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INTERVIEW: Calvin Arsenia

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

Hello! I’ve been very good! Thanks.

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

Headlights came from a really honest and vulnerable but very level headed place. The song is a kind of pep talk for those of us who tend to run on the romantic side of things, but still have to get up to go to work in the mornings.

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

You know, I think it is more the outcome of several years of experiences. I can’t say we’ve all been there, but certainly others have also been so heartsick, lovesick, where your body aches and you can’t think about anything else but that person and how they feel towards you, when you will see them next, and how you hope to satisfy some kind of need. That they would crave you, too, and surely come back again… I got tired of feeling that way so many times and began to boil it down – I still need to do laundry, grocery shopping, paying the bills (you know, the mundane stuff) just to make sure that my physical life and environment are safe and thriving regardless of who is involved in my life. That lovesickness is the antithesis of independence. I hope by seeking out this independence that maybe I will find myself in a healthy medium eventually, but this is where I am now.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We have produced an album for Headlights with Alison Claire Peck and Travis Wears and it is coming soon.

The single comes off your new album Cantaloupe – what’s the story behind the title?

When I was putting together this album, I hoped to incorporate freshness, gentle sweetness, and a little humor in this project. Not flashy as watermelon, but soothing and refreshing.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was like a dream to work with the team I had around me for Cantaloupe. Supportive and explorative.

What was it like to work with Jametatone and how did that relationship develop?

Jametatone is an artist based here in Kansas City. I first found him running around the music scene here, popping up every once in a while to do really interesting work. He is completely unique in his approach to music as a series of emotions drawn up together through sounds of all kinds – “musical” or otherwise. It was really important to me to have a producer who wouldn’t be afraid to explore sounds with me and he certainly isn’t phased.

How much did he get to influence the album?

There were many phases to this recording process, but I brought in Jametatone first. I remember calling him in an airport to tell him the vision I had for a new record and he was right there with me. He and my percussionist, Simon Huntley, have stood beside me on and off stage through the creation of Cantaloupe.

What role does Kansas City play in your writing?

Kansas City is home. It’s the environment where a lot of the things that inspired this record transpired. Maybe it’s a bit like being close to the nuclear core or ground zero when writing and recording on the same block or the same room where “it” happened.

What aspect of love did you get to explore on this record?

There’s some self love, some love for rugged masculinity (not the toxic kind). Some love for the source of your inspiration. Some love for mythology. Some love for your best friend.

Any plans to hit the road?

I’ve been able to play and travel through Europe over the last couple of years. Now, though of course I will return there, I am looking forward to bringing some sweetness to cities around the US.

What else is happening next in Calvin Arsenia’s world?

Just seeking transcendence, one pluck at a time.

Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/calvinarsenia/headlights-2

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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