Tag Archives: songwriter

Artist Feature: Liam McClair

Liam McClair is a singer-songwriter out of Wilmslow, Cheshire, England that we met through our homie Sobi Thurairatnam. For Liam, Reflection is about unbiased retrospection and balanced analysis of the past. His music provides a medium for reflection on lived experience. Liam discusses this process through a showcase of songs from his first EP, How. We’re excited to say that he’s soon to drop his second EP HONEY through HourGlass Productions, and he’s also looking to perform with a full band after its release. Check out the interview below, stay tuned for tour dates, and make sure to check out the new EP soon!

Liam McClair

Reflection to me is considering the positives and negatives in a previous situation, but trying to be as objective as you can to ensure that you are seeing the outcomes and effects as they are and not from a biased position.

– Liam McClair

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

LM: I am from Wilmslow, Cheshire in the UK. I have been performing as a solo singer-songwriter for nearly a year. The highlights have been having my track played at Old Trafford twice, playing at Liverpool’s Sound City, being featured and interviewed on BBC Introducing Merseyside, and the continued support online from radio stations, fans and blogs.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

LM: Reflection to me is considering the positives and negatives in a previous situation, but trying to be as objective as you can to ensure that you are seeing the outcomes and effects as they are and not from a biased position. I reflect often with my music as my writing process is quite organic so upon reflection I can understand the theme of the song and subsequently direct the song towards that theme. Response is a person’s reaction to a stimulus, whether that be sensory or physical.

How does your work fit in with that definition?

LM: My song writing is predominately based on reflections. Most of the songs I have written have been based on personal experiences and personal emotions. Within my Debut EP, How, all of the songs are based on reflecting on a time and they are responses to things I have seen or experienced. The first track Roam The Globe acts as my travel journal from times I have spent abroad:

Rough Waters is a description of ending a relationship and the difficulties involved and experienced:

Somewhere Before is the story of a couple with dementia which I responded to initially, however I didn’t realise that was the topic of the song until I reflected on it:

How is a song I wrote about the feeling of pure desire you have when first encountering someone you really admire:

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Artist Feature: Mike Gervais

Mike Gervais is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and  lifelong resident of Seattle, Washington. As he witnesses a changing city climate, Mike writes image-based music that inspires feelings in the mind of the listener, preferring to position his creative output within the physical dimension of response. In the interview below, Mike describes the natural imagery behind one of his songs Aurora Borealis and some of his inspirations such as impressionism and Chuck Close. Working extensively with his brother Matt as “Mikey and Matty,” the two have begun a busy 2014 playing dozens of shows and writing new songs they look to record over the next few months.

Mike and Matt Gervais

I don’t want to change or rearrange anything. If I could be successful at songwriting at all, I’d hope that what I came up with put a picture in the listener’s mind. I’d prefer to be an impressionist or even a Chuck Close to being a Jackson Pollack. Even though I envy that type of work.

– Mike Gervais

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

MG: I realized recently that I’ve experienced 21% of the entire history of Seattle as a life-long resident. Imagine the time elapsed since the Denny party first settled here- 163 years, as the price of your dinner date… My age is the tip. I suppose that I should consider this when lamenting the construction projects that seem to be replacing all of the old brick and 70’s architecture with steamy hot-yoga windows under impossibly expensive “mixed-income” apartments. I walk around mostly humming tunes and looking for plants coming up through the cement. Even though we’re so close to the mountains, it seems like it’s getting harder to feel that they’re so close. I think we could all use a good long walk up there.  

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

MG: I think a reflection is a response. I’m mostly about the tangible, equal-opposite reaction type of response. If light waves are bouncing on a puddle in the road, I want my music to be that reflection. I’m only looking for images that convey feelings. I don’t consider myself worthy of interpreting and translating events and relationships- I don’t want to change or rearrange anything. If I could be successful at songwriting at all, I’d hope that what I came up with put a picture in the listener’s mind. I’d prefer to be an impressionist or even a Chuck Close to being a Jackson Pollack. Even though I envy that type of work.

How does your song Aurora Borealis fit in with that definition?

MG: I work exclusively with my brother, Matt Gervais. Most of our work fits somewhere into the imagery=feeling spectrum. This is the first time I’ve had an interview without him, so I chose to highlight a song I can speak to more personally, Aurora Borealis. I tried to tell this story exclusively through pictures, and I normally look to nature for the best ones. The tide goes out twice a day and these squishy, delicate animals are exposed to the seagulls and the sunshine. You could write a thousand songs about that. Or the chaos of Saturn missiles going off on a dock at dusk in summer. I love the grandiose and the hopeless.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Artist Feature: Ayo Dot

Ayo Dot is a rapper and songwriter who was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and currently lives in Seattle. A seasoned artist, he now performers throughout the Northwest with his group Ayo Dot & The Uppercuts, featuring keys, drums, guitar, bass, and backup vocals. In his Feature piece, Ayo breaks down the importance of silence and mental Reflection leading to positive, organic Response. He also comments on the constant improvement in our Responses as we continually get to know ourselves better as people. Check out the dialogue below to read about his tracks My Dreams, Thinking About You, and Mo Ti So, along with an upcoming EP from the band!

Ayo Dot

Response is how I react to everything I’ve internalized or reflected upon. It should be organic and natural. The more you know who you are as a person, the better your response.

– Ayo Dot

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

AD: Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria – West Africa. Now a resident of the great Northwest. Seattle. I represent the West 2x.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you? 

AD: Reflection to me is a time out. Silence. It’s when I get to take a mental stock of things. I break things down. Good or bad. Determine how to take the good and build on it or take the bad and make it better. I’m in my head a lot. That’s my happy place.

Response is how I react to everything I’ve internalized or reflected upon. It should be organic and natural. The more you know who you are as a person, the better your response. I’m getting there.

Ayo Dot

How do your songs My Dreams, Thinking About You, and Mo Ti So fit in with that definition? 

AD: The song My Dreams really just latches on to the idea that you should never really let people dictate what you can or can’t do. Build your own ship and sail it.

With Thinking About You, I wanted to do something that was borderline dark. If you check out the video, you’ll know what i mean.

Mo Ti So is my Ode to smack talking and also recognition of my Nigerian roots. I opted to keep part of the chorus in Yoruba, one of the languages spoken in Nigeria.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next? 

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: