A Spotlight Interview with Warren Galea
In a new album release, Warren Galea puts together a compilation of outside the box works that together, create these sort of semi cinematic chapters built with an array of textures and soundscapes that form into wondrous pieces of music.
The Diadems, Troubadours album is something that is brilliantly engulfing and stands far from the norm.
This Record is woven with attention to detail but a certain looseness as well that lets the songs be free and breathe on their own.
This is a very important aspect with a record like this because it's not something that you're used to hearing so the understanding of its freedom and what it means is really important.
These tracks were created with natural and digital instrumentation combined together and it feels like each small piece of this full work was done when the mood struck.
A lot of times for artists that's how it has to be. The mood has to strike. The time has to be right to create and there's no other time for it but right then.
I like to think of Galea as an artist of such a nature because this record is such a cool combination of genres and styles all intertwined and working together to create something bigger.
You have these synths and keys, guitars and basslines, beats and percussion that all play different parts at different times throughout the records course and listening to a song or a piece at a time, really does work still however it's almost as if this is a concept record of sorts.
To be able to fully soak in the vision or the ideal of a concept record it really has to be listened to all the way through otherwise what's the point.
It's like watching a movie halfway through and never getting to see what happens in the end or where it's going.
This is a very unique release, and it shows such a borderline genius song writing approach that it really should be heard.
With the release of this record, we wanted to touch base with Warren Galea to find out where this actually came from, what it all means, and what might be next for him.
Here's what happened.
RAG: Let's kick things off with the Diadems, Troubadours album. This record has a killer cross of old and new school feels! Where did this album come from? Thank you! I first had the idea of doing this album back in 2019. I worked on it between 2020 and 2022. Some of these compositions are fairly recent while others go way back. It’s very different from my previous record, The Odyssey which features a Modern Jazz lineup: Guitar, Bass and Drums. Diadems, Troubadours is very special to me because I handled all the elements - composition, recording, production, even the artwork. It’s also dedicated to the memory of my father. RAG: When did this all start for you as an artist? In my earliest years I was intro drawing cartoons and comics - you can see that on the cover of this album, which I drew back when I was living in New York. My mother is a pianist so I started playing as kid, never took formal lessons until much later though. I started on guitar at 11 and that is still my main instrument today. I studied at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and I’ve been blessed with some amazing opportunities such as the Blue Note Jazz Festival, the Dusseldorf Jazz Rally and the Malta Jazz Festival. RAG: What inspires you to write a song? Lots of things! Life itself. Sometimes I start with a basic idea which then keeps developing until it becomes a whole piece of music. I might have a specific approach that I’m trying to make a composition out of, or I hear something in my head and then figure it out on the piano. I’ve even gotten songs from dreams where I wake up and record it right away before I forget it. RAG: This album has some great styles! Can you give us some of your top musical influences? My top five influences are: The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Mozart, Charlie Parker, and Jimi Hendrix. Rather than thinking about styles, I approach music in terms of what appeals to me versus what doesn’t. This album does go to a few different places, but it all happened organically. I definitely wanted it to tell a story - I’m still very much influenced by the concept albums of the 60s and 70s. RAG: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music? Not much haha. Music is my life. I enjoy going out for a beer and I also read a lot. RAG: Who's in your headphones right now? I usually listen to music on speakers especially while I’m driving. This week I’ve got Allan Holdsworth, David Bowie, Jeff Beck, Radiohead, Beach House, Ravel, Slowdive, Procol Harum, Roy Orbison, Queens of the Stone Age, Robert Wyatt, Judee Sill, The Beach Boys, Hole, Legowelt, Japanese Breakfast. RAG: Are you doing any live performances right now? As an independent artist, most of my income comes from doing local Jazz gigs on the island of Malta, which is my home country and where I am currently living. These Winter months are always a bit slower than the rest of the year though. RAG: This record feels like a big undertaking, is there any advice you'd give to other up and coming artists out there? My advice would be: do it for the LOVE of doing it. Your career, like life, will have ups and downs but the joy and satisfaction you get from doing what you love will always get deeper as will your relationship to your art. We are very lucky to have this means of expressing ourselves. RAG: What can your fans expect from you in the near future? I am working on my third album which I plan to release this year. Again, it will be in a different direction than my first two albums. In 2022 I also started touring again since the Pandemic so that’s definitely something I wanna do more of this year. RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music? To fans of this music specifically, I’d like to say thank you for your support. It really means a lot especially to an independent artist. With Diadems, Troubadours, I’d suggest listening to it from start to finish. It’s not too long but it is meant to be experienced as a whole journey. You might also wanna check out my first album The Odyssey, which is also on my Bandcamp and on all streaming platforms. To music fans in general, which I’m also a part of, I’d like to encourage you to keep supporting LIVE music and musicians and also keep searching for new music to enrich your experience of life. I know part of what keeps me motivated is knowing there’s still so much out there I haven’t heard yet.
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Soundcloud: Warren Galea