We love your new debut album! What was the creative process for creating it?
Thank you! We are so glad you like the album. I started writing the songs in 2019 soon after I moved by myself from New York to Kansas for a new job. Leaving my partner behind for what turned into several years was really hard and I picked up my guitar to work through the emotions. Most of these songs are not confessional, they’re more like fictional short stories, but the emotions are very real!! When my good friend, Everett Young, who is a producer and film score composer, heard the first few songs, he flew to Kansas to talk me into doing this album with him. It didn’t take much convincing, as I was ready to throw myself into the project.
What inspired you to pursue a profession in the entertainment industry?
Well, I started playing music shortly after moving to the United States when I was 16. I was born in Central African Republic and grew up in several African countries. Music was so cool and a way for the new kid to fit in. I actually took a long break out of music before this project, but making music is what I most love to do.
What’s your process for writing a new song?
I sit down to noodle on my Martin D15 4-5 times a day, and sometimes ideas start to flow. When that happens I try to get a full song out in one sitting. Several of these songs came to me like inspiration from above and were finished 5 minutes or less! That had never happened to me before and is a little freaky, but it’s an incredible feeling.
Which song from your new album is your favorite?
Oh, man, this changes all the time! It might sound bad to say this, but I love these songs. Right now my favorite is Psychopath Cool! This is one of those songs that came effortlessly, and I really like the dark lyrics. I also love the arrangement with the piano and violin!
Did any unusual things happen during the making of the album?
Well, for me the whole process of recording tracks in different locations and then putting it all together was really strange. I recorded 6 and 12 string acoustic guitar and basic vocal tracks in Manhattan, KS. All other instruments were layered on from Florida, NY, Tennessee, and Georgia. Everett and I came together in Atlanta with another friend to record final tracks and put the pieces together.
How do you find inspiration to make such heartfelt peace?
This was really all about isolation and loneliness. I was living 1200 miles from my family in the midst of a pandemic. The songs are not about me, but they do reflect my emotions.
Why choose to express yourself through FOLK-ROCK /Classic Rock?
I have always loved the classic sounds of 70s and 80s folk-rock. The use of acoustic and electronic sounds invented by the Byrds and others from the Laurel Canyon movement, the folk song structures, the lyrics that tackle deep social issues, the beautiful vocal harmonies are so powerful and evocative. These sounds are deep in my soul.
Do you compose music in order to express yourself? Or to try to influence people?
It is far more to express myself. I actually never think about other people until we start arranging and recording. I guess I am a selfish writer in that sense….
How do you strike a balance between your music and your other responsibilities?
This is the hardest part about maintaining creative momentum. I have a very demanding career that is not related to music, so finding time to write and record is hard. When I start playing live shows, that will be another challenge! But I can’t wait.
Tell us about the experience of recording the new album in the midst of the pandemic.
Everett Young is a master producer. He stitched the work together and it sounds like we were all in the same room! Magical.
Your latest songs, “Sweet and Sour” and “Honey Bee,” have foody titles and love vibes. In your opinion, what else do they have in common? And what are the distinctions?
I think the first two singles have a lot in common. They are fairly light, though in both the conflicts of love are present. They are not simple love songs, but ultimately both celebrate the power of love to overcome differences. With the third single, Peace With the Devil, coming out December 29, we will enter an entirely different and darker world. The album of 15 tracks is divided pretty equally between light and dark moods. Peace is a really atmospheric and I think powerful song about death, damaged love, and broken faith.
Thank you for your time. Would you tell us what your plans are next?
This has been fun! I am writing the material for the next album and can’t wait to start sharing and recording what I am working on.