State Facesstate.ie names its artists to look out for in the 12 months flowing from January each year, and accompanied by original photoshoots from our team of photographers.
Cork based electronic songwriter with something to say.
I guess it can be. It’s definitely a pitfall I’ve been aware of over the years when working within the electronic medium. I describe myself as an electronic songwriter. I think my background in songwriting, writing within a band has got me to where I am today straddling those lines as a solo artist. So I guess I’ve one foot in each camp which ensures my personality comes through naturally. I love the vocabulary of electronic music but I always envisaged using it as an aid to express something rawer and more human. Lyric content is key for me. Essentially, what I try to do is to put the lyrical song into a wider experimental electronic context.
I think when you make work you reveal yourself so that’s a help. More specific obvious things like singing in your natural accent. Using lyrics with colloquialisms or idioms. Playing these little revealing nuggets of honest off the potential sterileness/ facelessness of electronic music creates an interesting tension or language I think. Another technique I have relied on is to present recordings of audio experiences in my music. For example streetscapes in India, newspaper sellers in Cork, traffic noise, temple music etc. This for me brings personality into the sphere albeit the personalities of the people in the recordings but I guess my inquisitive and observational personality rings true here also.
My pop influences come from a normal upbringing, in this day and age. Lots of radio growing up as I my parents were never massively into music so I listened to what was around at the time. Nowadays, I would listen to the radio to keep in touch with it as it interests me what direction music is going in, but I seldom find myself listening to pop otherwise, unless I was told to check out a band really.
I constantly record samples. I basically build up own libraries of sounds from manipulated recordings. For me, this creates an original sonic pallet which you can draw from. They can come from anywhere you just have to be ready to capture them (which can be tricky!). I use the voice memo recorder on my i phone and a handheld recorder. The majority of the samples used on my album come for sounds recorded in India and South-East Asia so that obviously puts an interesting curve on proceedings.
My music is very reflective and I’d like to think of it as thought-provoking so I guess when you’re looking at the album format you have more time to delve into things and create a language and interaction between the individual songs. A lot of my songs explore topics. Looking into all sorts of things from different points of view and asking myself ‘where do I stand with this, where do I stand with that? has always been a sort of a go-to, staple process of mine. So I guess, generally speaking, my songs are exploratory or inquisitive for the most part and with an album, I can exert myself over a long period of time, cover more ground and be broader and more effective as a result.