INTERVIEW: Leo Sawikin

Congratulations on the release of Row Me Away! What made you pick this song as a single from your upcoming debut solo record?

Thank you guys! I felt like this song summed up the theme of the record really well. This record is about wanting to escape from a dystopia back to a better moment. I wrote this song in fall of 2019 before the pandemic began. It was the last song from this album that I wrote. I feel like the pandemic made people forget how messed up things were already by then. Trump had just been acquitted in his impeachment trial and it seemed like he was undefeatable and that democracy was doomed. Throughout Trump’s presidency I felt like there was no future for society and longed for the times where I felt like the sky was the limit and all my dreams were within reach. This album is about longing for a more innocent past and coming to terms with the reality of the present and I feel Row Me Away is the perfect track to sum that all up.

How does releasing music as a solo artist compare to releasing music as part of the Chordaes?

I feel like I have more freedom as a solo artist. Bands can be a bit constraining sometimes creatively since things are more democratic. I felt like I needed the freedom to do things my way if I wanted to make the music I had always dreamed of making. I definitely had more fun when I was in a band though and I miss that alot and will always cherish those moments.

What messages do you hope to put forward with your album later this year? Anything in particular you hope it achieves?

If there is anything I want people to take away from this album, it’s that life is short and you should never take the little things for granted. The world that we grew up in is unfair and far from perfect, but it is infinitely better than the way people have lived in the past. I hope this music inspires people to appreciate the fact that we have time to do things like make art and create things that are about more than just survival. It is a rare and beautiful thing. I want people to realize how much we have to lose and how much is at stake as we move into the future.

How does the music scene in NYC compare to that in the UK? Where’s your favourite place to perform?

The Brooklyn NYC music scene is dominated by bands that are mostly punk or stylistically reminiscent of Velvet Underground type bands. There is also a lot of great soul, r&b and hip hop in NYC. I don’t know very much about the UK music scene, but it seems like there is quite a lot of love for Jazz, Soul, RnB, Folk and all things American. Sometimes it seems like people in the U.K appreciate american music even more than americans do! I also have noticed that in the UK there is a greater emphasis on chord progressions and melodies than there is in the states. There are lots of fun places to play in the city. I’ll always love playing at Rockwood music hall, they have one of the best sounding rooms in the city. I also have had a lot of fun playing shows at ponyboy in greenpoint in the past and even have done shows at my house!


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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