Graffiti Welfare is a Denver-based artist who made his debut with the release of his EP, Into the Soul of Space, in August 2016. His journey as a bedroom artist began from a fascination with Tame Impala’s Lonerism and the purchase of a used Roland Juno-G. After making the switch to Ableton, he took in new scenery in Colorado, where he moved for grad school and released his debut, picking up plenty of traction on meditative playlists.
Shortly after, Graffiti Welfare was noticed by the indie Italian record label, MilleVille Music, who is currently promoting and distributing Grafitti Welfare’s music across Europe. Revolving Shores was released as 10-track debut LP on June 17th, featuring music videos for three singles:
Mastering for Revolving Shores by The Wheelhouse Studio Music Videos by Quinton Hickman
Thank you for taking this interview! How has the New Year been for you so far as an artist?
Hey thanks to you for reaching out for an interview, Bsquared! This has been a breakout year for me as Revolving Shores was finally released as a full, 10-track album about a month ago and is tracking well. It’s been a long 6-year journey, but I’m proud of the final result.
Can you tell us how you've transformed from the beginning to now as an artist?
When Lonerism was first released by Tame Impala, I was inspired. Quick got a used keyboard, and even though I didn’t have much music theory knowledge to build on, and I still don’t, I was off to the races. I think the lack of experience and boundaries gave me room to develop my own personal vibe, recording style and production techniques over the years. I’d like to think I’m much more mature now with my ability and approach, but I still have so much to learn.
How did you come up with your latest project? Simply recording all the time until I had enough material to mix the LP. The themes and concept grew out of the process when I started seeing the patterns between the tracks and connecting the dots mixing late night.
Where are you from originally? Proud to have been raised in Austin, Texas.
Where do you live now? Denver, Colorado!
Do you think where you live impacts how your music is made? Not really. I think I would be making this music anywhere, as long as I have access to a basement, attic, or little dark room to record.
What was the inspiration to make music your career? Well, music isn’t my career, but it is my sole creative outlet. Monday through Friday, I work in tech full-time as a marketing campaign manager.
How do you want to shape your career?
First off, I want Revolving Shores to reach the people that are looking for it. I recognize the genre is in some kind of deep electro psych pop niche, but I think for those who are looking for it, the songs can resonate deeply and hopefully stay on repeat. Secondly, I’d like to continue to improve my songwriting and production ability as I start on the next album.
Do you work on a tight timeline always or do you go with the flow when it comes to your music? I strictly go with the flow when recording and mixing. Tight timelines don’t work for my creativity, and often push me into taking shortcuts that don’t usually pay off. So yeah, I prefer to work outside of any deadline to ensure the end result is true to me.
How did your latest title of your music come to be? I’m honestly not sure when the name “Revolving Shores” clicked for the album title, but when it did, it felt right. A lot of the feedback I got from friends early on was that the demos sounded wavy, lucid, and hypnotic, so I leaned into that a bit and felt a direct connection there back to my childhood. Growing up, my family would go to Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina in the summers and my dad taught my brothers and I to surf there, and it’s hard to overstate the impact that had on my life. I regularly felt myself drifting back in time to those days, then suddenly waking up in the present, and wanting to create a bridge across time to my late grandparents and childhood nostalgia.
Is it hard to let go of the music when it is done? Yeah it’s really hard for me to stop recording, editing and just walk away with any track. Most of the tracks evolved over a few years with dozens of separate demo variations until I found something that felt right on repeated listens. Never perfect, with lots of salt mixed in, but I think that’s a good thing.
Do you feel an emotional attachment to your music?
Undoubtedly. If I’m going to publish anything, it’s going to be personal and carry weight.
How would you describe your music in one word to someone who hasn't listened to it yet? Hypnotic maybe?
What has been the best fan reaction to your music? For me, the best reactions have been ones from friends, family, and reviewers who relate to the creeping nostalgia, and sense of loss, that the album is trying to overcome. We all go through heavy lows and bouts of anxiety in life, and I think that’s where this album resonates best. The highs and excitement are mixed into the journey, but how you persevere through the depressions of life is what lasts. I remember showing my parents all three music videos back to back and feeling nervous how they would react, you know? Thankfully, they were both moved by the music and I think the videos help illuminate the sentiment and feeling of the music. By the time we finished watching DejaBlue, my Mom had started to cry as it reminded her of her childhood and her parents. So to me that was a good sign that I was tapping into something genuine.
Is there anything exciting coming up for you? Always more to come as the album reach continues to grow, but I’ve started recording the next album after a long break and a couple moves across the city. So that’s going to be my focus for the foreseeable future. In the meatine, we’ll see how far Revolving Shores can go!
Are you performing the song anywhere LIVE? Fair question, but no I’m not. I’m not too interested in performing live to be honest. Recording and experimenting in the studio late at night is my preference.
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