We're pleased to introduce the newest Center Stage artist, Spaceship - A songer-singwriter-instrumental
ister with a fun pop-folk-alternative sound that has been described as 'Beatlesque,' 'Neil Youngish,' 'Beck-like', and 'Beach Boysian.' In addition to his work as a musician, Spaceship is also a Resident Curator at actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt's production company HitRecord, through which his songs "The Spaces Between" and "Of The Future" were produced for the Emmy-winning TV series Hit Record On TV.
His music has also been featured in commercials and online videos, such as the Refinery29 web series Beauty Prep School, which featured his song "Sweet Marie Bee." Nels Cline of the band Wilco described his 2014 album Shake Time Loose as "super crafty and well-produced ... I truly appreciated its sincerity, craft, and unignorable talent and vision," or as his good friend Stevie Collins puts it, "He equals musical awesomesauce."
Sweet Marie Bee was one of our Top 10 songs in the recent Radio Airplay 2016 Spring Song Contest, and we believe very deservedly. The lighthearted whistle-along-to feel bring forth much more than a spring and flowers state of mind. It's a tasteful and honest expression of infatuation and desire.
We're truly loving what we're hearing from this talented artist, and look forward to see what's to come in what's sure to be a long and successful musical career.
Describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence
If I were to describe my sound, it would be something akin to if Wilco and Beck had a musical baby that wanted to sing like the Beach Boys and/or the Zombies, write songs like Bob Dylan and/or Paul Simon, and play all the instruments like Paul McCartney and/or Stevie Wonder, but couldn't really do that because such is impossible, and so did the best it could to be the best musical baby it could be.
What's your earliest music-related memory growing up?
My earliest music-related memory would have to be singing in a church children's choir. We were encouraged to sing as loud as we could, not worrying about whether or not it was beautiful, but because singing itself is a beautiful thing. After that, it was more of a what-was-on-the-radio kind of thing. I recall listening to music on an eight-track player in our car, specifically the Everly Brothers, the Statler Brothers, and Anne Murray. Good times!
What was the first tune(s) you learned?
The first tune I learned was, I think, "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" from the Beatles' "Help!" album. I didn't have all the chords right, as I learned it by ear, and the sound on my old Sears Globe acoustic was nowhere near as lush as it was on the original record, which I later learned was played on a combination of both six- and twelve-string acoustic guitars.
Do you write/compose your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process
I write and compose my own songs, though I greatly enjoy working in collaboration with other music composers and lyricists. Depending on the song, it might be a phrase I read in a book, or an unusual idiom a friend may utter in passing, and it sticks with me until it turns into a melody. Or a strain of a rhythm or harmony might pop into my head, and then the words will come later.
If you were to cover another artist's album, which would you pick and why?
If I were to cover another artist's album, it would have to be either "Friends," "Sunflower," or "Surf's Up" by the Beach Boys. While I do love their earlier stuff, and obviously "Pet Sounds" and the unfinished "Smile" album, there was some truly beautiful output by the band toward the end of the sixties and the beginning of the seventies. I mean, "Busy Doin' Nothin'"? "'Til I Die"? I've been trying to write song like those for years!
What was the highlight of 2015, either for you personally or for the band?
What was the low point? The highlight of 2015 for me was seeing the release of "Of The Future," which was the finale song for the second season of "Hit Record On TV with Joseph Gordon-Levitt". So much work went into that track from so many people, including folk like guitar wizard Nels Cline of Wilco, and to see it finally released as a music video on television and YouTube was quite fulfilling, given the positive vibe of the song and how well people have responded to it since then. The low point? I can't say that there were any low points, and even when there were, I had the help and support of good friends, particularly from my best friend - my wife, Koura - to make even the lows seem not-so-low.
What is 2016 looking like for you? Upcoming projects?
Can you give us a little hint, on what we can expect for this year?: 2016 is shaping up to be an interesting year in terms of projects. I am currently building up song material for at least a couple of albums, one of which will be strictly cover songs. I'll also be doing some film work, both as a filmmaker and as a composer, so I'm really looking forward to what comes of that!
Any embarrassing on stage moments you'd like to share? C’mon, don’t be shy
When it comes to embarrassing moments onstage, it more has to do with my normal manner offstage. My everyday self is quite shy and reserved, but when I get onstage, I tend to go crazy with how the music makes me feel in a sort of nervous and kinetic fashion. If it's a rock song, I'll do the bunny hops or the Pete Townshend-esque windmills, and if it's funky, I'll do the slide or the robot, or whatever. When I've encountered friends after a given show, the embarrassment I've felt has been due to their shockingly positive reactions!
What do you enjoy doing outside of music? Does your hobby rejuvenate their creativity?
I enjoy doing many art-related activities outside of music: photography, drawing, painting, filmmaking, writing poetry, and so on. I also have recently discovered a love for travelling, which I find inspires me in profound ways, as I've tended to be a homebody for much of my life. There's so many flavors to the world, and I'm just beginning to taste them!
What do you like the most about Radio Airplay?
What I like most about Radio Airplay is that it exposes my music to people who, otherwise, most likely would have never heard of me. It means a lot to be able to reach out to total strangers and see them becoming fans right before my eyes!