Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide recently sat down with a local artist who's not only raising funds in support of his next album but also giving back in charity to help feed needy families in the Chicagoland area. If you visit Aryk Crowder's web campaign site at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/arykcrowder to pre-order his new album, "2x4" while snagging some exclusive merch but will be helping spread his "...music into the world and into the ears that need to hear it..." Portions of the proceeds collected will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository to which Aryk states "...is a great charity that I've had an opportunity to work with in the past and I'd love continue to use my gift of music to help others..." Besides this charitable campaign, this reviewer also chatted with Aryk about his music career, life as a solo artist and the new album...
SouthSide: Could you give a brief history of musical career.
Ayk Crowder: "...I started playing guitar at 15 and expanded from there. Initially, I had a love of classic rock when it came to playing, but started gravitating towards soul and R&B songs in my early 20's. I found my voice shortly thereafter and started writing songs for myself within the few years. I made the move to Chicago around this time as well as for a stint at Columbia College. It was then I got immersed in the city's music scene and began building a network and cutting my teeth..."
SouthSide: Cutting your teeth? Explain.
Aryk: "...I feel that when we try to under new music we need an artist to compare them to so we have a grasp on what we're hearing..."
SouthSide: So, how would you describe your music to someone who wasn't familiar about it in five (5) words or less?
Aryk: "...A mix of Prince, Maxwell and John Mayer would be a comparable mix ...[in] 5 words or less ...Pop eats a Soul sandwich..."
SouthSide: How has life changed for you from being the front man of a band to solo artist within Chicago's local scene?
Aryk: "...It hasn't changed much other than [having] to wear more hats. Until I get to a place where I can have others working with me at helping me grow this music, I have to do the work myself..."
SouthSide: In your opinion, is it hard going from band mode to solo musician?
Aryk: "...Wearing all the hats can get pretty overwhelming at times..."
SouthSide: Will you ever put together another band like lo/fi pioneer again in the near future?
Aryk: "...I'm not against the idea of being in a band again but I simply had a hard time finding like-minded musicians that were willing to take the risks I was..."
SouthSide: Could you briefly explain your album project and how can music fans get involved.
Aryk: "...'2x4' is a collection of songs that I've written over the past few years. I've dealt with some heavy hearted issues and they needed to be put to paper and music. The songs will be released over 2 EP's with the first being released in July. In bring this album to life, I've asked my fans and music fans alike to join me on my Pledge Music campaign [http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/arykcrowder] in helping me raise the capitol I need to get this album out into the world. In return I've got a bunch of swag I'm trading for the pledges from signed CDs to in-house listening parties where I'll be bringing the cocktails!"
SouthSide: What made you partner and donate a portion of the proceeds to the Greater Food Depository?
Aryk: "...regarding partnering with the Greater Food Depository, they're a charity I believe in and have donated to myself every year since I came to Chicago. I really like what they do for the community in that they believe wholeheartedly in what they do. It's a great benefit to the city of Chicago. When I decided to reach out to fans, I also wanted to take the opportunity to help others as well..."
SouthSide: When is the approximate date that you'll be releasing your new album?
Aryk: "...there's no set date for the release yet but I'm looking at late July.."
SouthSide: How does it compare to the other albums you have produced/recorded?
Aryk: "...In comparison to my last album, this one will be a lot more diverse. You can definitely tell that I've matured a bit as I've gotten more comfortable with calling myself a soul artist..."
SouthSide: Speaking of Chicago's local scene, how would you describe it? In your opinion is there a sense of "community" between other bands/artists i.e. supporting each other at shows?
Aryk: "...Chicago's music scene is very eclectic, yet very strong. There's a lot of talent in this city in every genre. We all definitely support one another in many ways..."
SouthSide: Now that summer is fast approaching, are you planning any upcoming live shows soon? If so, when and where can music fans come check out Aryk Crowder live and in person?
Aryk: "...I've got a few scattered performances before the album release, but once it drops, I'll have a number or Midwest tour dates up on my calendar at http://www.arykcrowder.com. You can also find me on the BandsinTown [site]..."
SouthSide: If given the opportunity, which artist/band would you like to collaborate? And why?
Aryk: "...There's far too many to narrow it down to one ...I'm a huge Prince fans so he definitely ranks at the top of the list, but right now I'm really digging on Emily King. Allen Stone or Marc Broussard would be a killer collaboration too..."
SouthSide: Last question - is there anything you would like to fans to know about Aryk Crowder, his music and/or this fundraising campaign?
Aryk: "...just go to http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/arykcrowder. The video and info there will give fans a chance to get to know more about me, this album and why it means so much to me. I wouldn't be where I am or be able to get to where I'm without them [my fans]..."
SouthSide would like to personally thank Aryk Crowder for taking time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts about his music and fundraising campaign with SouthSide. She highly recommends blogspot readers to check out the links and help donate to a worthy cause that feeds Chicago through some tough times.
Until next time, support your local scene,