What is your name?
What is your genre of music?
I do not subscribe to a particular genre, though I am very connected to folk, jazz, soul, and electronic music.
Give us a little bio about you.
I am 28. Mixed-race. Grew up in Kansas City. Adopted Edinburgh, Scotland as a second home. Now, I travel the world using music as a way to create moments where we can practice what it looks and feels like to befriend our liberated inner selves and show them off for as long as we can.
What made you go into music?
I’ve been singing and writing since I was about 4 or 5. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Are you signed?
I am working with a Kansas City label called Bullseye Records.
Your latest release is out ‘Cantaloupe’, tell us more about it.
Cantaloupe is a 10-track album about diligently searching for the silver lining of interpersonal hardships from the perspective of a multi-racial queer millennial male raised in the Bible Belt.
What was the writing process like?
Some of the writing process was very simple. It’s always nice when a song falls in my lap, handed to me like a gift beautifully wrapped. Neat and tidy. But sometimes it began as a question of “What if?” and the song would materialize as we worked it. Both avenues were very fruitful and enjoyable.
What was the recording process like?
We began by recording live takes of a 4-piece band in a studio with isolated sound booths. Then I took those recordings to my home studio and added layers and sound content to each of the tracks. Then we took those recordings to The Infoaming Vertex, J Ashley Miller’s studio. There we continued to work, write, and polish the sounds of the record. After we finished that, we brought the tracks to Dave Kutch at the Mastering Palace where he really made the album shine.
What is the message you want listeners to take from the single?
I want anyone who feels like they have been through the wringer when it comes to disappointments and anxiety from romance-gone-wrong to know that you are not alone. Movie screen romance may or may not be something that we ever get to experience, but our intrinsic value should never come into question.
Describe the single track in two words
Who did you work on with the album?
I worked with many different Kansas City artists as well as a few musicians from abroad. The main team was J Ashley Miller, Simon Huntley, and myself pulling this record together. Other huge contributors include Ryan J. Lee, Robert Castillo, Fritz Hutchison, Alison Hawkins, Coleen Dieker, Rachel Lovelace, Ashley Rippeto, and Carl Herlitz.
Describe each track in two words.
Headlights – I’ll stick with my original two words: Meek. Powerful.
Tip Toe – Unnecessary Anxiety
Equally – Visceral Sensuality
Back to You – No Regrets
Toxic – Visceral Sensuality
Doomed – Puppy Love
The Game – Accepting Defeat
Palaces – Writer’s Block
Poseidon – Bad Dad
Cantaloupe – Porch Swing
LISTEN TO THE CANTALOUPE BELOW;
Will we see any music videos for the tracks?
Yes! There will be more music videos. Not sure which ones quite yet, but do stay tuned!
Will it be released this year or next year?
Do you have any shows or a tour in planning?
I am playing a major show in Kansas City for New Year’s Eve at The Truman with Latin rock band Making Movies. Everyone should come out to that.
I am also planning a tour.
Where will you be heading?
I am looking at the calendar for 2019 and I would like to play in all 50 States within the calendar year. Why not!?
What else can we expect from you this year?
A cookbook? Leading movies? A harp power cruise ship? Beautiful concerts all over the US and Europe.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists?
I adore working with my team, J Ashley Miller and Simon Huntley.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Of course! I love collaborating. Please contact my manager at BookCalvinArsenia@gmail.com
Do you play any instruments?
Yes. Predominantly Celtic harp, but many others as well.
Who are your influences?
Oh, there are so many. I am incredibly inspired by people who do not apologize for being themselves.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Songwriting usually begins when I have a problem that I am working through by myself and as I process that problem, a song usually dribbles out of my face. Other than that, sometimes I just sit in a quiet place or when I am doing something like cleaning up spilled juice, I imagine what the most beautiful sound or song in existence is and then I try to manifest it in whatever way I have the facilities to do so.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Being more discretionary about where and how I spend my time. I would like to really explore my inner audiophile and learn more about the power and sciences of sound and how they affect humans and all matter, for that matter.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I like to cook and to smell flowers.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
John Wayne Gacy, Jr. by Sufjan Stevens. This song showed me that in the power of 4 minutes, you can change someone’s world view forever. I will never look at a serial killer the same ever again.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
WAVE YOUR FREAK FLAG.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Dress for the job you want and always be just a bit bigger than the room you’re in.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Creating moments of transcendence one pluck at a time.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
The Ship in Kansas City.
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
Quixotic. It’s the cirque nouveau troupe I play with sometimes. They are like family to me.
2/ Who do you see first?
My best friends, Chris, Rob, Ashlee, Ashley, Ashley, or Simon.
3/What do you eat first?
Jarocho’s Aguachiles Shrimp
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Fresh roses, harp tuner, harp stand, glitter, and Rosé.