Chicago’s own Walsher Clemons is set to release their debut album Dancing & Praying on September 1, 2015. Mixing the funk elements of Michael Jackson, with jam-heavy instrumentation of Phish, Walsher Clemons has created a unique style of their own.
What challenges did you feel approaching the creation of “Dancing & Praying”?
We wouldn’t call any of it a challenge. The whole process was a blast and a half. There are so many awesome memories and good times that we’ll always associate with this music. We can’t wait to record another album.
As the release date gets closer, how do you feel? Are there nerves involved?
No nerves at all. We’ve had this album done for some time, and we’re all so confident that people will enjoy it. We listen to it all the time. People are gonna dig it.
What can you tell us about the album? What can we expect?
A unique sound. We’ve spent the last 4 years together playing original songs and building tunes out of each others’ ideas. This album is really a culmination of music that we feel great about putting out into the world. We’ve just figured out exactly how to push each others’ buttons, and you’ll hear it in the music.
What artistic growth do you feel you have experienced throughout the creation process of the album?
This album forced us to think about our music in a new way. Playing a song live and building a great recording are so different. And, this being our first full album, we really concentrated on trying to make the whole thing one cohesive collection of songs that flowed perfectly. Those were both things that we as artists had never experienced. I think we came out on top.
We’ve just figured out exactly how to push each others’ buttons, and you’ll hear it in the music.
In your opinion, what makes a good song?
A killer drum beat and lyrics that make you sing along. And a badass riff somewhere in there.
What can you always guarantee to your fans, no matter what?
Guitar solos, and plenty of them. Really good ones. Guitar solos aren’t something we take lightly. And keyboard solos. Alif blows everyone away, ourselves included, with his chops. Mike and Craig on drums and bass are gonna lock it in too. That’s a guarantee.
Who was the last person to really inspire you?
We were truly inspired by Drake’s recent “diss” track “Back to Back”. The ferocity in which Drake lyrically assaulted his rival, Meek Mill, has inspired us to take on our disbelievers and competition in a similar manner. Aside from Drake, seeing other bands in the Chicago local scene (especially the jazz musicians) has inspired us to get in the shed and further hone our instrumentational skills.
What has been your biggest challenge as an artist? As a band? How did you overcome that challenge?
The biggest challenge we have faced has been getting exposure. For an independent artist it is very tough to get a piece of the limelight and get your music heard. However we are up for the challenge and have invested heavily in ourselves to ensure we make the necessary strides to eventually garner the national attention we believe our music deserves.
What expectations do you have for yourself when you’re creating music?
When we create music, we set the bar high. We slave tirelessly over the song arrangements and recording process to ensure that anything we put out is as close to perfection as humanly possible. We expect to produce recordings that will bring joy to people’s lives, and make people dance!
Can you describe your attraction to music?
Everything about music is incredible. Music provides a sensation that stems from the depths of our souls, a phenomenon that evokes a wide range of emotions from tears to pure ecstasy. There’s nothing quite like the rush of playing for a receptive audience or creating a pristine studio recording. Music is what makes us tick; it is our calling in life and the optimal vessel for us to unleash our inner greatness.
What are you trying to open people’s minds up to with your music?
We would like to open people’s minds to letting go of their worries and being able to let loose! Life’s too short to worry all the time. Every now and then you just gotta be yourself and let it all out.
At this point, what do you value most about this experience in music?
What we value most is the ability to create music with our musical brothers. The band is really like a family of its own. We also value the ability to say we are pursuing our passion in life, while most people choose a life of being comfortably numb.
What are your goals for the rest of 2015?
Looking to the future. We plan to play as many shows as possible. We will be hitting the road hard as well as putting on big shows in our home town of Chicago. We will also be launching a number of music videos. The goal in mind is to gain as much attention to our album as possible. We will also strive to create as many new industry relationships as possible, because linking up with passionate like-minded individuals will insure a successful career.
Do you have any final thoughts? Anything you would like to say to the readers of popYOUlarity?
All we ask from the readers is to take a few minutes to check out the band. Our music will be available online for FREE, and we know listeners will dig our sound.
+ Debbie Fettback