Close your eyes and imagine that electricity is suddenly visible and streaming all around you. Then, the next thing you know, comes both a subtle and strong heartbeat of a drum, directly followed by a voice singing to you saying "All at once, there was only you." Are you in a trance yet?
International artist, world-traveler and songwriter whose influences and experiences are well represented in the core of his songs. Songs that have evolved over his musical career, bringing him to a place beyond his dreams.
When I heard his single "Stand With Me Tonight" I was captivated almost instantly.
I recently got the inside scoop straight from C.SHIROCK on his influences, what he's up to and what's next. Check out our chat here!
Consider The Music: You are one of the most unique artist's I've come across in some time, what kind of audience are you wanting to reach?
C.SHIROCK: That’s very kind of you - in a world of music that often feels like there’s nothing new, that means so much to me. I think in today’s music and ways of creating music (sample libraries, etc.), it can become difficult to create something that feels unique or new. With my new work, my producer (Thomas Doeve) and I are very intentional about only using sounds, textures, rhythms, and sonic elements that add to the emotion of the song. We don’t want any filler, it has to have a purpose. Some we discover, some we create from sounds in our heads, some we reference from favorite artists such as Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, U2, Prince, etc. Then we bring in modern elements from music we’re inspired by now - Hip hop, Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey, The Weeknd, and so many others. It ends up being a very eclectic sonic world we create... I hope this music connects with a wide audience. At the end of the day, I’m just creating from my heart in the most honest, vulnerable and compelling way I know how, and I hope it comes through. For those that just listen to the melodies and rhythms, I hope it delivers for them, and to those that connect deeply with the lyrics and find solace or comfort in the songs, I hope this music becomes a backdrop for memories in their lives.
Consider The Music: Listening to "Stand With Me Tonight" I'm loving it. Getting some George Michael and Bono vibes. Who are some of your influences?
C. SHIROCK: Both of those are big influences! I love some of George Michael’s work...his use of rhythm and melody was really special. Even visually I’ve recently referenced his music videos as sources of inspiration. Bono and U2 have been a long time favorite of mine. The emotion that their music carries is incredible, and something I hope my music can also convey. I also draw a lot of inspiration from Prince, Michael Jackson, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Eurythmics (Annie Lenox), and Springsteen to name a few. Some modern artists I love are Bleachers (Jack Antonoff’s writing and production is really special), Troye Sivan, Maggie Rogers, Brandon Flowers, Bon Iver...there’s some of Billie Eilish’s music I’m really inspired by as well.
Consider The Music: I see you've traveled the world and gotten a chance to live in many different places. How has that impacted your sound?
C. SHIROCK: I think growing up in the Philippines and Scotland influenced my music in a lot of significant ways, and even some subconscious ways. I didn’t grow up around much recorded music in the Philippines. My parents were missionaries in Baguio City, and I don’t really remember hearing any recorded music while there...I remember a lot of live Filipino music - certain traditional rhythms they would play using bamboo sticks, dances they would do... it wasn’t until I moved to Scotland when I was about 9 that I first started being introduced to pop music. I grew up playing piano from a very early age, but I remember hearing some rock and pop records in Scotland and falling in love with it... But my real music education started when I was 13 and moved to the US. I was in Detroit, and I remember so clearly listening to the radio non stop... I would fall asleep every night listening to it, and record it while I was at school. I soaked in as much as i could, and discovered so many artists in that time that influenced me as I started my first bands and started writing and recording. A few years later I moved to Nashville for college, and that’s what really opened up up my musical world...my roommate introduced me to Jeff Buckley and The Beatles, my girlfriend at the time introduced me to U2 and Radiohead, I had cable TV for the first time and would just watch Vh1 “Behind the Music” for hours...discovered Madonna, Elton John, Depeche Mode, and so many others. My fiancé now teases me all of the time that I’m a musician, but I somehow missed so much music growing up. She’s constantly introducing me to music I’ve never really spent much time with. Subconsciously, I think the rhythms of the Philippines and the ‘world music’ influence find their way into most of my work. I’m drawn to those somewhat tribal, Latin and unique rhythms. That’s partly where my love of Peter Gabriel ties in - he seems to have an affinity towards them too. Also the vast landscape in Scotland plays a big role in the scale of some of my sound. When you grow up in a place like that, I think you inherently make music that works in that atmosphere...it’s a very grand, cinematic and dramatic place - there’s this vastness about it. You’re at once alone and isolated, and also in a massive open space...it causes you to both look inward and to look up, questioning purpose, life, God... I remember standing on the edge of a cliff looking out over the ocean and wanting to sing. There’s a natural echo and a reverb to that place that I carry into my work.
Consider The Music: Who has been your favorite artist to tour with and why?
C. SHIROCK: Twenty One Pilots - I’ve only done a handful of shows with them, and every time I was left incredibly inspired. They are the kind of artists that makes me as an artist want to become better. They go so fully into whatever they are doing at the time, that you can’t help but either be drawn in. There’s no halfway with them. They go all in every time. I remember early shows with them before they blew up, Tyler, who is often soft spoken offstage, would set aside all ego or inhibition when he walked onstage. It was like everything he couldn’t do or say in “normal” life was given the freedom to be expressed. I am still incredibly inspired by him. He’s a special talent, and I’m thankful I’ve had the opportunity to do some shows with them.
Consider The Music: As you have watched your music evolve over time, what changes have you seen in the music world that give you hope for its future?
C. SHIROCK: There’s a new conversation going on that’s really been a trend this last year that I love. The idea is that the lines between genres is disappearing. I’ve heard both Post Malone and Billie Eilish talk about it. There’s such freedom in that - as an artist, I want to have the freedom to create whatever it is that’s turning me on at that moment. Artists like David Bowie did that, Lady Gaga is doing it... it’s an inspiring time to be an artist...feels like there are no rules. You create something, you put it out, if it connects with people it connects, if it doesn’t you move to the next thing. In a weird way we’ve evolved from the album model, to the single model, now it feels like we’re moving to a “body of work” model. That’s something I’m incredibly excited to be a part of.
Consider The Music: Who is a producer that you've worked with, that we might see another collaboration with?
C. SHIROCK: My current producer Thomas Doeve and I have been working together over the last year, and there is so much new music coming from what we’ve been working on in Nashville! I can’t wait to share it all. It’s been incredibly fun working with him. We do what we like...that’s basically it. It’s fun. It feels like a safe place to experiment and to let emotions run wild a bit. I also worked with my brother, Scott Shirock on some earlier work released in 2016 that I really loved. There’s something special about working with a family member...there’s so much history there and it creates a very intimate and unique space to create from. I’d love to continue working with him.
Consider The Music: Are you planning to tour in 2019 and where can people see you?
C. SHIROCK: Yes! I love touring. Being an artist can be an isolating career. It’s easy to get lost in your head, and the process of creating the music often feels like you’re living in a cave or a vacuum. I think for me, touring is the outlet for all of the pent up energy. The stage gives me a sense of freedom and inhibition that doesn’t exist anywhere else in my life. We’re going to start off with some select dates in Nashville, LA and New York, and then as we continue releasing new music, we’ll build on that. I hope it makes sense to do a proper tour, maybe some festivals. It all depends on the reception of the music. I hope I get to do it...I love performing so much. As dates are scheduled we’ll be announcing on my social accounts, and please say hello when you come to a show. Meeting fans makes it all worth it.
Check out "Stand With Me Tonight here!
And make sure to follow C.SHIROCK here:
Peace and love,