ARTIST NAME: Austin Mulka
SONG TITLE: Soul
ALBUM TITLE: Soul
RELEASE DATE: 12-23-18
GENRE: Indie, Indie Rock, Indie Pop
Go into detail on why you decided to choose music as a career.
Growing up, I was always interested in music. My dad is an amazing musician who gave up on his dream after I was born. He even made it on X-Factor but decided not to continue because he wanted to stay with his family.
Since the first grade, I always got singing roles in plays, was the first chair in the band, made the talent show every year, and was in choir and honors choir.
I was always complimented by people when I played guitar, piano, or sang.
One day someone at work heard me quietly singing a song on the radio and told me his band was looking for a singer.
I started writing music, getting a lot of positive feedback and in December of 2018, I decided to pursue music as a career option.
Brief us the feedback you are getting from fans on your music.
My friends and fans’ only criticism is that they want more music! I’m only a few months in with one song released, but I’ve received nothing but positive feedback and encouragement from my fans!
I get told by my friends that my songs get stuck in their heads, which is extremely flattering. I’m very excited to release the latest EP I am working on and receiving more feedback.
Discuss the relevance of social networking to music.
Social networking is extremely important for exposure and staying connected to my fans. I hope to do a lot more on social media leading up to the release of my first EP.
Tell us how you record your song.
I record my music with my friend Nick Delbis who is an amazing producer. Since we are friends, he usually helps me for free or charges me about $100 for a 12 hour day.
He has tons of instruments, even instruments I had never played like a slide guitar and a Mandolin and he also has a ton of plugins.
We started the recording of ‘Soul’ by just jamming on the guitar and then started adding pieces one at a time.
Typically we lay down the drums and bass first, add guitar, and lay down the vocal and harmonies last.
Tell us the story behind the song.
This song is about loving someone blindly—for who they are as a person rather than their physical appearance.
It is about a girlfriend who cheated on me that I broke up with who didn’t understand why I still wanted us to be friends.
I explained to her that we didn’t work out as a couple and she had some issues she needed to work out, but that the reason I was with her was that I liked who she was as a person – her interests and personality (minus the cheating which is mentioned in the lyric “carnal urge control”).
The song is essentially about loving someone as a friend despite not wanting to be in a relationship with them.
State your musical skills.
I sing and play the guitar, ukulele, saxophone, bass, drums, piano, and I’m in the process of learning the violin and cello.
Tell us how long it takes to complete a song from the start.
Writing a song is very sporadic and in the moment. I have hundreds of songs written that range from taking a day to a month.
Recording and production of a song take between 20 and 36 hours in the studio. Which can be anywhere between 2 to 5 days depending on the length of the sessions.
Go into detail on how you develop your lyrics and melody.
I try to get my raw emotion from my subconscious mind onto the page as organically as possible.
After this, I refine the lyrics and melody from a more critical lens.
As an English/Linguistics major, I take inspiration from different writers and poets when refining my lyrics.
Refining as a few elements, accuracy, simplicity, and poise – Sometimes I want my lyrics to reflect the accuracy of what is being stated, while other times I want the lyrics to be simple and poised. I try to find a balance between these.
My latest EP takes inspiration from Emily Dickenson and I think has some of my best lyrical work.
Regarding melody, I just try to make sure I have hooks that are catchy and that will get stuck in people’s heads.
I usually write a bunch and wait to see which of them get stuck in mine.
Discuss music in full detail.
Music is a medium of self-expression. Like any form of art, music takes raw human emotion and experience and gives it a canvas upon which it can be viewed.
No one wants to hear someone complain about their life or their problems, or even talk about something they enjoy for hours on end – but channel those struggles, or excitements, happiness, sadness, indifference into a work of art and everyone wants to hear.
Music is taking the time to understand your subconscious self and channeling it into frequencies.
State your five favorite genres of music.
I like music that is “universal” – Music that you hear on the radio that might not be a lot of people’s personal favorite, but that nearly everyone can listen to and enjoy on some level.
I like that I can be in a room with my grandparents, parents, myself, and younger siblings and all be listening to Bruno Mars or Maroon 5 playing and all enjoy it.
I love the mixing of genres because I feel that a lot of times these songs tell stories. A lot of times songs are about one emotion in time. Someone was sad for 10 minutes about something and they wrote a sad song.
Combining genres often represents a feeling or emotion someone has had for a long time that has changed and is more complex. I love how bands like Queen, System of a Down, and The Beatles mix different genres and elements into one song.
System of A Down is one of the most interesting, mixing heavy metal and classical music – which I feel shows a very complex range of emotions and feelings.
I like the nuisance of classical music. Some composers, such as Bach, are very pretentious and very emotional – which provides an interesting combination.
I think that classical music can often times express either more complicated emotions or simple emotions in a more complicated way.
The degree to which many classical artists and composers understand music often gives them the ability to express their thoughts and emotions in a very accurate way.
Hip-hop / Rap
Hip hop to me will always be the underdogs…The people who have so much emotion and wit and talent but maybe don’t have a guitar.
I love how hip hop is kind of a genre that doesn’t discriminate against fancy equipment or big budgets.
Although hip hop production can be expensive, at its core it’s just about a beat and lyrics. Not everyone has the skill to do it, but anyone can do it without needing to spend tons of money on production.
It’s more about the lyrics, the wit, and the core of the best than it is about the production.
Rock bands spend so much money on equipment, yet a hip hop artist only needs their mind and mic. It’s a very skillful art with a lot of competition.
Since so many people try to do rap and hip hop, those who end up making it are usually extremely talented.
Childish Gambino is one of my favorites for his wordplay and puns whereas I love Kendrick Lamar for his more poetic element.
I grew up on Motown music, and it’s just one of those genres that speaks to my soul.
I can’t wait to record a Motown-style EP/album because I think people will be surprised by my voice. Whenever I sing Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Boyz II Men, or Bruno Mars it’s as if I’m not singing – but the words are coming from my soul. I sing much deeper, like the words heart coming from my lungs but from my heart.
It’s a genre that I feel on a very deep level that moves me in a way that other music doesn’t. When I sing Motown, my voice is a lot raspier and has a much better tone. I’ve always attributed it to nostalgia and practicing Stevie Wonder songs since I was 5 years old, but I think the genre itself is just more soulful.
Discuss your rehearsal.
Before a show, in the car, they usually warm up vocally with scales and I’ll play some scales on guitar before going up on stage.
State your favorite musical instruments.
I have to say guitar. I’ve just been playing it for so long and so I am capable of making the widest range of sounds on the guitar over the other instruments I play.
If I hear something complex in my head, although sometimes I’ll go to a piano, I usually go to the guitar as I know I’ll be able to replicate whatever I’m hearing. It’s the easiest instrument for me in regards to converting my feelings into notes.
Describe the chemistry between you and your fans during a live performance.
I love when fans start bobbing their heads and dancing. When fans feel comfortable, it makes me feel comfortable so I can let loose a little and not be as nervous. Once there’s a vibe at a concert it’s a really amazing feeling.
Discuss your personality in full detail.
I think that first and foremost I am an intellectual type. I approach things from a point of view of skill and strategy. I approach many different things that way.
I am really into music, basketball, soccer, MMA, standup comedy, video games, philosophy, psychology, etc.
I know a lot of random facts about things; I’m really good at quiz shows.
Secondly, however, I have an element to my personality that is an entertainer. I want to entertain people and make them happy, which makes me say and do a lot of random things and try to be funny.
Discuss your music career.
I played in the band Face the Fire for a few years in my early 20s, but my musical career began in December of 2018 with the release of my first single “Soul.”
I hope to release an EP or an album every coming year for at least the next five years.
I have a lot of music already written that I want to record and release.
List your musical work.
Soul – Austin Mulka.
Share your memorable experiences with us.
My most memorable experience as a musician is probably my very first concert in Face the Fire. I was so nervous, but people started clapping to the beat and dancing and it really calmed the mood. The venue also said we did an amazing job and wanted us back. It was a huge confidence boost.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
Austin Mulka – my legal first and last name. I never thought about having a stage name or anything like that.
State the title of the song and the meaning.
‘Soul’ is the title of the song. It’s in reference to the abstract quality we ascribe to people’s deeper sense of self and personality.
State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.
‘Soul’ is also the title of the single – as it is the only song on the single.