The singer is gently easing us into the weekend with his acoustic-led single “The Garden”.
While we would normally be blasting thumping tunes from the speakers on Friday, sometimes we need some soothing vibes and Ed Prosek is providing with his new blissful single “The Garden”. Built around a simple acoustic guitar, the artist intricately weaves melodic vocals across a string of melancholic productions while inmate delivering warming lyricism. Inspired by our mental health and becoming more self-aware, the artist opens up on how removing distractions can be beneficial.
“‘The Garden’ itself is an older song that I rediscovered and fell in love with again,” the artist revealed. “I think of it like a time machine to transport me back to an earlier version of myself. I really wanted to go back to my roots to better understand some of the lost (but hopefully brilliant) ideas I’ve had over the years. It’s cathartic, like some kind of musical restitution.
Spending the past year in preparation for what he reveals to be an intense 2022, we caught up with the artist talking creativity in lockdown, staying inspired and everything he has planed for us.
Check out the interview below now…
Hey Ed, how are you? How has this past year been for you?
I’m doing really well thanks, all things considered. This year has been a lot more challenging than last year for a lot of very personal reasons, but I’m hoping that it’s going to turn out to be a lot more rewarding as well as I’ve started so many new projects, I’m working really hard to bring to life. This feels like the year of preparation for what will hopefully be an extremely intense 2022.
The pandemic affected a lot of people’s creativity, do you think it affected you?
Yes, but in a really positive way. I’m not exactly sure why, but it sort of took the pressure off of me to write with just one artist in mind (me) and to split up what I do and work in completely different fields, different genres and in different mediums. I can honestly say I have never been more prolific in any other period of my life. It feels good too and between working on my own music, starting my own label imprint SCOLA Records, producing and writing for other artists like Violetta Zironi and more, writing classical music again finally(more to come next year), and entering into the world of film and TV composition I just feel like I’m finally starting to use my skills to capacity. I think because the pandemic effectively shut down the music industry (and all the other creative industries) it allowed some of us to finally take our foot off the gas for the first time, breathe and grow as composers. That’s the hope at least.
How did you first start your career in music?
I was busy studying classical trumpet at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, when a very good friend of mine who is probably the most talented musician I’ve ever met, (though I’d never tell him that, and he knows it anyway) told me that I needed to drop the trumpet and come join him in England and start playing all these songs that I’d been writing over the years. I impulsively said yes and never looked back. I wrote and recorded my first EP (California) in my disgusting student flat in Brighton and it got something approaching real recognition and caught the attention of the late legendary producer Rupert Hine (Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks), who took me under his wing and really helped me as not only someone hungry to “make it” in the music industry, but as a songwriter and as a musician. The world lost Rupert last year, and it was an extremely sad and eye-opening moment for me, it forced me to rethink the way I see myself, and in many ways to aspire to be more like the man that mentored me for so many years.
You’re based in Berlin, do you think being from here impacted your sound?
Probably not, I’m a huge square and absolutely hate techno, which is what they really can’t get enough of around here. That being said, its undeniable that culture, architecture and nature seep into your subconscious and is impactful in strange and surprising ways. Berlin has all of these three elements in a very distinct but not always traditionally beautiful way and I’m pretty sure they have had an outsized impact on my music.
You’ve just dropped your new single “The Garden”, talk us through your creative process?
I always always start with the music, it’s just how I’m built. I need a musical framework that I can hang my lyrics on, it gives structure, it gives boundaries and it forces you to be concise and to say what is really important. ‘The Garden’ itself is an older song that I rediscovered and fell in love with again. I think of it like a time machine to transport me back to an earlier version of myself. I really wanted to go back to my roots to better understand some of the lost (but hopefully brilliant) ideas I’ve had over the years. It’s cathartic, like some kind of musical restitution.
It’s all about mental health and headspaces, what made you touch on this?
Who doesn’t need to spend time on a regular basis thinking about their headspace? My parents taught me to “tend to the garden in my mind”. A quote from someone or other that’s been turned into greeting card and motivational poster bullshit, but the underlying concept hasn’t lost its value. Removing distracting impulses and stimuli and aiding those that are beneficial is a process that requires daily maintenance in an ideal world. Its aspirational obviously, technology is designed to distract and occupy us away from what is important to the soul, but I’ve found that even a half-assed attempt to monitor what I allow into my head is helpful.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
I’m the happiest when my listeners find their own meaning in my songs. I get messages all the time guessing about a deeper meaning in my songs, trying to parse out specificities from some of my more ambiguous lyrics. I have to admit it always fills me with joy, because they’re always right! Any good art (film, literature, etc) draws attention when people can see themselves reflected in the characters and story, music is no different.
I try to say things (with my music) that I truly believe, without pandering, compromising or watering them down, and I think my sincerity has endeared me to my listeners over the years. I hope it continues to do so!
You recently founded your own label as well! What has this process been like?
Invigorating. Currently I’ve been working closely with a number of artists on music and ideas that are coming next year and I can’t wait to share them with you. SCOLA Records is the culmination of so many years of being independent and forging my own relationships and pathways through the “music industry”. I always wanted to work with other artists in a way that avoided the ugliness I had personally experienced in the music world, and this was the best possible way for me to do so! Thankful for my partners at Believe Digital in helping me make it real!
Who are your inspirations?
Paul Simon, Chris Thile, Francis Poulenc, Sting, Duke Ellington, Bach. An admittedly eclectic mix.
What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
There are so many things I wish I could tell you about, but they’re still secret! All I can say currently is next year is going to be an amazing explosion of content and ideas from team Ed Prosek/SCOLA and I’d love to come back and tell you more when I can! In the meantime, my next single ‘If I Die’ comes out October 15th and it picks up where “The Garden’ left off in a way that I think you’re going to love!