ARTIST NAME: Dean Baltesson

 

SONG TITLE: Homeless Hills

 

ALBUM TITLE: Covering Ground

 

RELEASE DATE: December 12th, 2017

 

GENRE: Folk/Singer Songwriter

 

 

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Dean Baltesson is a Canadian songwriter, musician, and poet. Covering Ground is a reflection of the journey from his youth on the Prairies to the West Coast where he lives today.

 

 

Tell us how you develop your sound and style to make it different from other musicians.

I just try to forget about any music theory that I have ever learned so I can break rules. Sometimes it works. It worked a few times on this CD I guess.

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Tell us your opinion on the way new artists are coming up and the frequent release of songs.

I think there is too much content in our lives, but what else can you do when you want to write songs for the love of it? You have to put it out there by whatever means. I find plenty of people who write great and interesting songs so I have no complaint about the current state of the industry.

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Tell us your experience as a musician.

I played drums in an R&B band, then I played Jazz, then I tried to record my own ideas and became a musical recluse. This CD was nice because after making it alone, I remixed and added the performance of other musicians, which is a better way to do it.

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Tell us your opinion on streaming and digital download of songs.

In a strange way, it is almost like music has returned to age of the troubadour because the only way to make a living is to tour and be an entertainer. The only difference is that nowadays we have tons of recorded music, but it produces very little revenue and people can’t possibly digest it all.

You can’t control the way things will go so you have to go with the flow. Perhaps blockchain will play some important part here in how musicians connect with fans and find remuneration.

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Tell us your goals and plans.

Write more songs and try to learn more about myself and hopefully produce a totally honest piece of music. I like Bon Iver for this reason.

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Tell us five current artists that are your favourite.

I like The Weather Station, Ryan Adams, Ellen Doty, Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver.

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Tell us your best song up to date and share the link.

The one I like best is the instrumental title song from the CD called “Covering Ground”. The video is at YouTube

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Tell us what has changed in the music industry.

I think the big upheavals were Napster and finally streaming.

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Tell us your opinion on television/radio stations playing the same songs from established artists and giving little chances to independent artists.

What else can they do given the new music they are offered? Anything with enough money behind it is likely to be formulaic and unimaginative. It’s not necessarily their fault. They are in business.

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Tell us the challenges independent artists are facing and how to tackle it.

You have to be a great musician and have a great live show, that’s it.

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Tell us your opinion on using social media to promote music online.

It’s a great way to reach a lot of people, but it can also be a very clear indicator of how unpopular you really are if you have no followers.

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Tell us what still motivates you to go on with your music career.

It’s just this undeniable and unquenchable joy of making a song or a poem. The moment that the spark happens.

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Tell us about you as a person.

I always think in metaphors. I have trouble connecting with reality. I love landscapes, even ugly ones. Nature is always multi-faceted, and I believe our lives are as well, but we ignore that because we want everything to be simple and easy, so we try to make all the colours monochrome.

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Elaborate on the story behind the song.

“Homeless Hills” is a reflection of growing up on the Manitoba prairie. There is a book about the history of the area surrounding Bruxelles, Manitoba entitled “The Hills of Home”. The people who live there wrote it because of their strong ties to the land. Their ancestors settled it and it is where my father grew up. It is a beautiful place and a wonderful home. My early experiences led me away from the region and I had always thought of it as homeless place to which I would not return, which led to the song title “Homeless Hills”. Thankfully, some fortunate circumstances led me back to visit in 2016, well after I had written the song, and I rediscovered what a beautiful and special place it is, full of people who care about their land and their families. It was like discovering a full circle from my melancholy feelings about the “Homeless Hills” to quite the opposite emotions about home reflected in “The Hills of Home“ and the spirit of the people who live there.

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Tell us the process involved in making this song.

I wrote it on a 20 euro guitar and my iPhone on vacation in Lisbon. Came home and recorded it in my bedroom. Then I took it to a studio to remix and do the vocals and add backing vocalists.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.

Dean Baltesson – not my choice.

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State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.

The album is called “Covering Ground” because it is a story about migrating during the course of one’s life from the prairie to the coast. Each song speaks about a different type of landscape or environment and its effect on the development of the protagonist and what lessons and reflections have been gained from living in that environment.


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