Interview: Dear Genre
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My family had a live-in aupair named Yildi stay with us for a year when I was five years old. He was in his twenties when he came to the states and was already established as a professional musician so I feel watching him play the guitar every day inspired the young to play. If I were not playing music, I'd probably be working in another facet of the arts. I wasn't built for the normal desk job, I just couldn't do it.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I'm not playing music, I enjoy spending time listening to music and analyzing what makes the song work. I love art & often wish I were a painter so I do a lot of wandering around art museums. Oftentimes a painting or photograph will inspire a theme or song so I'm grateful for the substance my love of art provides.
How long has music been your career?
I've been playing music since the age of five but decided I wanted to pursue it as a career when I was going into my senior year of highschool.
How long has music been your career?
I'm based out of St. Louis, MO. If you know where that is, you know that it's about as far away from water, anything beachy or dreamy as you can get. A lot of people say that these are overarching themes in my music and I wonder if it may be an attempt to make up for the things that my surroundings lack.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Every musician has a best and a worst show but not every musician can remember their best or worst show. Unfortunately, I remember mine very well. I had the incredible opportunity to play a seated venue in one of the city's smaller, family owned venues. It was meant to be an intimate experience between artist and audience in which the artist had the chance to preface each song with a story of what it was about and how it came to be. Two weeks before the show I got a pretty serious case of pneumonia that completely wiped out my ability to speak let alone sing. The evening of the show I sounded like an old lady who'd been smoking for a century and could barely get my voice above a whisper. I'm pretty positive everyone left that show either disappointed or confused.
Our best show was a free, last minute show put on by the opening group in ourselves held at a local church. I feel like the fact that it was free and we had no obligation to make money for the venue really allowed us to let loose and enjoy just being a band. It was great
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favorite venue is a local one called "The Heavy Anchor." We've probably played a hundred shows there. The mixture of arcade, bar and venue atmosphere with the addition of live music are perfect. I'd have to say that if I could play any venue, it would have to be red rocks. I've heard incredible things about the quality of shows.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
If I could play any show with any line up, I might have to open for the band Tame Impala. I think if that ever happened I'd be able to walk away from my musical career satisfied.I would also accept an invitation to any show with Manchester Orchestra, Grouplove or MGMT in the line-up.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
A piece of advice that I'd share with someone just getting into music would be not to let numbers drive you because you'll never be satisfied.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
If I could go back in time and give advice to my former self I would remind him not to be so serious all the time. To slow down and take time to enjoy the process instead of trying to sprint to my destination.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Of my songs, "Milky eyes" means the most to me because it's about my best friend I lost due to substance use. We were so close I never thought I'd have to think about losing him so hearing that song reminds me of how loved he was and how glad I am to have known him.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My favorite songs to play are always the fast ones. If you know me at all, that probably doesn't surprise you but I do love to get groovin 'on my faster tracks like "Never-ending Fairy Fail", "Flyers" "Scorpion girl" & "Murphy's Law."
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
For me, the creative process always looks about the same. A catchy melody comes to my head (Or sometimes the songs come to me fully formed) and from there I basically work backwards filling in the melody with lyrics while finding the chords I hear in my head on the guitar. I've never been professionally or classically trained so for me most of the process is finding the parts I hear in my head on their respective instruments.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I would say the main messages I try and get across in my music are;- Love yourself no matter what differences you feel you have- Everybody is entitled to second chances- This isn't a message per say but I would also say that my music encourages introspection, self-reflection.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
As someone who founded a solo project, I never have disagreements when collaborating because there's nobody to argue with although I find myself struggling over creative decisions all the time. Oftentimes, when working with a producer, there will be minor creative disagreements although they always get resolved because both parties just want what's best for the song.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
In the future, I'd like to think that Dear Genre will be able to produce more content in a smaller period of time and maybe someday even put out multiple releases a year. The next thing on my plate will be the release of my new summer single "Body of Water" which I'm aiming to release at the end of August