Interview: Swelo

Swelo is a one man act based out of New Orleans whose day job is as a teacher. He leads quite an interesting life outside the classroom, however; he has produced a genre-bending album that captivates the listener and can be found here: http://swelo.bandcamp.com. Without further ado, here is our interview with him:

Swelo

First off, how would your students react if they discovered your music?
Honestly, I think they would just laugh. I’m a pretty goofy teacher, so they would probably think this whole thing is pretty funny. I would hope that they secretly like my music though.


So many songs have such different vocals. Are all of the vocals done by you? 
All the vocals are me, except for the spoken word verse in “This Step”. That’s by Jose Cotto, a good friend of mine who is an artist, poet, and and entrepreneur. Check him out at jccotto.com.


How did you begin experimenting with your genre-bending style?
The genre bending is really just a representation of all the types of music I listen to. My aim was never to really create a new genre or anything; I was just combing the best aspects of all the genres I like.


At points throughout your album, it sounds like you’ve been influenced by Cage the Elephant (Country Road), The Limousines (Brighton), Jack Johnson (Not Like We Used to Be), and Kid Cudi (2 AM Interlude). What genre/musician had the biggest impact on defining your style?
Huge question! That’s pretty tough to answer. I would say overall, hip-hop has influenced me the most because of the mindset that comes with it. It’s a genre that’s incredibly open to experimentation and boundary testing. Wu-Tang Clan and Kid Cudi are both considered hip hop, but their music is wildly different from one another.


What do you hope to achieve with your music (a career, fame, time killer, etc.)?
It would be great to be able to make this a career, but I’m honestly not sure at this point. If the current response I’m getting stays consistent, a career in music will start to seem more realistic.


Other than music, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy teaching, of course. And eating. And generally being outside, if it isn’t too oppressively hot. And watching Doctor Who (David Tennant, obviously).


What/who is your favorite musician/band?
Today, right now, I’m feeling Stevie Wonder. Ask me again tomorrow and I’ll give you a different answer.


You can find Swelo on:
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Review: “Wild EP” by The Analog Affair

Wild EP by The Analog Affair (9/10): I first became exposed to The Analog Affair when band member Evan contacted me about doing an interview with him for his side project Light the Air (the interview can be found here: https://musicalmagnificence.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/light-the-air-interview/). After exposing myself to Evan’s style, he suggested that I check out his band called The Analog Affair. The Analog Affair is a combined effort of Evan and Cody (I also did a review of their previous album here: https://musicalmagnificence.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/review-good-vibes-ep-by-the-analog-affair/). The last album, Good Vibes EP, of theirs that I reviewed was a folksy one. Listening to Wild EP is like listening to an entirely new band; Wild EP is  infused with electropop, indie pop, and indietronica mostly.

Wild EP

Now I typically cringe when a band tries to exit its genre because often it becomes apparent that the band is a one trick pony. The Analog Affair, however, pulls off the genre switch with ease. Every track on the album makes you want to move; be it dancing, working out, or even just writing an album review. So check it out, Evan and Cody have major talent that will assure they make it far in the business.

 

You can find The Analog Affair on:

Soundcloud

Bandcamp

Facebook

Interview: Matthew Fowler

Matthew Fowler is a singer-songwriter who just got back from a tour.

According to Matthew, “I started playing guitar at 14 years old and have been writing and playing music ever since. Even from a young age music was a passion. I remember sitting around and listening to full albums while other kids would watch TV. sports were never really my thing so I found other ways to take up my time. I found that music was a way for me to bridge the gap between my age and the people I enjoyed being around. I was always so much younger than people expected because I was always serious about my playing and, really, I grew up on the songs from a different generation. Songs that were more interested in conveying emotion and passion than dancing around and having fun (not that there’s anything wrong with that type of music, it just was never my forte). But I identified with playing because people older than me, people that I looked up to, would hear me play and view me as an equal. Which blew my mind and still does. Some amazing musicians that were more experienced and better known than I would shake my hand and look me in the eye as an equal and that really changed me. When Austin [Miller] asked me to go on tour with him, I knew that I had to really focus on making this album. It was kind of a wake up call to stop planning on making an album and actually make one. So I did, and here I am now.” And here’s our interview with Matthew:

Matthew Fowler

How did this album get started/why did you start the album?
Making an album was something I had always wanted to do. Music, for me, was almost so ingrained in what I loved that I never even questioned whether or not I would pursue it, It was just always in my cards. But it got to the point where I had enough songs to start thinking about it and I had some time off of school and some musician friends of mine were hanging around. All the points kind of aligned and I started to think more seriously on recording as it was something I always thought about “for the future”. But I guess one day I just made some plans and decided to get things done. It took lot longer than expected simply because I had no earthly idea of what I was doing. It was my first time recording things and my first time mixing things. I had to learn to run before I could walk. I’m truly thankful to the friends who helped me figure everything out, like Austin Miller and Clayton Arrighi. I had great support and some amazing musicians to work with and I’m really proud of what we all accomplished.

What do you hope to achieve with your music (a career, fame, time killer, etc.)?

Realistically, I would love to be able to live off my music. I know even that is a tall order, but I think with enough work and dedication its possible. I definitely have the drive and passion, it’s all I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember. I love being a musician and I cant see myself doing anything else.

Other than music, what do you enjoy doing?

I’ve always been a big reader and a big movie buff. Anything with an intriguing story and interesting characters. The last couple years I’ve been very into comic-books and graphic novels. It’s such an engaging way to tell a story and the quality of independent comics and stand-alone graphic novels have increased and it’s great! I love them.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

“Do what you love and the money will follow”

Matthew Fowler

What/who is your favorite musician/band?

My favorite musician is Glen Hansard. That guy emanates passion in every project he’s associated with and I’ve always tried to embody that in my life and music as well. I remember being a young teenager and being so enthralled with the kind of person he was, so humble and funny and amazing. He’s been that one musician I’ve tried to really apply to myself. Glen was always that musician that I looked up to. Hopefully one day I get to meet him and give him a huge hug for the impact he’s had on my music and helping me become the musician I am today.

The title of your album is Beginning. Does this signal that we will see more from you in the near future?

Of course. The title is called “Beginning” for a couple reasons. The most obvious being that it’s my first album. But “Beginning” consists of a lot of songs I’ve held onto for years. Songs that I wrote when I was like fourteen and fifteen but that still keep their meaning to me. I wanted to move on from those songs but also give them their due for helping me get through those adolescent years as I move onto adulthood. I mean I know at Nineteen now I’m not exactly considered a real adult, but I feel like it sometimes. Like the last couple months have been such a growth period and I got to take a lot of these old songs and see how they still pertain to what’s going on to me now, just in a different capacity. But yes, making music will always be in my future.

What is your inspiration for your songwriting/lyrics?

I’ve found that my writing usually focuses on things that have personally affected me. I’ve never been able to write about fictional situations or dreams, it’s all things that have deeply affected me in some way.

Do you have any tour dates scheduled?

I am actually on my first tour right now supporting another Orlando artist by the name of Austin Miller. We left Orlando on June 12th (my hometown) and are ending in Gainesville July 1st, but we head all the way up the east coast playing shows as far north as New York City and as far west as Detroit, and a whole bunch of places in-between.  I’m playing guitar for him and I also sing harmonies in his band. Additionally, I’m opening up most of the shows with a set of my own, so I’m getting both sides of the coin. Learning how to accompany and how to be accompanied. It’s great because it’s basically twice the experience of playing live.

You can find Matthew Fowler on:

Facebook

Bandcamp

Spotlight: Isosine

As some of you may know, I am a sucker for mashups. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Isosine.

Isosine is a mashup artist who I have been following for around a year. A few days ago, he released his third album and it’s amazing. Check out his album below and download it for free if you’d like.