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INTERVIEW: Booshell

Hi Matt, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello and thank you! I’ve been doing really well.  I just got back from a vacation in Portland Oregon, and it was really inspiring. Trips away from New York always help me relax and restart.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Burn”?

Sure! This is the latest of four singles I’ve released in the past year, gearing up for an EP release this summer.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

I think for me, largely, just anxiety and how we all choose to deal with our mental issues. Somedays are better than others, you take the good with the bad, etc etc cliché cliché but it felt good to write a song addressing the frustration you can feel when not feeling 100% like yourself. The song doesn’t offer solutions or answer any questions; it just exists as an expression of how these thoughts can affect your day-to-day life.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

We had a lot of fun. We shot the video on an upper Manhattan rooftop in a matter of a couple hours. The entire week was cold, rainy, and miserable so I was somewhat concerned that the video would suck. Come Saturday it was absolutely gorgeous and we were able to knock out 7 or 8 takes pretty quickly. Each time we’d add another element, a chair, an iced coffee, etc until we got to a place that felt right. The entire shoot had a very improvised feel to it, something that’s important to me.

How did you come up with the concept?

I’ve always been a fan of one-shot videos. I want the viewer to feel like they’re watching a live performance. I knew with the rooftop we would have a great backdrop of a city that I call home and the rest would take care of itself if I could sell the performance (haha).

What was made you want to do the whole thing in one take?

The improvised nature of it all. I like forcing myself to perform the entire song all the way through because it feels more vulnerable. It helps me as a performer to know that everything I do will be on camera, without edits. I also was working with an incredibly talented cinematographer, Jessie Whitman, who was able follow all my blocking, including some last minute dance changes. I knew she would be able to capture the performance in one take in an entertaining way.

How was the recording and writing process?

I had the idea for the looping vocal sample (“Hmmm hmmm, hmmm hmm”) in my head for a while and I would play it at the piano over and over with the chord progression. I ended up just tracking that part one day with four takes of my vocals and the big synth you hear in the final version. I bounced a demo of that loop and listened to it everyday on loop and just kept humming along till the lead melody finally jumped out at me. Lyrics came through some freestyles and then I honed in from there to the exact message I wanted. I tracked the remainder of the song one Sunday afternoon and mixed and mastered the song over the following week.

How the likes of Imogen Heap has influence your music?

Haha, I gotta say, not much at all. I love the song Hide & Seek and I love the SNL sketch Dear Sister, which features that song. That is the extent of my Imogen Heap knowledge, I know, pathetic.

What role does NYC play in your writing?

New York has been my home for the past six years, it has altered my creative process, my personality, and my influences. I’ve been very fortunate to work with and meet so many diverse and talented individuals. The best part about writing and producing material in New York is that you are constantly learning better ways to approach your craft. There’s also an infectious energy that everyone out here is busting their ass to make bigger and better work and I enjoy being in the center of that.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Absolutely. I’m working on putting together a small project, 5-6 songs. I have so many voice memos in my phone that are dying to be converted into actual tracks, just a matter of time and effort.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I’m hoping for end of summer, late July / early August. No titles yet but it will be released under the Booshell name.

Any plans to hit the road?

No concrete plans yet but I’m gearing up for live shows in the near future.

What else is happening next in Booshell’s world?

I’m writing and producing several different tracks right now, hoping to hone in on what I want this next project to sound like. I’ve also been playing with a killer sax player and prepping a live set. I would love to play some shows this summer in the NYC area, so if you’re reading this and you like my stuff, hit me up! I’m around.

Watch here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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