Eddie and Brian continued to work together as "The Makers", releasing 2 CDs through Warner's East West label, including the hit single “Big Picture”. Together with drummer Michael Barker, they toured Australia and New Zealand with the B52's and appeared on TV shows like MTV, Countdown, Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Tonight Live, and The Midday Show. Eddie and Brian still work together from time to time, with Eddie contributing mixing tips and critique, plus various bits of keyboards on Brian’s other work. They last performed together at the Waiheke Island International Jazz Festival in 2012 to delighted crowds and recently released an album of out takes and live recordings from The Makers. 

Brian is passionate about songwriting and is a student and big fan of Pat Pattison. (A professor at Berklee College of Music, teaching lyric writing and poetry.) His production skills are of an extremely high standard thanks to working with talented people like Eddie Rayner, Hugh Padgham, David Briggs and many others. Recordings produced by Brian from his studio have garnered awards for the artists he's produced. Brian is a totally experienced artist, with great skills and a brace of great new songs to lift audiences. 

A review of Brian's 2020 activity from Stew Clegg.

I started drafting this post a couple of months ago, but due to awesome new tracks being dropped on a regular basis, it kept needing to be updated! 

Anyway, Aussie solo artist Brian Baker is going through a bit of purple patch at the moment, having arguably released some of the best music of his career in 2020. 

I would say most members of this group are well aware of Brian Baker. But to recap, he co-wrote the score for the Rikki & Pete soundtrack, which featured Crowded House and Schnell Fenster, before forming The Makers with Split Enz keyboardist Eddie Rayner. Since then he's released a number of underrated solo albums, formed a couple of quality bands, written for other artists and collaborated with musicians such as Eddie and Split Enz reunion drummer Michael Barker. 

Back in April, Brian released Grateful, which is one of the most uplifting, catchiest tracks I've heard all year. It was shared to this group earlier in the year, with its two music videos having so far accumulated almost 30,000 views between them on Facebook alone. 

A 'Champtaloup Remix' of Grateful dropped the next month, which I also love, despite it having a completely different feel to the original single version. I'm no musicologist, but I would describe it as very stripped back and atmospheric. I've always appreciated hearing songs in a different light. 

His next single, released in May, was In Our Backyard, which many people would have heard. This track features the brilliant keyboards of Eddie Rayner, has a Split Enz feel (especially the intro) and to me is another instant classic. 

A 'Champtaloup Remix' of In Our Backyard came out a month later. This particular version didn't grab me as much as the Grateful remix but is still an impressive take and very chilled out. And only last month, a new piano and violin version of the song dropped. This is the definition of stripped back and features Robert John on violin. Very Enzso-esque and well worth checking out! 

In July, Brian released a brand new version of Green, a song co-written with Eddie Rayner that originally appeared on the first Makers album three decades ago. The original is very atmospheric, lyrically on point, and one of my personal fave songs from the album. Gotta love the middle-eight especially. The lyrics are just as appropriate in 2020 (if not more so) as they were back in 1990, and the new take brings it into a modern age. Another tune to find its way into my listening queue. A new remix of this has also just been released. Dare I say it has a reggae feel? Either way, it re-invents it again and allows it to breathe even more. Highly recommend this one! 

Brian released his next single, Willingly, in September. I was lucky enough to hear a demo of this last year, which I fell in love with on first listen. I ended up stumbling upon another version of this song earlier this year, recorded by Irish band The Sweet Sorrows, whose take on the song does Brian's songwriting justice. As expected, Brian's new single version of Willingly is another classic track. While the original demo would have definitely sufficed, the polished version is the dictionary definition of a perfect three-minute acoustic pop-rock song. Fair to say it's been a constant in my playlist since its release. 

And last month, Brian's latest single, The Show, was released. This one is more of a ballad, with mild electronic elements, and does a great job showcasing his strong vocals. It's also very well produced, as are all his songs, and sounds as fresh as anything else at the moment. Brian's recent material has been seeing decent numbers on streaming platforms and radio airplay, but this song is another example of something that deserves to be heard over whatever else the radio stations are playing these days. 

Oh, and back in July, Brian released Golden Baby, a three-track single of songs recorded by his former band, Gradual. I'm not sure exactly when these were first laid down, but I imagine within the past year or two. Golden Baby and its b-side, Black Sand Beaches, are a lot heavier than Brian's solo work. Black Sand Beaches is a grower and probably my fave of the three. The sound is actually not too far removed from The Makers. The third track, Here Comes The Sun, is a bit slower, but still very anthemic. And no, it's not a Beatles cover haha, although I'm sure Brian could also do a great version of the George Harrison classic! 

You can check all these songs out via Spotify, his YouTube channel, his website and his Brian Baker Songs Facebook page.

If Brian's recent output was ever compiled into an album it would make for a killer release! 

It's actually incredible to think that in 2020 we are getting such quality new releases from Brian Baker (and Gradual), Crowded House, Forenzics, Neil Finn and Harper Finn. Hell, even Betchadupa released a new (old) single a few months back. And last year we got new albums from Phil Judd, Elroy Finn and a soundtrack from Liam Finn, with 2018 bringing us a new Neil & Liam Finn record, Tim's The Fiery Maze and Eddie Rayner's live ENZO album. We are definitely living in the golden age of Split Enz and its offshoots! 

Discography Brian Baker 

1986 - “Heart” The Ones - signed to Sony 

1988 - “Rikki and Pete” Movie soundtrack with Eddie Rayner 

1990 - “Big Picture” - album by The Makers - (Brian Baker and Eddie Rayner) - signed to East West Records (WEA) 

1992 - “Hokey Pokey” - album by The Makers - (Brian Baker and Eddie Rayner) - signed to East West Records (WEA) 

1990 - 1993 - multiple singles and videos from albums. 

!994 - “The Field” - solo CD 

1996 - “Deconstruct” - solo CD 

1999 - “BUG” - band CD - Big Head Little Body 

2004 - “Prague Radio” 

2005 - “In Our Backyard” - EP 

2007 - “Long Way Home” - EP 

2009 - “Hard Light” - album 

2010 - “Flight” - and other production music on the Fable/Image label 

2012 - “You and Who’s Army” - joint single with Eddie Rayner 

2016 - “For Love” - EP by Gradual 

2017 - “Open Up your Heart” - single by Gradual 

2018 - “Yes You Are (Beautiful) - single by Gradual 

2020 - “Grateful” - solo single plus remix 

2020 - “In Our Backyard” - solo single plus remix. Acoustic and violin version featuring Robert John 

2020 - “Green” - solo single 

2020 - “Willingly” - solo single 

2020 - “The Show” - solo single 

2020 - “Let Me Be My Crazy” - solo single 

2020 - “Big Picture” - solo single 

2021 - “The New Paradigm” - solo single 

2021 - “Odds and Sods” - The Makers - b sides and unreleased 

2021 - “Sometimes You Lose Yourself” - solo single 

2021 - “Three Little Birds” - solo single 

2021 - “The Other Side of Hope” - solo single 

2021 - “The Desire Line” - solo single 

2021 - “Everywhere You Go” - solo single 

2022 - “Open Up Your Heart” - 5 track EP - “open Up Your Heart”, “New Kind Of Blue’, “Fool”, “Blue water Meditation”, “Cornflake Girl”. 

2022 - “Here” - solo single 

2022 - “Here Comes The Rain” - solo single 

2022 - “I Won’t Back Down” - solo single 

2023 - “Our Freedom” - solo single 

2023 - “Broken” - solo single