The Arizona indie/dance-pop act Electric Sol (MadMimi PR) recently put out their new single “Your Divinity,” with the latest track coming hot on the heels of the past summer’s “Accept Me” (Spotify Stream) EP release.
“Your Divinity” is a fuzzy and alluring track from the quintet, with the catchy, positivity of Ed Sweet’s lyricism the perfect complement to Electric Sol’s dusky, disco vibes. Having partnered with Grammy nominated Dapo Torimiro on August’s EP release, the group continues the trend of collaborating with some of the music’s most buzzworthy producers on “Your Divinity”, with California hot prospect Secret Attraction proving a perfect partner for the new single.
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Learn more about Electric Sol in the following All Access interview with them here-
So, how are you keeping busy and musical these days during the pandemic?
Well, the pandemic actually inspired the music we’ve been producing lately. In April I stepped out of my comfort zone and reached out to two producers to work on some new recordings. One of them, Dapo Torimiro, is a friend who’s had a really successful music career, and the other one, Derek Wise—aka Secret Attraction—is a local Phoenix artist whose sound I really like. Dapo produced the “Accept Me” EP that was rolled out from July through September, and Derek produced the “City Tonight” EP that’s rolling out now. So the pandemic has been really productive so far! Lately, the band has been practicing live versions of the new stuff and we’re getting ready to play them for people very soon, live if we can or live streaming if we have to.
How are you staying connected to your fans? Are you finding that social media is even more useful now?
Yeah, social media and Spotify have been great ways to meet and stay connected with fans, as well as with other bands and musicians. The Accept Me remix, for example, came about because someone in Ukraine liked the song and reached out to me. That never could have happened without social media! Recently I joined an online community—Band Builder Academy—led by former Fearless GM Todd McCarty, and that’s been a really great way to connect with other musicians who are taking their careers to the next level.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be a musician?
No, because I was probably three or four years old. I used to sing all the time when I was a little guy. It’s just what I did, you know? I sang the National Anthem at Chicago Park District events and entered school talent shows until about third grade, but then a series of unfortunate events conspired to turn me away from my first love. I over-practiced for a school talent show and screwed up my vocal chords, and I remember an organ teacher who really gave me the creeps. The idea of making music went dormant for a long time until Michael Jackson died, and then my interest was revived. To finally answer your question, I guess I thought I could do something when I shared a few songs with my friend Cliff Sarde, who ended up producing my first album.
What do you think motivates you day in and day out? How has that drive changed since you first starting writing songs?
I’ve always needed a creative outlet. For a while it was photography, then acting, then I wrote a movie that was in a bunch of festivals, but it was all just for fun. The same thing with my first forays into writing, recording, and performing songs. When the pandemic hit it was kind of a wakeup call to start taking these things more seriously. Not to get rich and famous or anything, but to spend whatever time I have left on this planet doing something I really love and doing it as best as I can.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the kind of music that you make? If not, why is that?
I’m from Chicago but I’ve lived in the Sonoran Desert long enough to identify as a Phoenician. Phoenix has a real independent spirit, which I love. I think I get a lot of freedom creating here that I might not get in other places. I often joke that one of the best things about this town is that it’s close to Los Angeles. I love visiting that city every chance I get because it always gives me a jolt of creative energy.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Was your family and friends always supportive of this career choice?
Yeah, music was a big part of my childhood. We had an organ in our living room and my older sister got pretty good at it. She was the designated accompanist. My mom sang showtunes and operatic pieces, and holiday parties were filled with performers of all abilities and volumes. As a toddler, those parties were just magic for me. Even though music was a big component of our lives, no one ever talked about it as a career. It was just something fun to do.
If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing?
I’m not a full-time musician so that’s an easy one. I’m a freelance copywriter and ghost-writer, which means I write advertisements, marketing materials, and nonfiction books. When I started this career in Chicago, I got to write a ton of radio spots and work with some really talented musicians. Scoring commercials and recording jingles were my favorite things to do when I worked at an ad agency.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career?
I’ve mostly been surprised by how much willing people are to share information and ideas, and how supportive the music community is. I thought it would be a lot more competitive.
What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
Having so much to juggle—writing, recording, promoting, practicing, shooting videos, managing administrative and legal stuff—was the unexpected part. The welcome part is challenging myself to collaborate. Reaching out to Derek and Dapo really took my music to the next level.
Is there anything you wish you could go back and tell your younger self about this industry?
Don’t be intimidated by it. Work hard and find your niche.
Let’s talk about your newest single, “Your Divinity”. What was the inspiration for this track?
Most of my inspiration comes from listening to instrumental chill music on long walks in my neighbourhood in Phoenix. I just listen to songs and write down any lyric ideas that pop into my head. This particular song started with the first two lines, “Everything about you says/That you’re having one of your best days.” I envisioned a very beautiful, confident woman living her best life. Then I got the idea to make that woman an unattainable object of desire and tell the story of a guy who’s hopelessly in love with someone out of his league. The song explores the sublime frustration of an intense crush. After I figured out the story most of the lyrics came pretty quickly, but I got stuck trying to find something good to rhyme with “infinity”, “eternity”, and “divinity”. “Virginity” wasn’t going to work. “Affinity” wasn’t any good. “Femininity” or “masculinity” were cheesy and cliché, not to mention a bit long. That really only left the word “vicinity”, which is kind of outdated but works so well with the whole line: “Just don’t make a spectacle in her vicinity.”
How would you say that it compares to your summer EP “Accept Me”?
All the songs on “Accept Me”, produced by Dapo Torimiro, have a really clean, polished sound, with elements of pop, R&B, dance, and disco. All the songs on the Derek Wise-produced “City Tonight”, including “Your Divinity”, are very synth-laden and a bit fuzzier and edgier. To me, every song on the newest EP is like a glass of sparkling wine: “Your Divinity” is a prosecco; “City Tonight” is top-shelf champagne. “Beauty Beauty” is a dry Brut. They’re all fizzy and effervescent, but in different ways, which is what I really love about this project. Plus, for some reason the “City Tonight” songs are all really fun to play live.
Are you going to shoot a music video for “Your Divinity”? If so, what are your plans for it? How creatively involved with you all be with the making of it?
Yes! We’re scheduled to shoot on Saturday, November 7, the day after the single is released for worldwide streaming. The video is going to be really campy and fun and I’m really excited about it. I’ll be singing the song in the video, going back and forth between myself and a frustrated Monk character, longing after a beautiful angel who’s lounging by a pool. It’s intended to be very silly and fun and outrageous and I’m hoping we can pull it off. We’ve got a great team lined up. My bandmate Cody Hazelle is doing the videography, Tessa Gardenier is playing the angel, and Penelope Sweet, my daughter, is styling the shoot.
Do you have plans to release more new music or a full album soon?
We’re living in a single-driven, streaming world, so it’s unlikely that we’ll do a full album again. But I’m hoping to do more EPs for sure. The “City Tonight” EP will get us through next May, so hopefully by June 2021 we’ll have a new EP ready to go. If we stay with the chill synthpop vibe, I hope I can work with Derek again.
Are you currently writing new music?
I have a few ideas, but nothing fully realized yet. I’ve really just started writing again a few days ago. To be honest I have a little anxiety now, because I think I set a high bar for myself with the “City Tonight” EP. Some of the voices in my head are telling me that I won’t be able to write anything as good or as cohesive. I just have to tell them to shut up and get lost in something new.
How do you think you and your music have grown over the years and since you first started writing music? What has remained the same?
So my friend Cody Hazelle, who I mentioned earlier, said the other day that the stuff on “City Tonight” seems like the kind of music I’ve always wanted to make but could never articulate until now, and I think he’s right. I love all the stuff I’ve written to get me here, but it’s a great feeling to think that you’re finally home.
What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future? Who has consistently been inspiring you and the music that you make?
I’d love to work with some of the original synth bands from the 1980s, like Tears for Fears, Flock of Seagulls, Howard Jones, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, etc. How cool would that be? Your second question is harder to answer. I admire a lot of different bands—Miami Horror, Penguin Prison, Cut Copy, Hot Chip—and I take a lot of stuff in, but I never say, “I want to do a song like that” or “I want to be just like XYZ band.”
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I guess I want what any musician wants: I want people to make enough of an emotional or physical connection with my music that they want to listen to it again and again and again. Every day on Spotify I can see how many saves my songs have gotten and how many playlists my songs have been put on, and every time those numbers go up it makes me feel like I’ve done something right for someone.