Interview: PaulStar

Could you share the story behind your latest song and what inspired its creation?

My song ‘Be Alert’ was inspired by the announcement of the first discovery of children’s bodies at every residential school in Canada and the US. This news shocked me, and I didn’t know how to feel. I planned to release the song on Truth and Reconciliation Day, which was on September 30th, 2022. But the song wasn’t ready at the time; I’m happy I included it on my album so people can hear it.

How do you approach the process of songwriting, and are there any specific themes or
emotions you tend to explore in your music?

One of the most important steps in my songwriting process is to begin by playing several chord progressions on either my guitar or keyboard. From there, I typically start humming melodies, which helps me to write lyrics. Alternatively, I may freestyle a bit to get my creative juices flowing. Sometimes, I come up with titles first and then move on to writing the lyrics and music. Essentially, I just go with the flow and let my creativity guide me.

As an indie musician, how do you navigate the balance between creative freedom and
commercial appeal?
I enjoy having the freedom to be creative and not always follow the trends. However, I do like to add a relatable touch to my songs. After all, most people have experienced heartbreak, struggles, and mental challenges. But I believe there are ways to overcome these difficulties and turn them into something positive.

What do you find most challenging about being an independent artist in today’s music industry?
Many artists in the music industry struggle to make ends meet nowadays, as they are not well-versed in the business aspect of the industry. The traditional business model of getting signed to major labels is still prevalent, but independent artists can achieve similar results and earn more money by taking control of their own careers.

Can you talk about your experiences collaborating with other artists or musicians? How does it influence your creative process?

Collaborating with other talented artists and bands can lead to more hit songs and fan interactions, creating an exciting experience for our audiences. Collaborating with each other would make things more intriguing.

What role does technology and social media play in promoting your music and
connecting with your audience?
Consistent posting is crucial for helping my followers discover my music. Facebook and Instagram are great platforms for promoting both my artists and my music. Additionally, having our own website makes us look more professional and helps to promote our music effectively.

Are there any particular artists or genres that have had a significant impact on your
musical style?
I draw inspiration from numerous musicians and bands, such as Bryan Adams, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Linkin Park, U2, Saliva, Daughtry, Charlie Puth, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, and many others. I enjoy listening to music from artists of all levels of experience and talent.

Indie musicians often have a close relationship with their fanbase. How do you engage
with your fans and build a dedicated community around your music?

During my Facebook or Instagram live sessions, I share news, announcements, and upcoming releases. I engage with my followers by asking simple questions and sometimes sending them direct messages.

Could you describe a memorable live performance experience or tour that has had a
lasting impact on you and your music?
Playing the keyboard on stage for five hours was one of the most memorable live performance experiences I’ve had. I played in a few house bands in my hometown of Chisasibi during the ‘Mailasi Music Festival’ on September 21-23, 2023. Although it was pretty tiring, it was also very rewarding at the end of the festival.

In an era of streaming platforms, how do you feel about the changing landscape of
music consumption and its impact on independent musicians?

Promoting your music to the right audience can be challenging. Effective marketing is vital if you want your music to reach the right ears. There are several steps you can take to achieve this. One option is to hire a publicist who can distribute your music to various media outlets for interviews, playlist features, social media shoutouts, blog posts, and news articles. Alternatively, you can do this yourself independently if you have the right contact information of your targeted industry professionals, influencers, or audience.