Tell us about yourself and your music
I’m a 24-year-old multi-instrumentalist and producer currently residing in Asheville, North Carolina. I’ve been playing music for most of my life but finally started recording and producing a few years ago. I have a background in piano, percussion, and guitar and used this as a starting base for my songwriting. My music spans across several different genres including ambient, dream pop, downtempo electronic, synth-wave, and shoegaze, and often combines various elements of each. I try not to box myself in with genre confines and restrictions. While my music varies from a sonic standpoint, in general, I try to create lush, spacey atmospheres with dreamlike, emotive themes.
Talk to us more about your latest release
“Worlds Just Beyond Reach” is an 8 track album that I wrote, recorded, and produced this year. The record is marked by sprawling celestial soundscapes complete with an array of dreamy synths and guitars. The grandiose, larger-than-life feel of the release is meant to make it fully immersive and alluring. I wanted to make the listener feel as though they were gliding through space while listening, and tried to find a balance between a sense of pure tranquility as well as excitement and energy.
What inspired you to write this release?
This record was in large part inspired by the events of 2020. My music has always centered around escapist themes, and I felt these were more relevant now than ever with the tumultuous events of the year. Between the global pandemic, widespread political and social unrest, and the ever-looming existential threat of climate change, there has been a lot to worry about recently and it has been a stressful, anxiety-inducing time for us all. I came down with the virus myself and spent a large portion of the year sick and isolating, which took a toll on my physical and emotional health. While I felt myself being weighed down with the pressure of these issues as well as my own experiences, I wanted to create something that functioned completely independent of these subjects and served as a much-needed source of relief and fantasy. All of the tracks on this release were meant to have a cosmic, otherworldly quality to work as a distraction and a source of serenity. I was trying to create the sounds and optimistic feelings that would evoke a fictional, idealistic place where things weren’t so unsettling and dark – a reality where we weren’t faced with all these impending threats, and where humanity could reach its full potential and exist in a state of harmony. This is where the title ” Worlds Just Beyond Reach” comes from. This utopian society is, in theory, a possibility – but something that unfortunately lies beyond our current abilities as a species. I hoped that I could at least create a collection of tracks that echo this sentiment, and embody the feeling of looking into the night sky and wondering about what could be.
Any plans to release a video?
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
My main method of accomplishing this has been to stick true to myself and make the music that I want to make. I’ve been told numerous times that I can’t or shouldn’t do certain things with my music. There’s a lot of gatekeeping in some subgenres. People want you to stick to a mold. I don’t believe in that. I think there’s nothing wrong with trying new things and melding different styles together. Some of history’s most ambitious and experimental music projects have ultimately been some of the most successful. Brian Wilson was famously met with confusion when he first showed “Pet Sounds” to his bandmates. “Kid A” was considered to be a flop upon initial release by many critics and fans. So while I appreciate and listen to constructive criticism, I make a point to never change core elements of my music just because someone thinks I should. I think it’s important to push the envelope sometimes.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I’ve had a lot of 90’s dream-pop and shoegaze in my rotation recently. Artists like Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, and Ride have been really resonating with me in a way that few others can. There’s something about that shimmering, atmospheric sound and melancholic lyrics that scratches all the right itches for me. I’ve also been getting heavily into The Radio Dept., as well as this year’s new releases from some of my classic favorites like The Strokes and Fleet Foxes.
Who are your biggest influences?
Some of my biggest influences include Boards of Canada, Radiohead, Beach House, Tycho, Brian Eno, Washed Out, Pink Floyd, Cocteau Twins, DIIV, Tame Impala, Built to Spill, Animal Collective, Aphex Twin, Wild Nothing, Modest Mouse, Odesza, and Daft Punk
Thanks for an awesome interview, Interstellar Noise
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