theaussieword.com’s special interview with US artist Luxley.
Tell us how it all started. What had you first interested in music? It started when I moved back to New Orleans from Nashville in 2011. I started writing songs under the alias Mason Briggs while I was in medical school. My friend (now manager), Sky McElroy, decided to help me book gigs around New Orleans while I was still maturing as a solo-artist. I then started Luxley, and Sky came-on as my manager. The piano was the first instrument that got me interested in music when I was 10 or 11. I learned a lot of piano by ear when I was a child. I quickly moved to writing amateur songs on guitar afterwards.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music? I would say music and novelty are the biggest motivating factors. I like nothing more than working-off of new ideas, new music, or new materials.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist? Inspire people to find their passion and write as many songs as possible. Maybe change a few lives in the process.
Success, what is the secret to it? Focus, discipline, and creativity
What has been your biggest career highlight so far? Touring with Bombay Bicycle Club in 2014. Releasing my debut EP.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring? Prince, Disclosure, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Ed Macfarlane.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now? Living in an industry-related city or near one collaborating with other artists.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye? I feel the same about the music industry as I do with science: its inherently an uncertain field that hinges on probability and known indicators or trends. The shape of its body is constantly changing due to many variables within its infrastructure, as well as fresh ones introduced to it. As a whole, the industry can appear as an amoeba or enigma of executives, managers and artists/producers, but regardless, it will try to maintain a reliable, safe structure as it evolves.
Even though its infrastructure is always (or should be) changing with-the-times, the avenues through which it affects me getting records out to the public is one of the biggest tools that I, as an artist, can always utilize. Agency contracts (e.g. signing deals), publishing and sync licensing deals, audio engineering (e.g. DIY technology), and now, the internet, are all very important ways to get my music out. Money aside, success with any of these elements increases my chances to be heard by the public, get my music into the right hands of someone, as well as survive as an artist.
Social media means a lot to me as an up-and-coming artist. The internet can be free or low-cost marketing for artists (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Kickstarter, etc…), and with proper financial investment and likeable music, the better you can exploit it. With the click of a button, I can upload a demo to the internet so that listeners can casually find me. I could even be lucky enough to post a YouTube video or a single to Soundcloud and be contacted by A&R or receive a write-up from a popular music blog.
I’m slightly biaeds because I’m not a social media-savant, but I’m lucky enough to have a talented management team who understands the important aspects of the social media-movement. I would imagine social media will evolve just as quickly as the industry. To-that-end, it’s also become a new section on an artist’s resume that we must fill-out to gain the attraction from the industry. You are going to see, if it hasn’t already happened, plenty of talented artists with “poor” instagrams, facebooks, twitters, NO facebooks, NO instagrams, that are not on HypeMachine, etc… Thus, I don’t think social media is the only solution for the “starving-to-be-heard artist” or for A&R to find the “next thing.” I sincerely appreciate social media for the ability to connect directly with people, but the ability for me to get my music out to people who want to hear it is always going to be the primary driver for how I interact with technology. Every artist and its team has a different story, and that’s one thing that’ll keep the industry changing forever.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists. Sia, Empire of the Sun, Cut Copy, Flume, Tame Impala, Surf Rock is Dead.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour? You can expect a few remixes of some talented artists (e.g. So Below), hopefully a new song coming in October, and some shows spread-out across the U.S. No tours currently booked.
Tell us a bit about your latest record, how would you best describe your music? The songs on the Spirit EP are about that feeling of being unsettled. Whether poetically or bluntly, all of the songs are extensions of my own personal experiences from when I was in medical school and after I withdrew. Adjectives to describe my music: cinematic, colorful, vibrant, heavy, organic, earnest, and danceable.
Do you have any new projects in the pipeline? Just a few new songs we’re working on.
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today? “Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” – T.E. Lawrence