Artist Interview: Bol-Z
Tell us about yourself and your music
My name is Don Bowles (AKA Bol-Z). I was born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario. As a young boy growing up, I dreaded going to piano lessons each week, and would often hide in the bushes as my mom came to pick me up from school. At one point my mom made a deal with me; once I had completed my grade 8 exam I could quit. However, once I had accomplished this, I felt anxious regarding my weekly sessions of music performance coming to an end. It was at that point that I decided I would continue to study music at The University of Western Ontario and then go on to become a high school Band/Choral director, and instill a love of music in teenagers. I spent countless hours performing and composing during my time away from home, and I think it was being away from my family (the most important connection in my life) that inspired me at the time to write. It seems as though every time a new chapter in my life began that my creativity would come alive. I have eclectic tastes in music, however the constant that could be found in my music was relating to real life experiences and emotions. As a music teacher I always stressed the importance of attention to details and technique, however, passion, shape and emotion through each performance became my trademark amongst students and colleagues. I always stressed that, we as young artists needed to be passionate about things in our lives and in the world around us. I believe that I still convey this message through my own music.
Talk to us more about your latest release
My latest release, “Move on Baby” is a song I wrote which focuses on relationships, and how sometimes it is necessary to move on for the benefit of both parties involved. I went with an indie/pop/rock yet cinematic approach for this one, thinking that it might be appropriate for a movie or T.V. musical montage.
My Soundcloud link is: https://soundcloud.com/bolzie77
My Music Website: https://www.bol-z.com
What inspired you to write this release?
I was inspired to write this song for a variety of reasons. I had been watching a television series which had addressed some of the components found in this song. In addition, I took a closer look at relationships around me, including my own and then found myself picking and choosing which parts to draw from and include in the composition. Given my time as a brass player and my love for the bands “Chicago” and “Tower of Power”, I felt that a horn section would best suit this composition and add that something extra to the message.
Any plans to release a video?
I plan to produce as many videos as possible, however, the fact that I am a full time high school teacher allows for very little time to create on a personal level. Perhaps during the summer break I will be able to get started. I am still trying to find the right people to assist me in this venture.
Any plans to hit the road?
Performance dates seem rather unlikely for me. I do love to perform, however I consider myself to be more of a composer/producer/arranger. One might notice that in addition to songs on which I perform vocally, there are a number of tracks on my website which feature other artists and friends.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I actually don’t try to brand myself. I do however have a website and use social media, as well as A&R companies to get my music heard (Taxi, Paramount Nashville, Music Clout). I try to stay true to who I am with the hopes that my listeners will appreciate me for who I am. I have always been a firm believer that it is very important to remain genuine while maintaining one’s individuality.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I have been listening to a lot of Phil Collins, Stevie Nicks, Peter Gabriel, Gotye, B.B. King, Adele, Marc Anthony and Stevie Ray Vaughan most recently.
Tell us about your passions
My passions include: educating students at school, soccer and most sports, nature and creative projects such as home improvements and building decks.
What else is happening next in your world?
I continue to teach and compose music, hoping for a break into the music industry full time. I will also be pursuing the completion of a number of music videos in the near future.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Don!