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Interview: EBSON

You might remember EBSON from a few posts back when I introduced you to his new single Red. In the meantime, the singer has released a strong music video to it which you can check out below. I caught up with the Alternative-Soul singer and we talked about the story of the visuals, his future plans and the artists he looks up to. Read below.

About your new single RED: you based it on the courage of ending a relationship – did you base it on your own experiences or where did your inspiration of writing it come from?

Yeah, so with all of my music I think it’s important to focus on experiences that we’ve had and at the same time reflect what other people have as well, you know experiences they’ve had in past relationships. Obviously I think we’ve all been there and had that struggle when we get to the end. You know it needs to finish but it’s about finding the courage so yeah, I guess everything I do is about self-reflection and channelling that through other people’s experiences as well.

Your music video to RED is very powerful in my opinion – why did you decide to shoot it in Black & White and what inspired you to narrate the story with only dancers?

All across my visuals it is all quite black and white, I think it’s because I really like the texture, I like the grading and the field behind it. I think when you have it in black and white it paints more of a rural motion because it is more dramatic. But with the actual video: A friend of mine is the director, Graeme Mortimer Evelyn, a great visual artist so we sat down and were talking about those plans and I always wanted it to be a pair of dancers. I guess I don’t really see the point in being in my videos, I mean what’s the point of me being in there when I’m trying to tell a story. Imagine you had two dancers popping up half way through – it’s not gonna tell the story the right way that I wanted to. It’s about the viewer feeling the relationship and the connection between the two dancers and that evokes the message of my music a whole lot clearer.

How was the experience of working with Nandi Bhehbe (A Midsummer Nights Dream at The Globe) and Renako McDonald (Tarzan, Cirque du Soleil)? I’ve heard they already performed in huge productions!

They were incredible. Honestly I was so humbled to work with these guys because at the end of the day we can only portray. Me and Graeme sat down with them and discussed what we wanted to achieve with the video between the two of them. Thankfully they knew each other before but never worked together so it was a really great opportunity for them ‘cause they always wanted to do that. It was about bringing them together and as you can see in their performance they really nailed it. One of the big things for us was about facial expression. You know, you can see dance videos that have a lot of movement going on but just because it’s a dance movie doesn’t mean the real motion is there. So yeah, I was really pleased.

Did you know them before or how did the collaboration come across?

The producer of the video is a close friend of someone who knew them from previous productions. And this is what the project was about, it is about bringing people together. At the end of the day EBSON isn’t just me, it’s about about the collaboration with like-minded people whether it’s visually, musically or else.

You are from London, a city with a booming music industry. Do you find it hard to emerge as an artist with so many talents around there?

I mean anyone getting into the music industry has to be ready for struggle, it’s not something that can be done lightly. You have to be ready to face lows and experience highs. I don’t pay too much attention to everything else that’s going on, I just focus on myself, keep my vision strong and keep it moving.

Have you already been listening to Soul Music when you were a kid? When did your passion for singing evolve?

Good question! I have always sung when I was younger, my mum was always listening to Motown and my dad sings as well, he was doing bits and bobs when he was younger. I guess for me, I haven’t really started until I was 18, 19 and then I started working with different producers. But even then it has taken a while for me to actually decide to do this properly and really commit to it. Soul-music wise – I’ve always been listening to it but in my teens I got heavily into D’Angelo, Anthony Hamilton, Erykah Badu – these are the people that helped to channel my music and the feeling that I have to express. When I grew older my taste kind of adapted and now I’m really into cinematic music and classical sort of stuff so I like to bring that hybrid connection. I wouldn’t necessarily call my music soul, it’s more like alternative soul because it is a collaboration of different sounds and things I want to express.

EBSONPRESS03 - credit Matt Davies.JPG

EBSON. credits to Matt Davies

Did you have any other career plans before singing?

Yeah, I went to Uni and got my degree in Business and was completely going into the opposite direction but I got to that point where I knew I want to do music. I left my job behind and completely focused on music.

Who would you like to collaborate with one day?

This will be a long list! There are two ways I would look at this, artists that I admire and the ones that inspired me. As I mentioned, D’angelo or from Questlove from the roots – he is such an incredible musician. People like that would be incredible. But moving forward with kind of the new sort of sounds that I’m looking at you’ve got people like Oliver Arnolds, people who are incredible composers.

What can we expect from you this year? Have you planned on releasing more tracks or even performing gigs?

I’ve got an EP coming later this year. It’s going to be either four or five tracks. It’s gonna be all new music and I think it’s a bit more of the style of Adapted to Thrive, it’s a lot more bluesy. We’re in the middle of it now – two tracks done and there will be another video coming out as well. In terms of gigging, I’m looking into doing it at the end of the year or at the start of the new year. It’s all about creating the vibe.

Thank you for the interview.

Follow him on soundcloud.

Written By: Antonia

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