CHEK Upside: Retired math teacher wins German hip-hop award

CHEK Upside: Retired math teacher wins German hip-hop award
WatchLorraine Baron's second career as a musician is earning her accolades in Germany for a collaboration with hip-hop artist Gunnar Nanuk.

Qualicum Beach’s Lorraine Baron might not look or sound like an award-winning hip-hop artist, but she has the credentials to prove it.

Last month, the retired teacher won the German Music Foundation’s GEMA award for best studio production.

The fact that she actually won the award still baffles her.

“It’s a mystery to me,” says Baron.

Baron spent her professional career as a teacher and professor, even winning the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2006.

But four years ago, Baron decided to retire to Vancouver Island and reignite her passion for music.

“Music’s just part of who I am and I just kind of neglected it while I was working,” says Baron. “I picked up my guitar again and it had been forever since I touched my guitar and just started writing and really enjoy it.”

After releasing her early recordings on the website Soundcloud, Baron met German hip hop artist Gunnar Nanuk. The pair corresponded with the help of Google Translate and before long had a song called Get Out, which is about leaving an abusive relationship.

“We just sort of connected because we have sort of similar belief systems,” says Baron. “He liked what I did and I love hip hop music and I like really bopy songs even though a lot of my music is a little bit more folksy.”

It was the folk hip-hop mix that landed Baron and Nanuk their GEMA award and while it was a nice accomplishment for Baron, it’s also shining a light on Nanuk’s work.

“They just like to support people that are new, so for Gunnar that gave him a lot of publicity,” says Baron.

To learn more about Lorraine’s music and to hear her new album, visit her website.

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Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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