Recently, I had the chance to interview Singer-Songwriter Raphael Luther about his EP ‘Us and Them‘. It consists of four songs including the track ‘Us and Them‘ which is accompanied by a beautiful music video – available on Youtube.
Check out the interview below!
What or who was your main inspiration to create this EP?
When you spend some time in a big city like London, especially as a young artist, you don’t have other choices than doing something to occupy your mind as the dynamism and energy of the city doesn’t really give you any break. Some people find busy jobs, some simply watch TV, for me the only way I found to occupy myself with satisfaction is by playing the guitar and writing tunes. There’s something very rewarding in the creative process that nothing else can give you: a true sense of achievement and “letting things out”. What inspired me for this EP was the process of discovering myself as a young adult and the battles that it takes (past, love, life) and some other things that came to me while I was trying to figure it all out (spirituality, traveling, letting things go). Also, the english weather did influence the mood of this EP.
What is your favorite song off this EP?
I think “Us and Them” is the most unusual and orignial song of this EP and that’s probably why it’s my favorite. The track “Your turn” is also very special one for me, co-written with a very special person. Actually it’s hard to tell between the two.
How would you describe this EP?
This EP is completely homemade (recorded in two different bedrooms across London). So it didn’t have any professional producers involved. I’d say it’s an exploration of what I’m capable to create as I’m still crafting my sound. Concerning the production, I wanted to try something half electronic / half organic mainly because my influences are from both areas (John Mayer, James Blake, Ben Howard). Electronic mainly through the drum beats and organic with the sweetness and folkiness of the acoustic guitar. I’d describe it as a crossover between Atmospheric / Folk and electronic music.
Are there certain moments where you get really inspired to write songs?
Inspiration and creativity are such weird and unpredictable things. I think it’s a matter of being 100% connected to what you feel at the moment. Then, at some point, you’ll feel when the cup is full with an urgent need to pour things out on a piece of paper. At least that’s how it works for me. As I said before it’s totally unpredictable. And that’s what excites me about creativity, there are no boring routines.
Do you play any other instruments besides the guitar?
I actually learned how to play the piano before the guitar when I was very young, around 8. I still write and perform with a keyboard sometimes. Both instruments complement each other so well. I play a little bit of bass and drums as well, when I’m bored.
What other instruments would you like to play?
I’d love to be able to play the citar. It’s an instrument that always fascinated me but I never understood how it worked. It’s completely different from all other music tool I tried.
I understand that you are doing small gigs now. Would you rather play in small venues or larger venues? Why?
I play small venues because I don’t have any other options at the moment. Without management it’s hard to knock the door of bigger places because they wouldn’t take you seriously. That’s the reason why I’m seeking management at the moment and then hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to play bigger gigs in the future. This is one of my dream actually.
What is your favorite song to perform live?
I love performing “Us and Them” because it instantly places the room in a weird mood and it feels like the crowd doesn’t really understand this music but still feel it… I love this kind of situtations! I always want to surprise the listener live, no matter what.
Are there any new music or upcoming shows that your listeners can expect?
We just filmed two live videos with a full band in the studio. This should be released in July 2015 on Youtube. I’m planning to record a new EP for 2016 but I want to work with a producer this time. So if there’s any talented producer reading this interview, please do get in touch! Concerning the shows, I play at the Bedroom bar on the 7th July, the Lucky Pig on the 14th July and the awesome Finsbury on the 20th July opening for my good friend U.R.I. All the gigs are taking place in London.
What’s next for you? Where do you see yourself in the years to come?
I want to travel and play my music as much as I can. I know it sounds cliché but after spending four years in the madness that is London, it feels like I need to open my perspectives and get some new inspirations from other places because, at the moment, I’m running out of ideas. I’m actually planning to go to South Africa in 2016 to travel and tour the country for about three months with just a guitar and a van. Concerning the professional career, I hope to collaborate with as much musicians as I can because music is all about sharing experiences and knowledge with each other in order to grow a little bit more everyday as an artist and a person. Hopefully falling in love too.
Article by Cristal Faith Lim