I’ve been getting a lot of music lately and I’m grateful for that! It makes what I do helluva fun! From official releases to sneaky-peeks, it all find their way to my mailbox.
I was going through a lot of dance music and so-called auto-tune tracks, when Will Larsen dropped Aylin Eser’s EP “Arrows Of Desire” on me for my listening pleasure. And let me tell ya, a pleasure it is! The use of real instruments, the arrangement, Aylin’s voice, it all comes together! It’s just THAT smooth!
How would I describe Aylin after listening to her EP? I would say it’s Norah Jones-ish, but with a smooth twist? Why trying to compare her with someone else, if I can get to know her a lil’ better and let her tell us who she is! So I hooked up with the Australian singer/songwriter and we talked about her roots, how she met Will, if she’s gonna record a music video for the 4th track of her EP and what she has planned for 2013:
The Dutch Guy (TDG): Can I borrow 20 bucks? There’s an EP I like to get…
Aylin Eser (AE): Ummm nooo… Especially not when my EP only costs $3.95!! 😉
TDG: Can you describe yourself in one sentence?
AE: No. One sentence is too short. I’m far too complicated for that. 🙂
TDG: What are your roots and how would you describe your sound?
AE: Will (TDG: Will Larsen) is a classically trained musician. He went right through University training to be an orchestral musician and he went on to play professionally with several opera and ballet companies, symphony orchestras and quite a few internationally famous classical singers too. So because of that background you’ll often find orchestral elements in our songs – whether that’s in a chord progression or some of the instruments used in the arrangement. At the same time, he’s also heavily influenced by late 60’s/early 70’s pop icons like Harry Nilsson, Burt Bacharach, John Lennon and Jeff Lynne. So there’s this weird and strange, but kind of wonderful combination of extremes going on already there already.
And then I sing over the top of all that!! I love people like Nina Simone and Etta James, real soulful singers with a depth and richness to their sound. People will often pick out one or two of all those influences we have, but never all of them. What I really love though, is when someone says we sound like someone we hadn’t even thought of… one very prominent industry exec thought “Arrows of Desire” sounded like Radiohead!! Will and I laugh at that but at the same time, we’ll take that kind of compliment any day!! 🙂
TDG: How did you meet Will?
AE: I met Will at an architecture firm that I was working at in 2009. I was working as an interior designer for the company and Will was the partner of one of my directors. We got to chatting about music one day and then have basically been working together ever since. He and I operate like we’re a band really, rather than singer and producer – it’s just happens to be a band with two members. He’s in this as much as I am.
TDG: What’s involved in your song writing process?
AE: Will writes the music to our songs and then sends them to me to write lyrics. I sit and listen to the song a few times and sometimes an idea for lyrics comes to me straight away. Other times I have to wait and keep listening to the song for a few days or a week and then eventually the lyrics come to me. When they do I usually have to drop everything to write them down.
TDG: Who/what inspires you the most?
AE: Nina Simone is probably the singer who inspires me most, along with Etta James and Eva Cassidy. They are all women who have extraordinary vocal talent but are also strong women who fought in one way or another for their music to be heard. They taught me that singing is not just about singing well but also about passion and fighting for what you believe in.
TDG: How important is connecting with fans for you? What kind of connection do you have or like to have with them?
AE: An artist, no matter what creative field they’re in, would struggle without some kind of an audience. Artists need to share their work and be inspired by the people around them in order to keep creating therefore it is super important for me to connect with my fans.
TDG: I really enjoy your EP ‘Arrows of Desire’ and I gotta say, ‘Dancing Shoes’ is my personal favorite. Awesome track and I just love the music video! And you’ve managed to shoot a music video for 3 out of the 4 EP tracks. Are you gonna shoot a video for the last, missing, track as well?
AE: Yes we plan to shoot a video for “One More Chance” which is the 4th song on the EP, when we get time. We need to come up with some ideas.. although I must say i do have a vague idea of how I want the video to look.. 🙂
TDG: Now I’m getting curious, what’s the vague idea?
AE: I was thinking of shooting it in an old fashioned jazz club, with everyone… me, band and audience, dressed formally. It’d be great if it had a 1920’s speakeasy/flapper look to it (I love the clothes from that era).
Will and I would be onstage performing the song, but the drama and the narrative of the video would be in the audience… maybe a couple fighting or just not speaking to each other. The song is about asking for forgiveness, so there’d be various different ways of telling that through the audience “extras” in the club.
TDG: Sounds like a lot of fun! If you need an extra, you know where to find me, ha! Which track of the EP are you the most proud of and why?
AE: “Arrows of Desire” is probably the song we would both agree on. Both Will and I were instantly happy with it, both lyrically and musically. It was one of those songs that came together really very quickly – those are the songs that always seem to be the best. We have some songs we haven’t released yet, written for our upcoming album, that we’re very excited about. 🙂
TDG: Is there something you really like to do? A special collaboration maybe?
AE: There are many artists whom I currently admire and would love to collaborate with in the future. I would love to collaborate with artists such as Imany and Richard Bona, or even with a contemporary dance company such as Chunky Move.
TDG: What are your future plans for 2013? Are you working on a new project, maybe an album?
AE: In 2013, Will and I are going on a European tour and then recording an album. We’ve written 17-18 songs for the album now. We’ll probably write another 12 and then we’ll choose the album from the 30 songs.
TDG: Sounds like you’re gonna have a busy year! European tour, which countries are you gonna hit and when?
AE: We’re still confirming dates, but we’re looking to start off in Istanbul and work our way west to the UK.
TDG: Make sure you hit Holland as well! Before we wrap this up, got any last words? Things people should check out?
AE: We’ve just launched my new website, I would love if people would check it out! www.aylineser.com