Bastian Baker popped by PEOPLE Now to discuss his new self-titled album, when he revealed the moment he met Shania Twain after a show in Switzerland
The 27-year-old Swiss singer-songwriter popped by PEOPLE Now to talk about his newly released American debut self-titled album, when he revealed the special moment the legendary singer, 53, requested to meet him, jump-starting his career in the United States. Fast forward a few years, Baker is now touring with Twain as the opener for her NOW Tour in support of her fifth studio album Now.
“Her and I have been good friends for six years now, and as a person she’s wonderful – very caring and has always been very supportive of my music also, so we talk a lot about music together and touring with her is just like being on tour with my family, so it’s really awesome,” says the “All Around Us” singer.
Baker met Twain by chance in 2011 when she asked to be introduced to him after seeing him perform at Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival, and the rest is history.
“The funny thing was I didn’t know it was going to be her because basically after I was done performing someone came to me and was like, ‘Hey, this Canadian singer wants to meet you,’ and I was like, ‘All right, let’s do this!’ We had lunch and it was Shania Twain,” he remembers.
While Baker was in awe of who stood before his eyes when someone told him simply that a “Canadian singer” wanted to meet him backstage, Twain wasn’t so much a familiar face to his father.
“My family was there and we had we have this funny story with my dad who had no idea who she was,” he adds. “He basically asked her, ‘So, what do you do?’ and she was very humble about it and said, ‘Well, I’m a singer’ and he was like, ‘Oh, my son is also in the industry if you need some contacts or some help just let us know!’ I was like, ‘Oh, dad.'”
With the North American leg of the NOW Tour now under their belts, Baker says he’s learned more than a thing or two from standing alongside his mentor for months on end.
“I think she taught me how to always try to stay myself and not follow the trends, and she’s the perfect example [because] she invented the crossover thing – she was country and then went pop, and if you see one of her shows it’s a rock show,” he says. “I think that’s something that really inspires me because I don’t like to be just one specific genre of music, I like all different kinds and that’s what’s on the record – it’s all different kinds of music.”
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With different types of music comes different types of fans. While Switzerland “is not necessarily known for being a country music hub,” Baker has enjoyed spending more time in the States getting to know the people that support one of America’s most loved genres.
“The fans that I’ve seen here are basically the fans I saw at Shania Twain’s shows, who had no clue who I was before I started the show, but then who signed up at the signing session,” he says. “There were hundreds of them and I find them very wild, very cool.”
“They sang along and they were clapping their hands,” he adds. “They’re just awesome people.”
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Much like his music, Baker’s sense of style is defining and unique.
“I keep it very casual,” he says. “I don’t want to want to think about it too much, so I keep it very simple with a lot of black and white, never too crazy; I just need to feel comfortable.”