Interview With Pop Singer SIRPAUL
by Jared Braden at www.allureofsound.com
Out electronic/pop singer and songwriter SIRPAUL has released his infectious new single “Body Connection”. The song is taken from the talented singer’s forthcoming album, The Horse, out April 3, 2012. Allure of Sound was able to catch up with the SIRPAUL to discuss, among other things, his musical inspirations, being an out artist and his new album.
A catchy blend of pop and electronic, SIRPAUL’s music mirrors his colorful, upbeat image. A far cry from growing up in Port Jefferson, Long Island where he would spend countless hours listening to Cyndi Lauper in his bedroom, “I locked myself in my room and listened to Cyndi Lauper 24/7 for most of my childhood. That little town wasn’t too kind to me,” SIRPAUL recalls. “I guess they weren’t really feeling my “flashy form of self-expression”. My room was wallpapered with Cyndi Lauper pictures everywhere!! I felt like I could relate to her more than any of the people around me because she looked crazy and so did I.”
SIRPAUL tells me that his music is subconsciously influenced by some very big names in music: “I don’t really feel like my music is consciously influenced by anyone. It’s just that damn subconscious that gets me every time. That’s why I try not to listen to a lot of other artists while I’m writing an album,” SIRPAUL explains. “I would say that the artists that influenced me are the 80′s Icons: Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, George Michael, Prince, Boy George. They were so much larger than life and they were all individuals with a unique point of view. My non-musical influences are Tom Ford & Tony Ward.”
Most of these incredible “subconscious” influences can be heard on SIRPAUL’s impressive new album The Horse. The album is spearheaded by the infectious lead single “Body Connection,” which SIRPAUL says is a nod to the controversial songs of the 80s: “I just felt like it was time to slow things down a bit and make some songs you can “get down” to,” he explains. “Body Connection is a throwback to those “controversial” songs of the 80′s. You know the ones that got banned from MTV? They wouldn’t be considered racy at all by today’s very low standards. Most of today’s artists say things way too literally…that’s not sexy. Suggestive is sexy. Innuendoes are sexy. Confidence is sexy.”
The Horse is an album that any pop artist would be proud to call their own. Strong production elevates the majority of the tracks, with waves of synthesizers and drums machines to complete the albums cohesive, solid sound. Each song moves naturally into the next, which is exactly what SIRPAUL was going for on the album. “This new album is a complete journey start to finish. It’s got so many different textures to it but it’s completely cohesive. Our culture is very “A.D.D.” and most people have lost sight of the concept of listening to an “album “as a whole. People just buy individual songs. The Horse is meant to be heard start to finish. There’s no filler there. I think in order to keep someone’s attention for an entire hour you need to change gears quickly but maintain strict control of the wheel.”
Why did SIRPAUL name the album The Horse? “I was trying to create “Goth Disco”…The upbeat electropop music on The Horse definitely contrasts its darker, poetic lyrical content,” he reveals. “There is a song on the album called “Like a Horse” and it’s about how there are so many parallels between learning how to learning how to ride a horse and falling in love. Both require patience. Both require faith. Both are big, strong, and intimidating. They both seduce you to overcome your fears, let go and ride. There is a poem called Mazeppa (written by Lord Byron in 1819) that was about a man who sleeps with the King’s wife and suffers the cruel and unusual punishment of being tied naked to a wild horse that is to be taunted and set loose. He barely survives. There are several paintings depicting this story that I found visually inspiring, as well as an AMAZING exhibit by the photographer Roberto Dutesco called “The Wild Horses of Sable Island”.
As an out musician, SIRPAUL has found the music world to be more welcoming of artists of all sexual orientations. “Today, I think it’s an issue only if you make it an issue. I don’t even think about it anymore. When I first started out the industry was completely different,” he explains. “It was dominated by major label artist who, if they were in fact gay, had to remain closeted. Some of them even had remaining closeted as a stipulation in their record contracts. I never even tried to get signed to a major label or ANY label for that matter. I refuse to ever let someone turn me into a product or anything else other than myself. I started my own label Controversial Records so I could do everything MY way. I was able to find a way to get my music on MTV on my own just by being myself and relentlessly trying to be the best artist I can be. I’m really proud of that.”
SIRPAUL finds it rewarding to be able to help change perceptions of what it means to be gay. “I love being able to change people’s perception of what being “gay” is every day of my life. I’m here to entertain but I’m also here to represent the LGBTQ community because we are in the middle of our own civil rights battle. We need a fearless voice in pop music… here I am.”
“Body Connection” (feat. Loco Ninja) is out now on iTunes.
The Horse will be released on April 3, 2012.
All images © 2012 Michael Young Photography / Controversial Records