Interview: El Mar
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 14:34:29
"Grow," with is unforgettable video, leads the charge to El Mar's formal introduction. Get to know this new talent.
New York's best kept secret is about to be let loose. It's El Mar, the musical vision of Joey Primero. Simply put, the songs tap into the breathy majesty of Lana Del Rey and Banks and then transform it with a robust delivery and haunting soundscapes that wouldn't be out of place on a Deftones or The Cure record. Joey is the focal point. Her voice instantly enchants and captivates, reaching dynamic heights. "Grow," with is unforgettable video, leads the charge to El Mar's formal introduction. This is the beginning of something very special. Joey spoke to us in this exclusive interview about "Grow," her music, influences, and so much more.
You're working in music all day, what does it take to get into the zone?
I am not the type of person who can sit down and say, "I'm going to write a song right now." I did that a lot in college because I went to Berklee in Boston and took some songwriting classes. It was more of a thing as I was writing so much as my classes involved a lot of work. They would say, "Write a song in a 12 bar blues." I felt that I was constantly supposed to write more and more. I was supposed to figure out what I liked and didn't like.
Nowadays, it flows more organically. I could be on the train and think of something, jot it down on my phone, and do a voice memo. I have even gone into the bathroom and made a quick voice memo and then went home and actually wrote it. It usually doesn't take too long to edit it or remember it. If the song is good, you will remember enough of it. It just comes in. I watched this talk with writer Elizabeth Gilbert. She spoke about, "Catching your genius" and catching the spontaneity of the song. It's a separate entity that flows through you.
What's the story behind "Grow"?
In the late fall of 2014, I had written a new batch of songs. So we decided to go in and record them. We spent a day in the studio and recorded five songs. I love percussion and tried to slip it from being a folk song that is so guitar-driven into something where the drums take the lead more. That is how the vibe came together.
The song was written a little while ago after a big fight with my significant other. I wrote it in 15 minutes, and it just came out. I was very happy with the chorus. Sometimes, I can write a good verse and be stuck on what the chorus will be. It came very easy. The whole theme of the song is about if this relationship is worth it, or do we just want to walk away from it? Sometimes it is worth it.
Is it important for you to conjure imagery with the songs?
I love that! I am glad that you see that. I think that imagery is very important. I am a visual person and, sometimes, I could like a song, see the video, and my feelings would go to the next level. I just love knowing a distinct image for the project. "El Mar" is vibey; it's me going to another place. I am not a great artist or anything, but I have been delving into drawing with oil pastels, and I try and tie that into the music. I'd love for people to have their own visual experience while listening. We definitely think about that in the production mode, while capturing the vibe.
Watch The Video for "Grow" from El Mar: