Chatterbox: Black Sands chats influences, diversity and EP prep.

Hey, thanks for talking to us. Could you tell us something about yourself that nobody knows?

About ten years ago I stopped playing music to move to California and work in the tech and entertainment industry. In that time I had zero desire to write or play music. My guitar was sadly sitting and collecting dust. About a year ago the spark to play music came back after visiting my brother in Milwaukee. Since that trip the spark and love for music hasn’t stopped and I’ve been writing and producing more music than I could’ve imagined.  

What influences have gone into your sound recently?

Early on in my music career I’ve been heavily influenced by 90s rock and heavier bands like Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins and Deftones. Recently I’ve heavily leaned into more pop influences like The Weeknd and Billie Eilish. With Black Sands I’ve really been emphasizing writing music starting from a mood or feeling. In doing that I really lean into scores and soundtracks of film and television series. A few that have been really influencing me lately are Watchmen, Euphoria and Stranger Things. 

What are you currently working on?

Working with people all over the world with diverse backgrounds and styles is core to Black Sands. While I’ve been focusing in on writing more pop and R&B influenced songs lately, I’m still experimenting on pushing ideas and sounds into new directions. A good chunk of my time is looking for great new collaborators that inspire me and help me see and hear things in a new and different way. 

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

The goal is to release an EP to have a more cohesive collection of songs and ideas. However, the modern music cycle of write, record, release, repeat is really exciting and helps move you out of creative paralysis. Capturing something raw in a song that inspired you in a particular moment is powerful but like most creatives you can get stuck by sitting and analyzing something too much.  By having a fast feedback loop from your audience helps you learn and refine your approach. 

Any top tips for getting through this difficult time?

Think big and start small. Having an overarching goal and vision to work towards has been a lifesaver through quarantine. I’ve had so much more time to write and be inspired creatively. What I learned quickly was big ideas and creative visions can be daunting, but if you just start by doing little pieces each day you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can make progress towards that bigger goal. For example, I forced myself to write and record something everyday for a month. Even if I didn’t like it I got into the creative habit of trying something new and different. A lot of the ideas I wasn’t thrilled about immediately have become the songs I love the most or have influenced new ways of writing and creating.


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