“My heart is stirred by a noble theme, as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.” – Psalm 45:1
These are the words and mantra that MJ Baker lives by.
Equipped with an angelic voice, thought provoking lyrics and her signature pink guitar, MJ is a prolific singer, songwriter, musician, and poet that takes you on a journey telling a story of life, love, loss and much more.
MJ’s roots began in the church. While singing was always a part of her life, it wasn’t too long before she put pen to paper and started writing songs of her own. After a few years she decided to present her songs to the church’s Minister of Music and was encouraged to begin singing again. It wasn’t until 2011 that she became serious about being a full time artist.
Under the urging of her family and her now group-mate and collaborator, Ill Clinton, she got serious about her craft and the two began writing together that September in 2011. He had music with no lyrics and she had the words and the vocals to fill them out. After only a few months of collaboration, “Reflections In The Room” was born. Their first EP was released on June 10, 2012 and is still available for download today. (See links below.)
The EP is still currently available for $5 on Bandcamp.com and http://www.mjbakermusic.bandcamp.com.
When asked about her inspiration, MJ cites her Faith in Christ first and foremost. Her musical inspirations include India Arie, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, Billy Holiday and Taylor Swift. She says also that life, itself, is an inspiration to her in the way we live it, the decisions we make – for better or worse – and the consequences of those decisions. She also cites her mother as a huge inspiration saying she’s “76 and funny as hell”.
Music isn’t the only passion that MJ has, however. She has been active within the Jacksonville community as a youth counselor for the past 15 years. Along with two other local artists, Yolanda Webster and Taryn Wharwood (known better by her stage name Love Reigns), she is developing a non-profit organization to benefit troubled youth in the Jacksonville community.
Some of the other projects in which she is currently and actively involved include singing and writing the outro track for Jacksonville Hip Hop Artist and DJ, Mr. Al Pete’s (www.mralpete.com), latest album “Fish In The Forest” and participation in the ‘A Great Day In LaVilla’ project, spearheaded by Anthony Ahynte Heard – another local artist and community activist.
Looking forward, MJ is preparing to record her first full studio album with producer Richard Christie. She aspires to own her own production/recording company; a flourishing non-profit; and to pursue other businesses ventures.
She hopes that through building her brand, it will inspire those who don’t believe in themselves to move forward. She wishes, (in her own words):
“To motivate people who fear the unknown to pursue even in the midst of their fears. To trust that the Creator would not have given us such amazing gifts and talents if He didn’t want us to use them. As we discover the weird, the awkward, the mysteriousness within, that we would accept it, cultivate it and share it with the world.”