All photos by James Contrino
Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 1, 2010, Music & Me, the latest release from SIRPAUL, will be available on iTunes. I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview him back in April, about his his career and inspriations that brought him to this point. As he was kind enough to send me an advance copy, I listened to it and loved it right away. All 12 tracks are delectable treats, just waiting to break out on the radio and be perfect for your iPod. The first single is the title track, and you can give it a listen to one of the remix versions now available on iTunes here.
Q: Your latest release, due out soon, Music & Me, seems to be a more mature, personal pop feel. To my ear, it seems an amalgam The title cut, which I love, is just a joyful exclamation. The beats and feel are brighter, and, dare I say, happier. How did it feel when you were writing it?
Happier! Honestly...that's just how I felt in general during the entire process of recording this new album! Making music for me is like an anti-depressant. It just puts me in such a healthy head space. My birthday was on January 5th. As a gift to myself I decided, this year I would be totally selfish and lock myself in the studio every free day I had that month. I wound up writing, recording, producing, engineering, mixing and editing the entire album of 12 songs, by myself, in 9 full days!! It just came pouring out of me and it is to me, the most accurate representation of who I am both personally and artistically. I'm so excited to share it with the world. The first single is going to be the title track Music & Me (Obra, Keven Maroda and Human Body already signed on to do remixes!!) I also just announced a remix contest for the song that starts today so if any of your readers want to give it a go, they can send an email to email@example.com for more details!!
Q: Another of my favorite cuts on the album is Love Taboo with a great R&B feel. What inspired that?
I'm glad you like it! Love Taboo is totally a nod to George Michael's Faith-era music. I feel like he was touching on something that was so groundbreaking in the 80's yet that album still holds up very well today. This song is funny to me because it's about how men flirt with each other. Same sex couples can be so awkward when they go out because of the potential reaction even the slightest PDA can illicit so they tend to have a very specific way of behaving in public. It's very flirty and suggestive and they use a lot of innuendos and sneak around. I think the song captures the playfulness of that dynamic.
Q: 'U' looks at a rather haunted feel of love. Which came first, the music or the lyrics?
The music came first. It funny that you chose the adjective 'haunted' because the track wouldn't leave me alone until I put words to it and finished it completely. I wanted to write a song about how being in love can make you act before thinking. When you fall in love for the first time it's so different than "having been in a relationship before"... It transforms you. It makes you feel both completely vulnerable and empowered at the same time. My favorite line in that song is "with you…I can be a Knight." That's how totally how my husband Paul makes me feel…
Q: Press Rewind is an interesting premise - getting over a bad romance by hitting rewind. What made you think of that?
It's funny how songs are so subjective. I can totally see how it can be interpreted that way! I was referring more to the point where you're so consumed by someone that the thought of wanting to be with them is completely consuming! You start to question if you should rewind, or erase and start over so you can get a clear sense of perspective...but you can't!
Q: Songs like Loser Lover and Mistaken make great dance songs. Does heartbreak lead to the dance floor?
I love to go out dancing! That's always be the first place I would go after a break up…straight to the club! I'm all about grabbing my friends and celebrating the beginning of the next chapter. For some reason I never think of break ups as a bad thing…if something isn't meant to be, move on. Life is way to short to stay in some shitty relationship. The universe rewards you for letting go of anything that you feel isn't good enough for you.
Q: Shine ends the album with a real positive and celebratory message. Did you know when you wrote it it would close the album?
No. I just knew that song was special because it made me feel something so strong inside. "Shine" was inspired by the movie Avatar. I had NO IDEA how much that movie was going to affect me. It brought out so many emotions I had pent up for a long time. The scene where the character Jake flies for the first time was such a metaphor for letting go and having faith in love. It was also about letting go of the negative stigma that's attached to being gay and just allowing yourself to exist, be yourself and ultimately…fly.
Q: What song best expresses the real SIRPAUL?
I can't pick one! I feel like this album is like a shattered mirror image of me. All these songs are fragments that reflect different aspects of my personality and I always bare my soul through my music. If you really pay attention to the words of my songs there's always a deeper meaning or some sort of hidden message. Sometimes I'm telling a completely fictitious story and sometimes it's like I'm telling the world my darkest secrets and finally letting them go. I also have a very twisted sense of humor, so sometimes I like to make music that contrasts the lyrics: like a really happy dance song that's secretly about being miserable.
Q: What song left the strongest memory while recording?
Recording this entire album was the most amazing experience of my life. I had such a huge creative spurt and I was just completely immersed in the music. I allowed myself to lose track of space and time and just let the music flow freely. That's why I'd have to say Music & Me. It's my love song to Music.
Q: When you are in the studio, does the musician, singer, or producer take the lead role?
I primarily work completely by myself so when I'm in the studio, the Producer side of me totally takes the lead. It's like I'm possessed by it! I turn into this other person who is completely focused on the final product and doing whatever I need to do to get my music to be as accurately perceived as possible. After all, perception is reality, right?
That concludes my interview with SIRPAUL, and I hope he had as much fun answering the questions as I had asking them. I'll definitely be able to find out, as I already have my tickets to the show he is putting on June 26th in New York City. For more on this amazing singer/songwriter/producer, check out his official website here. And make sure you grab a copy of Music & Me, cause I know I will be hitting iTunes first thing Tuesday morning, so go ahead, and help support fantastic out indie musicians.