Photo cred: Brittany O’Brien
Releasing the new EP Mania Days via CloudKid, indie pop project Paper Idol pays homage to the town of Los Angeles and new changes in his life. Moving to the town of Los Angeles to pursue a musical career, musician Matan KG felt that he could be easily distracted by the hype and craziness of the city, and losing touch with reality in the process. Now the rocker has emerged from deep waters with his latest work, which is an honest reflection of the transition phase of this big move in his life and career. The musician has also been supported by the likes of top-end names like BBC Radio, Billboard, Under the Radar and Dancing Astronaut – he is on a roll.
We chatted with the indie sensation Paper Idol, and got his side of the story.
Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?
I grew up in Israel and my father collected instruments from all over the world – we had an oud from Egypt, a zither from China, a charango from Peru.. the list goes on. I was exposed to many different styles of music through the bands my father was playing in. My first foray into music production was reproducing a Snoop Dogg song in GarageBand on an aeroplane when I was ten years old.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
I typically get to the studio and spend about 30 minutes on a beat. If I like it, I keep going. If I don’t, I put it in my “random” folder. I like to get the rhythm and the chords down first, then I move on to lyrics and other production! And If I’m not feeling creative, I’ll grab something from my “random” folder and give it another chance.
You previously mentioned that you wrote your new EP about your move to L.A., how has this move changed the way you see the music industry and life in general?
At its core, LA is a magical place to make art. You’re surrounded by nature and culture and thousands of other artists. The downside is that it’s easy to lose touch with your own values and goals with that kind of sensory overload. When I first moved to LA, I lost touch with my creativity from being so distracted. I forgot that my purpose, my job as an artist was to sit down and write music. Everyone working in the music industry has a unique purpose that complements the work of other people. My advice is to identify that purpose and stick to it – don’t try to be everyone!
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Huel. It’s like a protein shake, I have it for breakfast every morning.
As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?
It’s a great time to be an artist in a lot of ways – no other time in history has seen such easy access to new music and the means of producing it. That being said, there’s a lot of work to do on the compensation model of streaming services. It’s better than piracy but still not paying artists fairly. This is a mainstream issue at this point and I do see it changing in the next couple of years.
You released two quirky music videos for featured tracks ‘Seen It All Before’ and ‘James Bond’. What motivated you to choose these particular tracks?
‘Seen This All Before’ was a serendipitous experiment with the incredible director Sam Rochelle, Adam’s brother. He happened to be in town with his camera, and we had the idea to tour the most cliché sights in LA and make a video for it. ‘Seen This All Before’ was the perfect song given its ironic and jaded nature. By the time the song came out, two years had passed and the whole world had changed. That’s when Sam had the idea to make the whole video a “2019” simulator!
J. Logan Alexander [director] and I had been shooting ideas back and forth about ‘James Bond’ for over a year before it happened. He has this great vintage feel to his music videos, so it was the perfect collaboration for ‘James Bond.’ The video ended up being an awesome mix of performance, storyline, and old-school visual effects!
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
I love both – they offer different kinds of emotional rewards. I feel very comfortable sitting in a studio alone for 24 hours straight working on music. There’s nothing lonely about it, you create your own world and interact with characters from your songs. My bandmate Adam and I both love production but also have an extroverted side, and we love the energy of a live show. Our show is sort of “jam band meets electronic set” so we play the songs but also turn it into a live-electronic DJ set that people can dance to!
What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?
“This music ruined my headphones”
What’s on your current playlist?
JAWNY, Glass Animals, Caribou, Sam Gellaitry
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?
We’re planning some live shows and another EP for the end of the year!
Famous last words?
All roads lead to pretty
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