Posted On 31 Aug 2018
His music combines electronic soul and synth rock in a way that’s reminiscent of the greatest performers. The charismatic singer has garnered comparisons to everyone from Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Steven Tyler, Queen front-man Freddie Mercury, to the glittery star-blazer himself David Bowie.
On July 20th, Sterling Infinity released his newest album, Sterling Infinity (Deluxe).
Learn more about the musician in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you now? What’s on tap for the rest of your day?
Thank you for having me! I am currently working on my next album. I’m in a completely new space. I’m so inspired musically right now and I’ve been blessed to meet a producer who doesn’t want to make music that sounds like everyone else. Being on the radio is nice and something that I continue to inspire to, but I understand that I am also a vessel for music to channel through. My job is to always create from my spirit, that’s creating from a place of truth, so I love being in the studio recording. I love my first album and I had control over almost every aspect, however there were moments of compromise; this time I have nothing to prove, I know who I am and what I am and that’s important. Musically I feel reborn. The first thing that the producer and I talked about was just being free with the music. Right now I’m reflecting on the power of death and resurrection. We really do die and rise many times throughout our lives, just like a phoenix. It’s called evolving, experiencing, and maturing; they are all healthy and paramount to personal growth. I realize that more than ever right now and my current music is reflecting that.
All Access Music is currently compiling a list of our artist’s favorite songs this summer so what is YOUR song of the summer?
Right now my favorite song is Ghetto Life by Rick James. There is something powerful about that track. I connect with it because it reminds me of where I come from and to not be ashamed of it, but to wear it with pride.
Overall, how do you think 2018 has been treating you and your music career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it?
It has been a year of challenges and breakthroughs, failures and successes, and my goal was to become stronger and I believe that I’ve been blessed to achieve that. I am also very happy that my first album was successful. Now I’m looking forward and challenging myself to become an even better artist. I am so proud of what I’ve accomplished!
Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
We didn’t have a lot growing up since we were very poor, but we had music. I still remember my first powerful moment with music: I was eight and I was singing in the bathroom and for the first time I heard my voice in an echo and I felt a power in my chest, it was like a rainbow light. I knew then that I could talk with God just by singing (I grew up in a very religious household). Shortly afterwards, I started singing Gospel in a choir and have not stopped since.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music in your career? Has there been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
The biggest surprise was when I realized that it was all coming together. I didn’t think that it would happen, but I learned how to fight for what I wanted and for what I believed in. The challenge had been to do everything on my own, but now I have more help and I’m excited about the next chapter and the next album.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today? What is the music scene like there these days?
I left my hometown when I was seventeen and I have only been back once. I would say what has inspired me from my hometown was to find my own independent ear in music. Growing up we were only allowed to listen to gospel music, so more than anything, my hometown taught me to be independent. I couldn’t tell you what the music scene is like there today, what I do know, is that a lot of people are still suffering in my hometown and I pray that my career and life can inspire them to keep pushing for their dreams.
How would you say that you have grown as an artist since you first starting making music? What has remained the same?
I have definitely learned not to second guess myself and not to chase trends, but to create music that my heart, soul and spirit agrees with. I want to evolve as an artist and I’m always telling myself that I have room to grow. Something that I’ve learned over the years is that I’m a servant to music, it’s a gift given by God, and I honor that.
What did it feel like releasing your newest album, “Sterling Infinity (Deluxe)”? While it’s difficult, can you pick out a few stand-out tracks on the collection and talk about how they got to be a part of this album?
It felt like I accomplished my mark for that period in my life. I’m so proud that I chose to release this project as an Independent Artist because it taught me so much about music and the music business. I learned how to be a boss and manage every detail of my career. Right now the stand out tracks would have to be Put Me In Your Mouth, #XWeveLanded – Soul Raptured and Say Hey 2 U. They became part of the album, surprisingly, when I let go and just created songs that reflected what I was going through at that time.
Typically, how do you go about writing songs? Do you have a specific process that you follow each time?
I’ve learned to be flexible, but songwriting is a form of prayer for me. It’s about channeling the words and notes that come to me. I only write when I am inspired. Sometimes I’ll hear a word that will spark a melody and sometimes I will hear the music first. Other times, I’ll sing a melody for days and the words find their way into the music.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for you? What has been a favorite performance of yours so far? Do you have any upcoming shows the rest of this summer and into the fall? What’s next up for you?
The ideal show for me is when the audience comes together with the music. For me it is about raising the vibration as a collective whole. My favorite performance, other than the ones at Madison Square Garden, would have to be the performance that I had at a dive bar in the Lower East Side of New York City. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. The speaker blew up, literally, and the drummer lost his cymbals, but somehow we were able to pull it together and sing and play from our hearts and the audience rocked out with us. I still remember that night. As I am currently recording a new album, I plan to start having shows again in the Spring.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
Right now my focus is on creating a body of work that is authentic to who I am. Personally, I’ve been inspired by what’s going on and I think illusions are being destroyed, divisive lies are becoming evident, false narratives are being blasted with truth and those of us aware enough to feel this shift are craving a simpler way of life; a re-wilding of sorts. I think some of the best musical evolutions are born out of the most trying times and I believe we will evolve if we come together.
Do you find that at your shows you have to say something about the political climate?
I want my actions to speak louder than words, thats why when I feel racism I choose to love and walk away in a peaceful manner. If I feel the need to speak about something, I will in a peaceful and respectful way.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
I love social media because it allows me to connect directly to my fans and hear their thoughts. I read the daily news and I enjoy hearing what people are thinking and how it is affecting their lives. As of now, I’m taking a bit of a break from posting on social media to fully dedicate myself to, and immerse myself into, my next album. However, I do go on and talk with people and leave comments. I’m on almost every platform, but right now, I’m mostly inspired to tweet and I am planning to build up my Tumblr page. I think that, amongst all the platforms, Tumblr is the most versatile and interesting and I am considering focusing on that platform going forward.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
My favorite artists would have to be Tina Turner, David Bowie, P!nk, Prince, and Steven Tyler. I am inspired by all of them and they have influenced my music and artistry. I would love to work with Steven Tyler and P!nk. I respect their genuineness and heart that is always reflected in their work. I am also impressed by their willingness to openly share their stories and the high standard that they continually maintain in their music.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
If I’m stranded on an island, leave me with a portable studio and a wifi connection! My favorite place to be is in the studio. I feel connected to God there. I do dabble with instruments, but my favorite instrument is my voice; as long as I can record and upload my music, I’ll be happy.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
That’s easy. I would love to be featured on the Jimmy Fallon show. Why? It’s because I respect him musically. Have you heard or seen him jam out with his band on the show? He’s someone on my list to work with. I met him once in passing and he was so genuine and authentic. If he ever starts a record label, I’m running to sign up!
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
The greatest thing that my favorite artists have given to me is inspiration. With the state of the world as it is right now, more than ever, my prayer is for people to find inspiration and hope in my music, encouragement to live out their dreams, and to never give up on life. Personally, what I would like people to take away from me as an artist is that you are not your skin. You are a Divine Being. An all-powerful Creator. You are a Spirit in jeans and a t-shirt, and within you dwells the infinite wisdom of the ages and the sacred creative force of All that is, will be and ever was.
(All photography provided by EMPKT PR)