ENDLESSLY – INTERVIEWS
What is the album ENDLESSLY about?
Looking at the songs in the rearview mirror, they are all about love and relationships, exploring the whole spectrum of love at various stages. This was not intended at the outset and I was quite surprised to find this out, but then again — in life, what is more important than love?
Many of the songs are also about a transition or movement, back and forth in time, like in "Come As You Are" or entering into a new life stage as in "This Moment" or simply traveling. The title song "Endlessly" could be about an imaginary romantic road-trip through Europe and "Take Me Home" could be about leaving Manhattan to go toward the Northern Lights in Sweden.
How did this new album and overall concept for it come about?
After SOHO SUITE, I was looking for a new direction. I wanted to evolve as a vocalist and a new sound. I started working with my new wonderful vocal coach Yolanda Wyns at The Harlem School of the Arts, The Herb Alpert Center and through her, I met Grammy Award winner Gordon Chambers who became my producer. Gordon invited me to an open mic session at The Village Underground featuring Shedrick Mitchell as music director and I immediately loved the energy of the band, so we decided then and there to make an album based on live studio recordings.
You have three covers on the album written by Stevie Wonder. George Michael and Kim Lamont Owens. Why did you decided to record these songs?
I love cover songs because you can hear the song’s potential in a different arrangement. "All I Do" is a perfect song in many ways, very little to add here, but then I started to play around with the idea of a string-based groove inspired by Coldplay’s "Viva La Vida". "Cowboys and Angels" is a very attractive and beautiful song with an unusual beat and dreamy vibe that attracted me instantly. Apparently, it is about a love triangle and the original song is six minutes or so. I decided that a duet might help and had the honor of working with the eminent vocalist Sy Smith. The KEM song "Heaven" was suggested by a producer I was in talks with before I met Gordon. It is a very poignant song with great lyrics, so we kept the general direction and added a Sade-inspired saxophone by Peck Almond throughout the song.
Outside of your musical career, what else in your life gets you excited and fulfilled?
A couple of years ago my daughters inspired me to launch a new podcast called Art Insiders New York. The theme of the podcast is New York with a focus on behind-the-scenes conversations with fascinating people who are making an impact in the world of art, design and architecture. It is really meant to be for the art outsiders, for them to gain knowledge and inspiration from these interviews, and have a richer overall art experience
What is the next step for you?
My ambition with ENDLESSLY was to add more soul influences into the music. Historically, we tend to move along a spectrum that is caught between the pop and jazz genres and I wanted to add that layer of dynamism to this album.
In this respect, Gordon’s contribution has been of incredible value. In addition, I have always been attracted to world music like Buddha Bar, I actually visited their head office in Paris once and had the opportunity to chat with the producers, very interesting, especially the method they applied to choose songs for their compilations.
I find this type of music to be very inspiring as a songwriter, so now I am writing melodies and lyrics based on pre-existing chill beats. A new and exciting experience for me.
Anders Holst - 10 Questions Music Interview by indiemusicinterviews.com
Swedish born, NYC based singer/songwriter Anders Holst Music brings his sensually romantic vibes and poetic juice back to Smooth Jazz with his inspiring new album ENDLESSLY. While elegantly produced by Grammy Award winner Gordon Chambers, and music director Shedrick Mitchell, Holst muses on various aspects of love via inviting originals and spirited re-imaginings of Kem’s “Heaven”, a delicious duet with Sy Smith in George Michael’s Cowboys and Angels, as well as paying homage to Stevie Wonder in an intimate string laden rendition of All I Do.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
Songs have always been rolling around in my mind and when I turned 40, I decided to start listen to them and bring them out in a more organized way than before.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Quincy Jones got to listen to my songs some years ago, I tried to comment and explain the songs while he was listening, but he hushed me and waved his hand every time, I think it was 7-8 songs, I think I lost 4 pounds in the process, afterwards he was very complimentary and gave me some great advice.
What has been the high point of your music path?
Being nominated for the American Smooth Jazz "International Vocalist of the Year" along with Michel Bublé, Seal and Matt Dusk.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
It starts with an idea for a melody and some lyrics, I record them and then I meet up with my songwriter colleague Mats Byström, a successful jazz musician in Sweden, he will work on the music and I will work on the lyrics and the first step is usual demo of some sort.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
I think there is no secret that indie artists do not have the same income earning potential as they did before. Today it is possible to have an unprecedented global presence in the blink of an eye, but the opportunity to earn money on that presence is just not what it should be in my mind.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
I think I would love to work with Chris Botti the jazz trumpeter, I have followed him for some years now and seen him live in New York at the Blue Note and I find him very talented, with a great taste for arrangements and is also a very nice guy.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
We rehearse with the band but equally important is to rehearse the show.I have been lucky to work with a great producer Eric Michael Gillette, whose background is in theater and musicals has enabled him to have a unique sense of what is means to bring music, songs and stories together in a meaningful unity.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
In my experience the songs that give you the most headache are the ones where you, for whatever reason, try to put too much in them, yes there has to be a bridge, perhaps an interlude or there can be another theme introduced at some point, but at the end you realize, less is more, kill your darlings and move on.
What's coming up in the future?
I am inspired by listening to chill beats these days and I write melodies and lyrics for them. Next time I would like to have a more contemporary sound and that I think will require some experimentation.