In Conversation with electronic music artist Eric C. Powell & his upcoming album release “True”.
This time around we have got electronic synth artist Eric C. Powell in conversation with us about his latest release and life & his experiences.
Eric C. Powell is an award-winning electronic synth pop synth wave electronic artist.
He has featured on various shows around the world, the most prominent being the BBC in 2018.
He was selected amongst a plethora of artists as the second-best act in the online radio awards.
An artist by heart he displayed a natural talent and gravitated towards music from an early age.
He is the founding member and frontman for the electronic synth pop band Turning Keys, which opened for many hit 1980-90 bands such as Depeche Mode, A Flock of Seagulls & Missing Persons to name a few.
We spoke with him about his latest release his thoughts on it and his journey so far.
Let’s dive in shall we:
Tell us a little about your last single release with Andrea Powell?
Andrea and I have sung together since our teens, and we formed the band Turning Keys together in the early 90s, it has been some years since we’ve been able to write together in the studio.
The song “Need a Place” was nearly an accident. It started as a little retro drum loop that was side-chained with a synth bass—that little synth tom was undeniable.
I got Andrea to help write some lyrics, we played with a catchy line, which eventually became spattered throughout the song (“Where could I go?”).
We have written songs together before, the song “Soul To Your Heart” placed in top 2000 of the global Billboard Songwriting Contest in 1991.
For “Need a Place“, Andrea’s lyrics were astounding, we both knew she had to provide the vocals for the track.
What got you into music?
My first taste of music outside our home was my school choir in middle school.
It turns out I had an ear and voice for music, not before long I was trying to compose my songs.
I spent a lot of time in front of our family’s old out-of-tune piano trying to figure things, eventually I was given a real synthesizer to play with.
At the time, I was listening to Aha, Howard Jones, and Depeche Mode and so I wrote and sang perfecting my songwriting and technical skills to this day.
What is the weirdest or funniest thing ever to happen to you on a live show?
I’ve had some wild experience in interviews, but one that comes to mind was at a college radio station.
We were set up to perform an on-air song live and during the beginning part of the interview, we were startled by a large boom.
Turned out that one of our amps had exploded while left unattended.
It was scary at first, but funny to look back on.
If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now?
I’ve always been a creative soul. I’m a visual designer as well as a connoisseur of audio design.
Creating experiences for people is a key part of my life and music, especially electronic music & songwriting.
But I have spent most of my life and will continue to find ways to help lead people on a journey.
It could be something as simple as visual and graphic design, event promotion, or even online community.
What do you feel is the best song/album you have released and why?
Wow, that is a difficult question, I definitely have my favorites.
With every new album and single, I am always excited about the latest releases.
Some of my favorites have been ‘Grey Skies’ & ‘Question Why’ with Turning Keys.
‘Understand’ and ‘Fly’ from Back to Life album released in 2016.
‘Click’, ‘True’, and ‘Need a Place’ are all top songs from my latest releases.
What is the inspiration for your upcoming release “True”?
Originally, the idea was to release singles, until the collection of singles could be released as an album/EP.
‘TRUE’ includes five all-new electronic tracks inspired by genres such as synth pop, synth wave, electro, darkwave, and even a hint of video game music.
Each song has it’s own backstory. I’m quite proud of the final product.
I’ve poured my heart and essence into each of these songs & I hope my fans receive it equally well.
What’s different about it from your other releases?
While my signature approach to catchy synth melodies and strong vocals remains unchanged, I feel like the last album is my attempt at getting my teeth into digital recording.
The new album is influenced a lot more by the UK electronic music scene and I think it’s a little more synth and less DJ.
A little more “True” to my core.
If you could be a different personality, who would it be?
These are the kinds of things that people often ponder and struggle with all their lives.
While I am less than perfect, I’ve had enough time and experiences in life to finally be comfortable with who I am.
What can we expect from your latest release “True”?
“True” is due for worldwide release on September 20th, 2020 after 8-months of unforeseen delays.
I am extremely pleased to finally make this album available to the audience.
You can expect to hear some of my latest tracks that have never been aired.
The styles range from synth pop to synth wave electro keeping the upbeat tempo and melodies all the while.
What inspires you?
Life ~ Inspires me! The overall sum of experiences that I have had over all these years.
The joy, the struggles, sorrows of life have inspired me & songwriting helps me express them in the best possible way.
New sounds & song approaches stretch me creatively & I am always looking to try something new.
As quaint as it may sound, I have always been a romantic at heart and so true love holds a special place when I am looking for inspiration.
A huge part of who I am and how my music is created all comes back to my forever muse, Andrea.
Which musician would you like to collaborate with and why?
There are a lot of artists I admire and think my style might complement theirs.
I’ve already begun to collaborate with several musicians in the indie electronic synth scene.
Id love to collaborate with Stereo in Solo and Johan Backström in the indie scene, and definitely the legend Howard Jones.
I am keeping an open approach to all kinds of collaboration in the future, but would love to collaborate with DarwinMcD again. I think we make a great team!
What is the single most important artist tool for you in your studio?
In my studio, it’s me. In its essence, my songwriting is an extension of my experiences, thoughts, and creativity.
I’ve always thought that my inclination, my draw toward writing is both a blessing and a curse.
It drives me, and at times, it can become obsessive. But I couldn’t simply stop and put it away, even if no one other than myself would hear it.
It’s cathartic in a way. My most important tool is myself.
But if we’re talking studio gear, probably an instrument.
As someone who plays keys, I’d say a piano or keyboard first. Then we move toward various synthesizers, and then a way to put those down in permanent forms like a recorder or DAW.
My best purchase of late was Roland JD-Xi. A little mini analog hybrid synth with drums and sequencer onboard.
It is so much fun to mess with, and easy to create songs.
The drums and bass for ‘NEED A PLACE’ and the drums for ‘TRUE’ both come from that unit.
Which is your favorite song from your latest album “True”?
‘TRUE’ features four already released singles including NOISE ZOMBIE, CLICK, TRUE, and the current NEED A PLACE.
Each has been well-received and have performed exceptionally well on UK and EU radio.
But the five new songs are fresh and I am looking forward to people hearing them for the first time.
I can’t choose just one, but ‘HOW I FEEL’ is exceptionally meaningful and powerful to me.
Are there any music videos to accompany the album or any you plan on releasing in the future?
I have a video for Noise Zombie and some visualizer videos for Need a Place and Click.
After the album is released, I am sure I am going to look to supplement the tracks with some additional videos.
What are your thoughts on the website Idamoss?
My experience with Idamos Systems (idamoss.com) has been great!
I really appreciate the way Idamoss supports indie artists in another venue.
They add profiles to the website, create articles and publish interviews, and post artist news on social media.
From the website, I have observed a plethora of other benefits & features are in the works and they are constantly evolving.
It is definitely looking into for any independent artists, especially electronic.
Are you planning any tours any time soon (locations)? What can fans expect from you?
I recently performed here in Austin USA and it was great!
I am excited to take part in a three-European tour in Spring 2020 and then the Artefaktor Live 4 Tour with some amazing group of similar artists performing in London, on April 25, Berlin, Germany on May 2, and Copenhagen, Denmark on May 9.
Additionally, I am in the planning stage of joining another festival show in Las Vegas, USA next Summer 2020.
I am super excited and cannot wait to connect with fans at these concerts.
What is your favorite song for 2019 so far?
A lot of great music is being released, but one of the favorites I’ve discovered in 2019 so far is Ekkoes’ track Electricity from their album “Kinetic.”
The track has so much soul, excitement, and a driving beat with a slightly retro vibe. Love it!
If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life which one would it be and why?
I love electronic synth music, and I love great melodies, vocals, and well-written songs.
These elements are something I try to incorporate into my music. I’d probably choose a soothing, relaxing album if given a choice – one that helps center me.
Some good choices might be Howard Jones’ “Cross That Line” or A-ha’s “East of the Sun and West of the Moon.”
If you would like your fans to remember you by one thing, what would it be?
I have always wanted to leave a positive mark upon the world. No matter how big or how small.
I find my life will have had meaning if I have brought enjoyment, comfort, and help to even one person through my life and music.
What message would you like to leave your fans with…
Life is but a ride with its ups and downs.
Stay positive and strong, always reach out to friends in difficult times.
I am a man of faith and so I always turn to those friends that share that faith with me.
They can be strong for me in the times that I am weak.
You can now purchase Eric’s latest album here.
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