Stephen James Orr – Ceramic [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Playful, iridescent, depth

Tell us a few things about your new song. What is the main idea behind it?

Ceramic started as a full instrumental I wrote while on a 70’s soul kick. It started as just a slow jam drum beat with those big echoing chords and grew from there! Danny heard it and vibed with it so he wrote & sang the lyrics/vocals that you hear. Here’s his snippet on the lyrics!

“Ceramic explores the aftermath of a broken relationship, being left with painful happy memories that surface when the mind wanders, and wondering whether the person you once loved is haunted by the same thoughts.”

I had originally envisioned the song as more of a sexy love track but love the mood Danny took it too.

Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

I love the idea of collaborating, in the same sense as I love improv comedy. The best thing about music is feeding off each other’s creative ideas/energy and when with the right people it becomes magical!

I love songwriting as it is a release / escape from everything, where your mind can just be with the music. Releasing songs under your own name as a DIY musician can be a bit of a lonely process though as it can become a bit of a silo in terms of doing it all yourself but that’s where working with the right people comes into play (not paying big bucks to hire these people I mean finding other people that are passionate about the tunes). You know when you’ve found your people, be it other musicians, video/graphic artists, management etc. as it’ll become a team effort

What do you enjoy most? Writing music or performing your music live?

Performing live is definitely the most enthralling part of it. Seeing an audience react to your songs in a positive way is one of the best feelings on the planet. Also improvising with other musicians in front of an audience is scary at first but quickly becomes the most addicting part of it all.

Writing music has it’s place as well in terms of discovering sounds and the feeling of when a song comes together, but the live bit after is the cherry on top.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

Would definitely be the PR aspect of it. There’s a lot of business people in the music industry that don’t see it through an artist lens and prey on up and coming artists with promises of exposure at a high cost and have no responsibility on if anything comes of it. But I guess it’s twofold that when you encounter someone who really connects from the artist perspective then it’s like finding gold.

Which book should we read while listening to your music?

As I write a lot with different musicians and segue between different styles of music I’d say one where there’s multiple characters telling their stories and there’s a common thread between them where they all connect. One that comes to mind that I read awhile ago is Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey.

You’d give up making music for…

to be a photographer for National Geographic! I recently read The Dolphins Tooth by Bruce Kirkby, which is an incredible account of all the trips he has done before/during working for National Geographic. You’ve gotta read the book to get a sense of it but as I love music so much it would only be these adventures of a lifetime that could get me to give it up.

Thank you!

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