Alex & The Seabass

 

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Sebastian Yoma, I’m a bass player from Santiago, Chile and the founder of “Alex & The Seabass” the band where I currently play, write, and perform. I attended Berklee College of Music from Fall 2013 to Fall 2016 and got my Music Degree as a performance major there. I lived in Boston for 4 years, and I recently moved to New Hampshire. I’ve been working mostly with my band since graduation, performing and recording our debut EP “Monologue” released on September 29th.

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Tell us about yourself as an artist.

I started to be interested in learning music and playing guitar when I was in 7th grade, around 12 years old. One day I saw one of my friends playing bass at a birthday party, and I so was blown away by the sound of it that I asked him: What is that weird 4 string guitar you have there? And why does it sound so different and cool? And he explained to me that it was a bass. Since then I’ve been obsessed with the instrument, exploring every aspect of it, learning as much as I can about it and making it a part of my life. At 18 I was accepted to Berklee so I left Chile in search of my musical journey. It wasn’t until my last year there that I put the band together. I had this cool bass lines and chord progressions that I’ve been working on and wanted to do something with, so I got a rehearsal room and called Hugo Avendaño (Drums), Emiliano Santoro (Guitar), Alex Sanford (Voice), and Seulah Noh (Piano/Keys) and showed them my music. Alex wrote some incredible melodies and lyrics for them and the rest of the band adapted very well and understood the tunes quickly. It was after that rehearsal that I knew we had something good and that we had to get into the studio. As an artist I’m always on the lookout for inspiration, always trying to create, and also always trying to form new relationships. Everybody has their unique way to look at things, and I’ve always found that so interesting.

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Tell us about the genre of your music.

The genre of Alex & The Seabass is always a hard question. I usually try to label it as Soul, with a touch of Funk and R&B. But then we have songs like “You’ve Got The Sunshine” and “Farewell Fair-Weather Friend” that are very Bossa and Jazzy. So I would say our sound is kind of Soul/Funk with a tendency to Jazz.

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Tell us about the story behind your song.

There isn’t a particular story that we had in mind when we wrote the lyrics for “Benefit”. I guess you could say it’s about the realization that you deserve more in some sort of relationship, and the difficulty that comes with that.

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Tell us the challenges you are facing as a musician.

Well right now my biggest challenge I would say is getting exposure. Every artist needs an audience. A following of people that look after you, and also value and enjoy your work. Nowadays there are so many musicians trying to make it in the industry, trying to get a following, that is has become very hard to stand out. Fortunately we have been able to do so through our music, and we are starting to get a consistent audience everywhere we play.

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Tell us about the recording and production of the song.

So me and Alex produced the song ourselves. The recording was a great experience but kind of stressful as well. Since we had a very limited budget, we only had 8 hours to record the whole EP, and we decided to do it LIVE of course. So everything had to be perfect from the very beginning to the ending of each song. No mistakes. And we only had time for a few takes of each song, so you can imagine how that can get kind of stressful. We recorded in this studio in Boston called “The Record Company”. Great studio, I would absolutely recommend it!

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Tell us the names of blogs, radio or TV stations that have supported you so far.

The music blog Sound of Boston did a wonderful article on our debut EP titled “Monologue”. They analyzed each song very carefully, deconstructing them, and figuring out each of the instruments, sounds, and lyrics that we worked so hard on. It was an incredible moment for me to have such great feedback on the EP. I’m really thankful to them. We also were contacted by the BIRN Global. Berklee’s Internet Radio Network, to have a live session + interview with them. It was wonderful too. They loved our music, we played on air live, and did a half an hour interview about the band.

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Tell us more about your music career, experience and future goal.

Well I’ve been playing bass for more than 10 years now. I’ve been a part of many different ensembles, bands, and projects, and I can say without a doubt that I’ve loved working in everyone of them, but Alex & The Seabass definitely has a special place in my career. Is the only project that I’ve worked on that has my own original compositions and that just makes it so special to me. As far as goals go, I’d love to keep playing and growing with the band. Eventually release a full length album, and tour around the US. That’s the dream right there.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.

I think at the age we’re at right now, inspiration is something that comes and goes as we grow as people and musicians. Nostalgia always brings up feelings of the innocence of being a child, and I find a lot of inspiration in that. Being a good listener also helps tremendously with this, as it is fascinating to understand other people’s lives and experiences, and to be able to relate them, in some way, to your life.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.

There isn’t any sort of secret to a hit song- I think it just needs to be something that hits home for people. If it makes you feel a certain way, or if it brings you back to past experiences, I think that can help a song become popular. We have always tried to stay true to ourselves as musicians, because that’s something we’ve always admired about our favorite artists. Originality is so rare in today’s musical climate, and I think that needs to change.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.

I think the best advice I can give is make music that you like. I’ve stumbled across a lot of people writing music that they think it’s going to sell and make them famous and stuff. But if you write with that mindset your music is never going to sound real, original, or authentic. I feel that as an artist you have to create something that comes natural to you. Getting into music just because you want to be famous is not the way.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.

So far the music career of the band is not too long. Since we’ve only been together for a year now. In this time we worked really hard on getting the EP done, and let me tell you it was not easy. “Monologue”, is a 20 minute long EP with 4 songs that portray the bands variety and multiple influences. “Monologue” was recorded LIVE in one 8 hour long studio session, no more than that.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.

Whenever we write songs, I (Sebastian) come up with the harmony and groove, and Alex comes up with the melody and lyrics. It’s always important that the lyrics and melody fit together and make sense when sung over the chord changes, and that’s something we always try to listen for. Our lyrics don’t necessarily come from exact, personal experiences. A lot of them are actually inspired by events that have happened to other people that we know. I think keeping the subject matter a little bit outside yourself helps to remove you enough from the song that you can think clearly about what you’re trying to express. And, of course, your voice has to convey the tone of song in the way you want it to. We always try to pay attention to those details.

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Name five biggest artists that you like.

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of D’angelo and Earth, Wind & Fire. I have to say early Jamiroquai had a big impact on me as well as Sting. And last but not least Vulfpeck is been my obsession since the first time I heard them.

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Name the artists you have collaborated with before in your songs or artists you are willing to collaborate with in the future if you have the chance to do so.

Well in the future I would love to collaborate with anybody from Vulfpeck, they are all incredible, and I think that we could come up with something really interesting. I would also love to have Allen Stone singing along with Alex Sanford in a couple of soulful tunes for sure!

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State the links to your social networks and stores for the purchase of your music.

https://www.facebook.com/AlexAndTheSeabass

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/monologue-ep/id1290502711

https://alexandtheseabass.bandcamp.com/releases

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.

I guess I would say graduation covers both, as far as my happiest/saddest music-related day, because I was finally finished at Berklee, but then reality sunk in that I had to become an adult. That’s something that I think most people my age are struggling with too.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

I would probably get a team of producers and arrangers together to work with me and help me write new music. Then I would get the band in the studio, alongside an incredible horn section and some strings and I would try to come out with the best album I can! This time it wouldn’t be live, and we would have much more than 8 hours of studio time! After all that I would probably donate the rest to some kind of music related charity or something like that.

Published by

Kolade Olamide

I am a poet , writer, beat maker, chef, songwriter, web designer, music promoter,digital marketer, blogger and director.

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