Give us some background. Where are you from originally, where are you now, how did you get there?
My name is Soi Disant. And I am part of The Blue Roof Group that has been blue for the past four or five years since I left my past life behind. The Blue Roof is a cumulative and diverse group that incorporates my, that is Soi Disant, creative surges into one file as it were. It’s a whole other personality almost to the other me. I am predominantly a musician. But I also write poetry. I have published one poetry book independently and have created a series of short stories too. They can be accessed at lulu.com. I am also a fine artist and actor too.
I am from London, England. I’m a 21 yr old guitarist. I am presently in Vancouver and I got there via Sweden on a plane.
I was in a couple bands in London but I mostly stuck with doing acoustic nights in various public houses. I prefer just being on my own playing what I wanna play
Soi Disant means self-styled in Latin
What Genre would you classify yourself as?
Poetry and acoustic guitar. Some call that folk, country or singer/songwriter. So I guess something along those lines if not all of them. I don’t really focus on genre. I play what I like. I am planning on writing songs in several didn’t genres too. I’m not stuck on just one. I don’t like listening to an album where every song sounds like the last one. (except when it’s the Ramones), it gets a bit dreary. I like listening to whole albums rather than skipping through to the most played radio tracks (if there are any).
What is it that drove you to pursue a career in music, and what it is that drives you individually as a musician or a band?
My first interest in music came from two different areas. I went to a market in England and bought a Shania Twain record and also a Stereophonics record. Then I got really into taping the radio onto my cassette and wearing headphones so I didn’t have to listen to my mom. Then one of the songs I taped was jumping jack flash by the stones my dad had all the records which I borrowed. It was like a rush of music from then on. I just had to go out and buy records all the time and really got into the indie scene that way. My friend introduced me to the Libertines and Blur and it all kicked off.
My songs are stories based on my personal life and a big part of that is my White Rose. She saved me. Also my teenage years are a highlight in my songs because it was rather hectic. My songs are written spur of the moment and while I am listening to other music. This is how my music can sound like various different styles because each song is influenced by whoever I am listening to at a time.
What struggles have you faced with having your music heard and getting your name recognized by outside markets?
With this band in London I recorded a few songs with them but I never had an opportunity to record any of my own stuff. They had this hierarchy in the band which sucked.
From moving around and jet setting to Vancouver and trying to earn money in between I haven’t had a chance to record my own stuff as yet. But I have a lot of songs I have demoed on my laptop and am saving up for some studio time to do it all properly. I have been able to make videos with a camcorder of me playing my songs and they are now on my myspace web page. www.myspace.com/soi-disant. please kindly check it out.
What kinds of things do you do to promote yourself?
I don’t really do anything. I have some ideas about how I want to do it just on my own. But really I want to be totally independent and want people to just stumble on to my scene rather than have it shoved down their throats. I am planning on playing a lot of acoustic nights in Vancouver when I am fully settled and get sufficient time to do that.
Is there a predominant message you hope to get across In your songs?
My songs don’t have a specific message. The stories behind them are quite personal. But I guess there are plenty of people that have had similar issues in their life as I have in mine. If they get something from the songs then that’s great.
What are your thoughts on the future of the music industry and where it’s going?
Bring back the LP. The 7” is great. Music is going quite static at the moment. Its hard to get into it. Too many judgemental people out there. Simon Cowell has too much say in what is good and what isn’t.
Are you currently unsigned, and do you plan on staying independent?
What are your reasons for being an independent artist?
I am currently signed by The Blue Roof group. This is a totally stable society, of just me and my computer. But it is the most independent you can get. I like being unsigned because I get to decide whether what I am doing is good or not. It means no pressure and no one checking on productivity. No one saying to me time is money and all that. I don’t do it for the money.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
My favorite band is Aerosmith. I feel privileged too have seen them in Hyde Park a few years ago
I prefer the 60s and 70s tunes. Hendrix, Clapton, Dylan, Beatles, Kinks, Yardbirds, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd. I like the blues artists like Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Ray Charles, B.B.King. I like Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison and Leonard Cohen. I like David Bowie, Charlatans, Echo and the Bunnymen. Modern stuff I like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Muse, Stereophonics, Foo Fighters. I have a large CD collection. As does everyone with the internet.
I like to read musicians biographies and find out there influences and go and listen to that myself. It gives a broader knowledge and often I prefer them to who I was listening to the first time. Generally, I find, it all comes back to Beatles, Dylan and Chuck Berry.
Do you ever feel that people will be missing out on your music because you are not signed to a major record label?
What would you say if I told you that there’s a new force in Independent Music that will give you all of the power of the Major Labels and more, while at the same time giving you complete control over all aspects of your musical career, and you will never have to sign a thing?
I would say, “let me have a piece o’ that, mate!”
And you would have access to the worlds first ever audio component auction, where pieces of songs are sold off at auction prices to be repurposed in other songs. What kind of impact do you think that would have on your music?
I hope that that will not take off. I have heard some of this stuff and it is the most unsatisfying type of music. My songs are songs I wouldn’t want them to be cut up and put into someone else’s scene. Because they are personal stories the other person probably wouldn’t do it right. It is not real music.
The only catch is you have to choose to use it to your benefit, or not.
It’s called Beat-Play, and it will be beta tested this Fall 09. Sign up at www.MusicWithoutLabels.com