VIDEO: Bastian Baker Honors Leonard Cohen with Exclusive Performance of 'Hallelujah'
Sounds Like Nashville said it best: "Switzerland may be neutral but one of their most talented exports is about to invade America." Singer/songwriter Bastian Baker honored the late Leonard Cohen on his birthday with a "stunning" (HuffPost) performance of "Hallelujah" during a stop on Shania Twain's Now World Tour exclusively on HuffPost. The tour, recently nominated for Concert Tour of 2018 at the "E! People's Choice Awards," kicked off its trek of the U.K. on Wednesday night (9/19).
The "blue-eyed hunk" (Billboard) recently shared with People, "One of my favorite songs I perform during my set is a cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah.' I love when people turn on their cell phone lights and sing along with me. It feels like I'm surrounded by a sky full of stars." Critics around the globe have praised his performance of the iconic song, many saying it was "one of the best covers of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' you'll ever hear." (National Rock Review)
Last year, Bastian performed the eloquent tune at Donna Karan's Stephan Weiss Apple Awards in New York City to an audience of the likes of Hillary Clinton, Hugh Jackman, Calvin Klein, Vera Wang and more. Vogue shared, "guests were sent into the night feeling sufficiently satisfied" after Bastian "serenaded the crowd," while the Los Angeles Times reported "Andy Cohen and model Joel Baker tearfully hugged one another" as he performed.
The "Swiss troubadour" (Boston Globe) received quite the warm welcome in the U.S. with his acoustic opening set before returning to the stage to join the reigning "Queen of Country Pop" for two songs. Each night, Bastian warmed up the crowd with his undeniable charm performing singles "All Around Us" and "Love on Fire" from his upcoming album, in addition to hits from his platinum-selling previous work. The 45-show run marked the former professional hockey player's first arena tour in North America. He shared with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "being able to perform in ice arenas is special, as it continues my connection to the game I've played since I was a child."
Bastian Baker marks his debut album in the U.S. and follows his first three successful endeavors, including his 2011 certified platinum Tomorrow May Not Be Better which staked its claim at No. 3 only behind David Guetta and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Last month, the "artist to watch" (Young Hollywood) released "sexy" (Hollywood Life) new single "Stay" along with a music video featuring runway model Manuela Frey, who is currently hosting Switzerland's Next Top Model.
His "Shawn Mendes meets Thomas Rhett meets Ryan Tedder" vocals (Tampa Bay Times) incorporate multiple elements - pop, country, alternative, singer/songwriter - on this "passion project." Inspired by his decision to dig his American musical roots in Nashville, the new track "Blame It On Me" will be the Switzerland native's first release in the exploding world of country music. Reflective of his musical journey around the world, Bastian Baker was brought to life by producers and songwriters from different genres around the globe - United States, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada. Bastian holds a songwriting credit on all 14 tracks.
An avid world travel and well-versed in five languages, Bastian has played over 850 shows in 40 countries after ultimately being discovered by Claude Nobs, - known by many as 'Funky Claude' referenced in Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" - who invited him to perform at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival.
BASTIAN BAKER TRACK LIST:
1. Stay (Bastian Baker, Vlad Holiday)~
2. All Around Us (Baker, Holiday)~
3. Love On Fire (Baker, Nathan Evans)*
4. So Low (Baker, Curtis Schneider)!
5. Young (Baker, John Lamagna, Ryan Kondrat, Emery Taylor)#
6. Six (Baker, Nathan Evans)•&@
7. You Should Call Home (Baker, Josh Bruce Williams)$
8. Yokko (Baker, Mark Domitric)~^
9. Light & Easy (Baker, Williams)$
10. Another Day (Baker, Stephan Gfeller, Mark Hildreth)=^
11. Stage Fright (Baker, John Lamagna, Kondrat)+
12. Blame It On Me (Baker, Caroline Marquard, Zoe Mirkovic)+
13. Down (Baker, Evans)*
14. Time (Baker, Marquard)*
* Produced by Jacquire King (Niall Horan, Kings of Leon, James Bay)
^ Produced by Vlad Holiday
• Produced by Bastian Baker
! Produced by Aaron Sterling (Kelly Clarkson, Liz Phair, Natasha Bedingfield)
+ Produced by Jordan Lehning (Kacey Musgraves, Charlie Worsham)
$ Produced by Josh Bruce Williams (Carlos Vara, Ruelle)
# Produced by Emery Taylor
@ Produced by Jay Lefevbre (Simple Plan)
& Produced by Ales Lo Verde
~ Produced by Charles de Schutter
= Produced by Stephen Gfeller
ABOUT BASTIAN BAKER:
It's no secret that "Bastian Baker wears many hats." (Harper's Bazaar) He's taken Europe by storm with his chart-topping, platinum-selling albums, sold out arenas around the world with the likes of Elton John, Bryan Adams, Boy George and more, scored numerous accolades and music awards and served as a Brand Ambassador for esteemed brands Hugo Boss, Omega, Audi and Harley Davidson. The only thing missing from this Swiss singer/songwriter's career dance card was the United States... until now. Before becoming a platinum-selling recording artist, Baker was a third-generation professional hockey player from Switzerland. While out on the ice, he couldn't help but think of his passion for music and write songs in his head. After making the decision to officially trade in his hockey stick for a guitar, Baker sent his debut single "Lucky" to radio stations for feedback. The response was the track being placed into high rotation. Baker made his first professional appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival after an invite from its founder, Claude Nobs. Yes - "the funky Claude referenced in Deep Purple's 'Smoke On the Water.'" Baker's been featured as a competitor on Dancing With The Stars (France), a guest coach on The Voice (Belgium) and can now be found traveling the globe alongside Shania Twain after accepting her invite to join her on her current Now world tour. Each night, he brings his "witty banter and bubbly nature" (Salt Lake City Herald Extra) to the stage with just himself and his guitar. The "women lining up to meet him at his merch table after his performance" (The Times) is just one of the many signs that this "blue-eyed hunk" (Billboard) was undoubtedly "born for the arena." (Popdust) His fourth studio album and American debut, Bastian Baker will release on October 26. With his talent, undeniable charm and captivating charisma, there's no doubt of the bona fide trailblazer succeeding on his journey to worldwide superstardom.