Your Weekend Playlist, Courtesy of Justice Baiden
Last week, we visited the West Coast studio of Love Renaissance, more commonly abbreviated as LVRN, and caught up with one of their co-founders, Justice Baiden, who is responsible for much of the A&R and creative direction strategy that has built the label into one of the most successful communities in the music industry today.
Get an insight into his career path, life hacks and recent signings below. But, before you continue, press play on Justice’s current favorites:
Walk us through the story of and concept behind LVRN in a few sentences.
For me, growing up, the music industry was dominated by a certain sound and a certain attitude. Because I’m such a student of the game, I wanted to find a niche in music that was natural to what I listened to. It felt like the female audience was being neglected so trying to figure out how to bring more meaning to the female side was a mission that stood out to me. We wanted to bring another point of view.
Also, at the time, the idea of being loved or to be loved was very uncool. We wanted to take these concepts of love and figure out how we could change them to be cool.
We started thinking of names that could be unique. Love was what we were redefining and Renaissance obviously meant change so it was a perfect fit to put the two together.
How has your role and mission evolved throughout the years?
I think my role has evolved because I started off doing many things all at once, but then you realize what your strengths are. For me, my strengths are making good records, telling a story, and creating a world for the artist. I spend an incredible amount of time with an artist to try to figure out how to make music that is authentic to them – how to make whatever it is they want to say while ensuring the message is tangible for the audience to consume without confusion. This is where I sit in the landscape of making records.
You are involved in so many aspects of the music industry, from storytelling to managing, how do you balance it?
It’s not a balance, it lives simultaneously. Storytelling and making music are the same things essentially because music is the engine but the story is why people stick around. If there’s no story behind the music it’s just a good song. For me, my favorite artists are the ones who I can pinpoint ten specific reasons why that artist is special, or why that artist’s point of view is unique. I love discovering what the artist is trying to say and what life experiences have led them to the art they create and the stories they tell. Also, moving forward, you need to figure out touchpoints to tell a story alongside the music.
What were some of your musical highlights of summer 2019?
Definitely Bon Iver’s album, Summer Walker’s Playing Games, the new Lana Del Rey album.
What is the underlying mood of your playlist? Where do you imagine it being played?
In your headphones on a rainy day.
Why did you choose some particular songs – do any have a special importance or does it bring you back to a memory in your life?
For me, it’s based on lyrics – all the songs tell a story which leads back to why narrative storytelling is important to me. They all tell a story and make you feel a certain way.
In your perception, what makes a “good song”?
An incredible melody, just a feel of production – it feels concise. And of course, the story that’s being told.
What’s your number one piece of advice for people looking to follow a similar career path?
Be unapologetic, have a goal, and research the ones that came before you.
Any recent LVRN signings we should be googling right now?
Yes, Santi! He’s redefining the space and path within music.
Stay tuned to Milk for more Weekend Playlists.