ARTIST NAME: Beatnik
SONG TITLE: Free Your Mind
RELEASE DATE: 07/02/2021
GENRE: Indie Pop, Funk
The term “Beatnik” originated as a term to describe the Beat Generation; a bygone era made up of young artists and poets staking their claim in a brand-new world. Inspired by the bold artists of the Beat Generation, Beatnik attempts to recreate the ruminations of that creative period; with a medium of pop, disco, funk, and a splash of jazz.
Ooh, see that look in your eye
Ooh, feel your body sigh
Just because you lay in my bed
Doesn’t mean you’re my girl
But honey, when you touch me like that
Know you change my whole world
Ooh, baby take it slow
Ooh, baby let me know
Just because you hold me tight doesn’t mean I won’t go
Honey when you stand so close,
Make me feel so cold
Free Your Mind
Discuss the concept of mixing genres together.
Since I can remember, I’ve loved singing along to funk groups like Earth Wind & Fire and others. The more I’ve studied dance-based music, and funk/jazz-pop, the more it’s come naturally to write music like that.
Elaborate on your childhood background.
I’ve been singing my whole life, but my childhood was always about exploring and having fun. I never wanted to sit still indoors when there was a ball to throw around, or a tree to climb. I’ve always loved dancing and moving my body around, and I loved hearing my older sibling’s music.
Discuss your music life.
I sing mostly, but I also play keys, guitar, and bass.
Elaborate on your recording experience in the studio.
I tracked the principal recording in two days with vocals, guitars, keys played by myself, and drums/aux percussion by my friend Dan for this tune. For the bass, I sent the track to my friend Ian living out east, and he laid it down. Honestly, incredible how it’s turned out, performance-wise, since it has only been three people.
Discuss the songwriting process of this song.
‘Free Your Mind’ has taken many forms over the years. It was originally written three years ago but has changed a lot since then. It’s always been a sort of “jam-band” kind of song, but lately, it’s had a little more structure. I finally got it to a point rhythmically and melodically where I felt comfortable recording it.
Tell us what is special about the song that can hook a listener.
It’s not a lyric heavy tune, but the lyrics are catchy with a deeper meaning. The person the narrator is talking to doesn’t even have to be a significant other, it could be an insert substance/intoxicant here, so it has a deeper allegorical context that’s relatable. All the while, the funk/psychedelic disco aspects help groove and move the tune along.
Discuss what you consider in a hit song.
It’s hard for me to quantify what a “hit” song is. Is it a song we all know based on sales/airplay/streams, or is it something that impacts your life in a deeper/transcendent way? Some of my favorite songs are ones by groups “nobody” has ever heard of, or a popular artist’s deep cuts.
Tell us your opinion on melody.
Melody is everything. It’s the element that sticks with the listener. If your lyrics suck, that’s okay! What matters is that the melody is simple enough (as far as pop is concerned) for people to sing along to after the show/song. Keep it simple.
Elaborate on what you are doing to develop your music career.
I practice a lot. I flip-flop between the keys to the guitar to the bass and all manner in between. It’s hard for me to get out of my head on social media because I’m walking this tightrope of intellectual honesty. I know we live in the era of airing your proverbial “dirty laundry”, but I’m still of the opinion that not everything needs to be said or chronicled digitally for your neighbor/coworker/flat-mate that follows your band.
List your greatest supporters.
My mom, first and foremost… She bought me my first guitar and is always asking what I’m up to. She hears my stuff before anyone else. My lovely partner is always behind me as well. She’s great to bounce ideas off of because she’s never afraid to tell me my ideas are bad or cheesy.
Compare a music career to a non-music career.
A music career is one of the most difficult passions to pursue. Do you write music for yourself, or is it for other people? Should you “sell out” so you can cash in on a nice paycheck, or keep doing what you love even if no one is listening? It all depends on what you consider “success”. There are probably mega-stars out there that make millions a year that absolutely dread their music. I don’t want that to be me…
Discuss your music background.
I took some piano lessons at a young age, but they didn’t stick. I was a rowdy boy who couldn’t sit still, but I loved singing/performing. I did musical theatre and briefly attended music school for voice where I got back into piano. I taught myself guitar and bass starting in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been studying jazz piano on my own. I guess you could say I’ve been mostly “self-taught”, though I detest using that descriptor. Even if you’re using YouTube or a book, you’re learning it from somewhere/someone before you. Music is much like Science or Mathematics in that way, where you’re building your knowledge base off of the empirical data of others, but also from theory.
State your future goals.
To continue to share my music with others all over the world, to play bigger venues, and to study my lifetime through…
Discuss what has changed in the music business.
It used to be that labels would search out the latest and greatest artists. Now, however, I feel they’re looking for products. A person they can meld/mold into the brand that they want. A lot of individuality is lost from that, I think.
Tell us the most important tools for an artist.
Perseverance and self-motivation… You have to keep driving, even when you think you’re not going to go anywhere. The cynic in me would say the most important tool is money/connections, but that’s a topic for a different time. Ask me after a show sometime!
Elaborate on the song.
‘Free Your Mind’ is a disco tune about relationships. It’s sexy, psychedelic, infectious, etc. Everything relationships are and can be.
Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.
Beatnik came about because I was reading a lot of Ginsberg and Kerouac. They were products of their time, not the savouriest characters, but what I admired about them was their freedom/candor/love of jazz. An honesty and fragility… There’s something about their lives/writings that makes me want to travel and escape from the modern world. To see the world in its most base terms… The reality these days is too far entrenched in things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. So the moniker seemed to fit with the state of my mental health and creativity at the time. Writing music that speaks to me, through a lens of funk, disco, and some jazz.