The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


No Bad Days

Addy Baker uses songwriting to express herself
Annamarie Torres
Finding inspiration, junior Addy Baker writes down lyrics Oct. 25 in her room. Baker writes in her room for privacy. “My room is a safe place for me,” Baker said. “It’s where I can be vulnerable and I feel like the environment helps me be a more creative writer.”

When some people have a bad day, they write about it in their journal, gossip on social media, or vent to their best friend. 

But not Addy Baker. Instead, she turns her bad days into songs. 

She twists negative emotions into melodies, channeling her passion and hurt into every line, every word, every chord she writes. Music is an outlet for Baker, a junior at Northwest — her voice and guitar are familiar forms of expressing herself. 

Music is something comfortable for her. It always has been. When Baker was young, her dad would sing “My Girl” by The Temptations to her as she fell asleep. The words seemed like they were written for her. 

 I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day

When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May

I guess you’d say

What can make me feel this way?

My girl, my girl, my girl

Talkin’ ’bout my girl, my girl

When she was three, Baker had a musical birthday card that sang “My Girl” each time she opened it. Little Baker would run about the house, opening her birthday card and listening to “My Girl” on repeat — that was, until her little sister tore it up. 

“And that was also the first time I’d ever felt hatred towards somebody,” Baker said while laughing. 

“My Girl” made Baker fall in love with music, and started the journey that eventually led her to write her first song in eighth grade after a friendship of her’s ended. 

“I didn’t want to gossip about it, and I didn’t want to show everybody,” Baker said. “But I wanted to find an outlet for me to express that, ‘Hey, I’m hurting.’” 

At the time, Baker was just starting to learn ukulele. So she poured her heart out, found ukulele chords to match, and started to write. She built her song around a chorus, and the verses told the story of her friendship falling apart.

One song led to another, and soon enough songwriting had become her passion. 

“I’m proud of what I’ve written,” Baker said. “But sometimes it’s very vulnerable, very emotionally deep. And that’s hard to share with everybody because they’re seeing a part of me that I’ve kept hidden and that I only put into my music.”

When writing songs, Baker leans towards a sadder, more emotional folksy feel. Writing upbeat songs is more of a struggle. 

“I’ve tried it before, but with guitar, it’s really hard to write a happy song,” she said. “Regardless, it’s very delicate. I’ve written songs that had more happy tones or happier topics, but it’s just really hard.”

Baker usually shares her music with her family and friends. When she started making music, her younger sister Micah was the first to sing her songs. Hearing it filled Baker with pride. 

“My younger sister, she’s probably my biggest supporter,” Baker said. “She’s so proud of me and I’m so proud of her. I want to be the best version of myself so she can look up to me, and she can have a good role model.”

Baker also sang original songs during the fall choir concert. Singer songwriters have been featured in choir concerts before, but it doesn’t happen every year, according to choir teacher Cassie Banion. 

“It takes a rare kiddo who’s prepared enough and determined enough to do it,” Banion said. “I can tell that Addy is a really passionate person because she’s always coming with questions and ideas and energy, and she’s a really expressive singer and performer. And clearly, making music is something that gives her joy and something that brings her happiness.” 

Right now, Baker isn’t sure what her future with songwriting looks like. 

“It’s hard to know where I want to go at the moment, just because I can’t imagine my future,” Baker says. “Although I’m hoping I can stay consistent in writing and releasing music that helps people get through their troubles.”

So while some people journal, gossip, or vent to their friends when they have a bad day, that’s not Addy Baker. 

Instead, she turns her bad days into songs.

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