Just a short time ago you released your latest single titled “What I Said”, are you happy/satisfied with the way the single has reached out to your fans and new comers to your music so far?
You just have to put yourself out there and hope it works. I don’t measure the value of my work on positive or negative feedback. I’m always happy when people like something of course but ultimately I’m just sharing my truth and if people relate to it, awesome.
For yourself how does this single speak? Did you write this song as a personal note or were the lyrics drawn from another person or situation?
I’m a storyteller at the end of the day but I’m not making shit up. Everything I write about is based on a real experience. If I twist anything in the slightest way to appease anyone, it leaves me feeling weird and it’s not fun to perform music that isn’t rooted in my truth. I’m not that kind of artist and I find that to be a phony way of living. I think when you’re very close to someone and you know them very well and you’re together a lot of the time, there can naturally be glitches in the system where your heart is not necessarily connected to what your brain fires out and so you say shit. Generally speaking I’m not that type of guy and I keep it pretty mellow but in the case of “What I Said” I just wanted to tell someone I love that I was sorry.
By playing the piano and guitar on the album did this give you the leeway and creative power that you wanted with the track? Did any of your ideas get overwritten or pushed over in the recording phase?
I have all the creative power. I’m not backed by a label so I don’t have to answer to anyone. I trust my instinct and I trust the musicians I work with. Of course you try different things out – there’s always a bit of editing and polishing involved in anything creative.
Was using the synth backing tracks in your original idea for the song or was this thrown into the mix later on?
The song was originally a ballad. Just piano. While I loved it that way and still slow it down from time to time I felt the need for a groove. I often think about my live show when I’m writing. My concerts are upbeat and high energy and I love to dance so my intention many of the time is to open the floor up for other people to do the same. The synths and strings were what I felt worked for the song. So I went with that.
Having already experienced commercial success with your music, how does this push your writing perspectives? Are you writing for yourself or are you writing for commercial playability? ( I should also mention that I know commercial success pays the bills)
This is a tough one because you can write the best goddamn song on the planet and it’s no guarantee that it will end up a “success”. Is it the right time for this message? Is it catchy? So many questions come into play and not to mention politics and who you know, etc. Even major artists have flops sometimes, or what might not be considered commercial success. You can play by certain rules but that’s not necessarily the recipe. I love money because it’s essential for survival on this planet unless you’re a monk living on a farm in the Himilayas. While I admire that, I’m not that person. I live in Los Angeles where just parking at a grocery store can cost you. So yes, it means a lot to get paid for my art and I love having wide audiences hear it but nowadays I’ve learned to at least try to just let it be. And that applies to things outside of my music also. When you let go of the chokehold on life things begin to flow so easily to you. So I write and when I’m done with the track I put it out there and let it do what it’s going to do.
Do you feel as if this track separates yourself or writing style away or towards all of the other genres and styles which you write in?
The genre thing is becoming obsolete in my opinion though I understand the need for categories cause otherwise I’d be labeled country reggae electronic pop alternative rock folk and that would make heads explode. My taste in music and people and food and everything is so varied that it naturally becomes reflected in my work. We are ever changing beings always learning and growing so I prefer not to box myself up when it comes to anything. Even my style in fashion changes and I like that. It could be considered multiple personalities to some but I’m cool with that. When you realize that we are so much more than our bodies or the stories we tell ourselves you lose the need to fit under any particular label and you open the door up to just be.
What should your fans expect to hear next?
My upcoming single is called “Tango” a reggae inspired track about the dance of life and how much fun it is.