Well here I find myself again at the cusp of a new album release. During these special times I can't help but think about all the time, effort and hard work that has lead me to this moment. This particular album was difficult to finish. I found myself spinning my wheels somewhere after finishing the writing to getting the final production fully done. To be honest this part of the process can be lonely and tiring.
Though I do have some followers, I'm not going to pretend I have this massive international fanbase hounding me to finish because from where I'm standing that is not the case. I'm fine with that though because for me each album is merely a stepping stone towards a library of music crafted by me that I hope to look back on and be proud of.
I think that's why I try to do most of the work myself. With this album (and the other 2 before) I've done all the writing, recording, production, packaging/art myself. Yes I could easily go somewhere to have the material produced and mastered but then I wouldn't be challenged or learn anything from that. I need to keep growing and learning from this music process or then I don't see the point in doing it at all. Each song I finish teaches me a great deal so at this point I'm addicted to that growth. I also think it changes me and I find that very appealing.
If you are part of the group of people that do find my music releases enjoyable I thank you sincerely. There is nothing like getting a note from someone across the globe that has listened to my songs and has expressed their enjoyment of them.. That is also a very special feeling and the times when this creation process feels a bit less solitary. -Enzo
Psychedelic, introspective, layered, and emotionally honest. These were all key elements I wanted in the writing of Cosmic Bipolar Nebula. I needed to challenge how I wrote a bit more and throw out some old technique to get there but I think I did. The material is a reflection of who I think I am and how I see the world. In fact the album cover is an illustration of me looking through what seems to be some sort of porthole. It's actually the mirror in my ocean themed bathroom that I look at every single morning when I wake up. This album has definitely been a journey into digging deeper.
There have been many times in my life where I find myself at exactly where I want to be, satisfied and confident in where I'm going. I wanted to express that particular sort of joy in this album. Conversely I also have times where I feel lost in sorrow and doubt, reflecting on the past, unable to sleep. I wanted to write about those times as well to paint a clear and full picture of my internal self. This was the most interesting and inspiring part of writing this album, to dig that deep. It also felt a bit scary. It may sound odd but I've always found a strange calm and strength in my own internal fear. Sort of a contradiction in terms but If I'm honest, that's the truth. Through coping I've found my greatest allies in art and songwriting and because of that I don't mind what I call my "frail times". Now I just let them wash over me and take me where I'm meant to go, always looking for inspiration in the void.
As always thank you again for all the support. -Enzo
Since I'm now hitting the end of the work on the new album I figured I'd start an album diary that helps express what went into writing this new material. I hope this gives an inside look into how I write and a closer look into who I am as a song writer.
My new album will be titled "Cosmic Bipolar Nebula". That's important to note because that's exactly where I started. After finishing and releasing "Television Graveyard" I wanted to write a very different album conceptually to follow it. "TVG" was more an external observation of the world. The city of LA really inspired a lot of the songs. With "Nebula" I wanted to look inward and sort of chronicle who I am, have always been and working to become. By nature I'm an extremely introspective person. I explore my motives and emotions almost at an obsessive level. This is something I've always done even when I was a small child. I wanted to write an album about my internal world, how I think and love specifically and I wanted to reach farther then I'd ever had lyrically and musically but still remain stylistically me.
Once I decided on this core direction I just needed a title. "Cosmic Bipolar Nebula" literally popped in my head! I didn't have to labor over it since I knew what the album would be about. "Cosmic" because I make it a habit to try to think beyond myself. I contemplate our role in the universe often and what traces we leave behind in time after we're gone. I also wanted the album to sound spacey and psychedelic. "Bipolar" because I pressed myself to explore both the lighter, euphoric side of my personality as well as the sorrow and pain I carry. I knew this would make the body of songs dynamic and varied. "Nebula" was my last word because I always strive to be shifting, growing and changing, moving beyond myself into new territories of thought and identity.
With all that said I don't think an album about one person would be that interesting and the new album is NOT that. If you read between the lines though you'll see cues into what I believe even if the subject of the song is not literally me. For example there is one song called "Pent-Up Android". It tells the story of a couple that lost each other when worldly possessions and money got in the way of their relationship. I've never been a big fan of materialism but didn't want to merely preach to the listener about it. In this case the fictional couple helps me get my point across more elegantly.
More insights and even song previews coming very soon as I prepare everything needed to launch these new songs into the world!
As always thank you to everyone for the interest and support of my music,
Really excited to announce that I'm currently putting the finishing touches on my next (and 3rd) full length album entitled, "Cosmic Bipolar Nebula"! I'm always writing songs but even I'm surprised at how quickly this album's material came together. I'm now in a mad rush to finish all the production work on this new disc and hoping to have it done very soon!
With this new album I wanted to write songs that were introspective, ethereal, trippy and also spoke to how I see the world. A psychedelically spacey internal journey into self. I also wanted to expand my sound beyond what I've done before. Where Television Graveyard is course and stripped down, Cosmic Bipolar Nebula is more lush, washed in synth sound and even some guitar work to give it more fullness. Again (thank God) I feel I've hit my mark and am very proud of this new material and just can't wait to share it! I will reveal the release date as those plans start to solidify but expect it early next year! -Enzo
Here is the final track list:
1. Raygun Love Transmission
2. Pent-Up Android
3. Gradual Decent
5. Dark Matter
6. Oh Mother
7. Swimming Through The White Noise
8. Sangre (In Blood)
9. Hyper Magnetic Touch
10. Cosmic Nebula
11. Nova Expression
12. PRIME (Way Past My Prime Mix)
Sometimes when I talk to people about what I do musically, it seems they don't really quite get why I do it. For many outside of it, art seems like an activity one does to reap some sort of reward or glory. Because of this many assume I am pursuing my music career for fame or a financial windfall. That couldn't be farther from the truth.
If I look back on my creative life I've always been about the craft and creation of art. The attention that came from it was always secondary to the hours and hours I spend inside my head finding these elements of inspiration and then making them a reality. This is why I am an artist! This pursuit goes so deep for me and crosses many genres and mediums from simple drawing to costume and makeup art to (of course) music. This has been the biggest truth in my life and has saved me from destruction many, many times.
I think people, if not specifically told assume things of artists so sometimes it's good to explain a few things for clarity. I don't think too much should be explained though. Just enough to be able to absorb what the artist is trying to communicate and achieve. So I will try to communicate my simple truths surrounding my music here. (and in the video above).
1. I have no interest in fame at all. I just love to write, sing and produce music.
2. Though I do make some money from my music I don't really need it as a source of income. I have a successful career outside of music.
3. I would NEVER sign to a record label or endanger my ownership/publishing to my music for ANY amount of money!
4. I make videos to draw attention to my music and help find my audience.
5. I'm looking for an audience for my music because I believe it's good and worth listening to and sharing with others. That's the only reason.
6. I don't want to be tied down to one genre or visual presentation and will push my songwriting into any genre that inspires me.
There it is. The 6 biggest truths about why I self publish music. I'll leave everything else open to interpretation. -Enzo
Really excited to announce that I've been working on a brand new video! It is for the title track to Television Graveyard and its entirely hand drawn and animated by me! Though it has been a lot of work for one person to tackle I've had a lot of fun working on it and as an independent artist I wouldn't have it any other way.
The video brings to life the album's alter ego "Renegade Zo" in a bold, high contrast indie comic book style. You may recognize the look from the live action Slick Disaster video I released earlier. This character is a visual representation of what indie music artists deal with these days. Relegated to the background, struggling to be heard through the static tv noise of pointless reality based talent shows. There is no longer a place in mainstream television for music. This seems crazy to me since I feel people are enjoying it more and more these days. Renegade Zo is a freedom fighter of sorts, battling the oppressive "TV Police" as he struggles to be heard in the expassive urban scape of "TVG City". That's all I can reveal for now. Look for the video's full release next month! -Enzo
So lately I've been working hard on the core writing for my next album. It's going very well and I should have the next full length release done by the end of the year! One of the biggest reasons I choose to stay an independent artist is the fact that I can release my music whenever I feel it's ready. I also really, really enjoy writing songs and do it a lot. This makes me hyper productive so in many ways I have to write, release and move on to the next collection of music. It genuinely makes me happy to do so.
With all that said I've been thinking a lot lately about crowd funding. I've never liked the idea of presenting a music project to fans and asking for them to pay to make it happen. If I ask fans for money it would not feel honest because I don't need their money to fund my next album.. I'm independent and can keep my own development costs and overhead very low. (This allows me to afford to release music when I want to without worrying about money.) Please understand I'm not making judgments on others who do use crowd funding (some of my favorite artists use it). I'm merely saying I honestly don't need the money from it to fuel my own music production since my career is very small scale, manageable and just the way I like it.
What does intrigue me about crowd funding is the fan interaction with the artist. Letting them see my progress and overall process, making them feel involved as the album develops. That's great but the question comes up, does that have to require an exchange of money? Couldn't I just provide that for free on social media to those who care to see it? If my posts are compelling and the slices of music are enticing wouldn't that work just as well to engage fans and get them to support the final product when it's done? Maybe the crowd funding locks the listener into buying first and keeps them engaged in a more consistent way? Maybe it's a good promotional tool to get the word out about the project?
Here's where you come in. What do you think about it? Should I try a crowd funded campaign for the next album? I'm leaning towards not doing it but maybe I'm missing something? -Enzo
Well here I am, well into the current release Television Graveyard. I've completed one video so far but would like to do more. I believe in this album very much and feel the need to promote it where I can. Well this WAS my plan.
Then all of a sudden along come tons of ideas from my next album! I've never had trouble coming up with new material. The video work is great but writing songs is what I'm most driven by. Unfortunately though this has me torn between the current album and crafting the next one (Working title "Cosmic Biopolar Nebula"). I already have 4 songs at various stages of completion and really feel my production skills vastly improved over TVG's development. This is very exciting to me but as I said before is splitting my focus.
Since I'm the sole captain of my ship I have to rely on my sharp focus to get my albums done. Many of my musical friends always comment on my ability to get things done and it's due to my rabid sense of purpose when I feel a new album is looming over me. A split effort is not my style at all. I want to give the new material time to ferment though and also need to make at least one more video for TVG.
Maybe this is something I need to learn to do moving forward since I am entirely independent. I have to be able to juggle current and future projects with equal focus. Be driven by the now as well as the future. I think that's why I've always been drawn to the creative process. If you are doing it right it always forces you to grow. -ENZO
After I heard the news that my biggest music and artistic hero David Bowie had passed I knew I'd have to write about it eventually. It's truly hard to sum up his influence and impact on me as a creative person but I will try.
Growing up I always felt a bit out of place.. There were many, many times in school I would see very clearly, the difference between how I thought about the world and how others felt. This lead me to be fiercely independent early on and sort of a loner. To this day I see between the cracks most don't even pay attention to. As I would learn later this is a great observational skill to have as a songwriter but back then I just felt a bit alien.
Even back in my teens when I started joining bands and writing songs I didn't quite relate to the other musicians. Their ideas were built on very strict conventions. This was something I knew I didn't want to fall prey to. Imagine working hard on a song only to think to yourself that it's boring and predictable. Something was missing and I didn't know what course I needed to take.
Around that same time I saw Bowie's Ashes to Ashes video and it blew my mind! Not only was it very visually exciting, the song was extremely unique and once you dug deeper, the lyrics were creative but also seemed authentic and introspective. I thought, now this is music! I immediately became obsessed by who this David Bowie fella was. From there I worked backwards through his full discography finding one amazing album after another. Every song infused with a visionary quality and jumped from genre to genre effortlessly. Once I experienced for myself this sort of musical benchmark there was no going back.
Not too long after I decided that sink or swim I would make my own music, my own way and not be tied down to a conventional band structure. I was convinced that if I wanted the chance to focus on writing interesting material I would have to do it as Bowie always had. Songwriting is a priesthood that I would no longer compromise. Bowie also proved to me that the visual presentation of the material is important. I believe people seeing Ziggy helped them more fully understand the vague aspects of what he was trying to express. It also made his work very hard to ignore. These are pillars that time and time again Bowie championed for himself and because of it left a body of musical and visual master work that from my standpoint is unmatched.
Now mourning his death I feel there are countless other lessons in his work that I still have yet to discover and understand. For that all I can say is Goodbye Mr Bowie and thank you for everything. -Enzo
Well it's finally out! "Slick Disaster", the first of many videos we hope to create in support of the new album. I'm particularly proud of it because it was made on a very small budget with help from close friends and family (Less than $100). I can honestly say it turned out exactly as I had hoped. I'm not interested in presenting myself as a big budget artist. I want my videos to have an indie, gorilla shot feel. I'm very proud of the fact that I'm putting together all this work without any label support. In many ways it is my badge of honor to be an entirely independent music artist so I want all my videos to reflect this.
With Slick Disaster I wanted to croon into the camera while also reinforcing the feel and aesthetics of the entire Television Graveyard album concept. Sort of a pirate TV station feel where the technology is old and unstable. I wanted to try to capture the charm of videos from the early days of MTV and the 80's. So far the response has been amazing and I want to thank everyone who's taken the time to watch it, share and comment on in.
Beyond the visuals in the video there are deeper ideas there. As an independent artist it's very easy to feel lost in the sea of static of the internet age. I wanted the video to reflect that. This is what has lead to the TV imagery and visual interference throughout the video. My "look" is what I call "Renegade Zo" a figure relegated to this monochromatic static wasteland. Only the song brings color to this world because only the song really matters. After it is over he is pulled back into the video lines and white static noise. This all ends up being a very visual metaphor for where independent artists live in our fast paced, rapidly consuming culture. Lost between the cracks of obscurity but still with a deep love and passion for the craft. -Enzo
Hear the full album on Spotify:
Enzo Sprigg is an eclectic and creative electronic singer/songwriter. Inspired by a wide range of artists from David Bowie to Bjork, Goldfrapp to Gary Numan, to newer artists like IAMX and Purity Ring. He fuses his smooth vocal style with avant garde elements to craft songs that are as original as they are intimate. Enzo boldly plays with genres ranging from Goth to Synthpop, to electronic torch song ballads, all with a strange yet intriguing twist. Fiercely independent and self published, Enzo writes, records and produces everything, illustrates the album art and has even hand animated music videos for his songs.