What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
I grew up in the heart of Silicon Valley in Saratoga, California. Growing up, most of my classmates were interested in academic success, college, and seemingly everything other than being creative or making art. I worked with what I could to form bands, attend gigs, and learn everything I could about music. I had a great music teacher named Warren Lain who taught me about music theory and composition.
I moved to San Francisco in 2011 to attend college at San Francisco State University. I was in and out of various bands but started to get the bug in me to work by myself. I studied film and delved into the world of composing for movies. I produced and composed the soundtrack for the film “X” which is currently screening in film festivals internationally.
In 2017 I moved to North Hollywood with the goal of applying everything I had learned from band life and composing into starting a brand new solo project called Sulkin’ Raven. I tried a lot of different things during my time in San Francisco; some worked, and some didn’t. Sulkin’ Raven is the culmination of all my different musical experiences and I finally feel like this is the project that feels the most true to who I am personally and creatively.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
I’m releasing a series of singles, one song per month for the rest of the year. Blue & Rhythm is the 3rd single and one of my favorites.
I wanted to write something chill and down to earth, something for walking with headphones and reflecting.
The beat and a lot of the sounds are made from chiptune hardware. The drum samples come from an original Gameboy running sequencing software. The one of the main synths is from Arcano Systems and its reproduction of the sound from the original Nintendo consoles sound chip. I’m so proud of how these sounds mixed with traditional guitars, keys, and bass.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
I’m always looking to continue to push myself foreword creatively and not hold back the way they have in their career. I’m very influenced by Explosions in the Sky, El Ten Eleven, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Radiohead, and later Beatles music for this reason. I’m also a big fan of psychedelic music and classic rock. Everything from Pink Floyd and The Beatles to The Black Angles and even MGMT. However most recently, I’ve grown a deep love for Synthwave and other retrowave genres like chiptune and vaporwave. I’m really into Kavinsky, Timecop1983, Glitbiter, Mitch Murder, Electric Youth and other artistsi n that genre a lot right now.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
My sound is a mixing pot of genres that became popular in the 2010s. Synthwave mixed with Post-Rock, Neo-Psych, and Chiptune. My aim is to take the best of these genres, flip them on their heads, challenge the typical songwriting associated with those sounds, and take them to a place where they haven’t been before.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
In Rainbows – Radiohead
Mario & Chill – Helynt
Congratulations – MGMT
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Performing live absolutely. I feel that that is the life force of all of it. Everything I do is the purpose of getting back on stage. I love playing music, I love attention, and I love bonding with others over the arts as well as the entertainment that I am passionate about. Live music brings people together in a very special way and I long to be a part of it in any way I possibly can.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Only a few short months after moving to LA. I was working on my first EP of instrumental tracks. I showed a cover of Strange Days by The Doors to the owner of the studio, he got in contact with Robby Krieger, the guitar player of the doors and showed him my version. Robby liked it and we ended up recording him playing guitar on my version of the song. After only being in LA for 6 months, meeting one of my guitar heroes and having him play on a song of mine was a ton of fun.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
“Built to Break” off my 3rd ep “The Other Voices” is one of my favorites. Its a long, meandering, and epic track that incorporates a little bit of everything that I want my music to be about. I hope to remix and remaster it someday as I did the whole thing myself, resulting in a bit of an amateurish mix.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
I will have a new song out every month until the end of the year, along with a single shot music video shot by Collin Hughart to go along with each track. I will be playing shows with the local synth wave scene around LA in the near future, live streaming jams on my Twitch.tv channel, and I will be DJing at Player One Barcade in North Hollywood every Friday and Saturday.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Q: Top 5 video game soundtracks
Super Mario World – Koji Kondo
Metal Gear Sold 3 – Harry Gregson Williams
Fez – Disasterpiece
Celeste – Lena Raine
Super Mario 64 – Koji Kondo
Photo credits: Alex De Nicolo
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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