Sol, or Solzilla, as he is known by some of his fans, is one of the many talented artists coming out of Seattle. As a fan you can hear the progression artistically with each album and EP he has released. His newest album Eyes Open is a great example of this. Uplifting beautiful music that gives you a pinhole into the mind of Sol and his experiences and ideals after a year of traveling across the world.
I was able to catch up with him after his show here with Zion I and this is what he had to say. If you missed him while he was here in Boise and you plan on going to SXSW or Sasquatch this year he will be there.
Shontelle: You recently did a show here in Boise, opening up for Zion I at the Neurolux. What was your first impression? What did you initially expect from the audience here?
Sol: Boise is always a fun show. People are super open-minded to whatever kind of music you play and after the show talking to people they are always really nice and grateful for us coming to town.
Shontelle: You have spent some time traveling the world after you graduated from college. With songs like “Old Him” and “Too Cool” on the new Eyes Open EP, it sounds like your travels had some influence on the album. Where did you visit and what would you say had the biggest impact on your overall experience?
Sol: I traveled for about ten months to ten different countries: India, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Brasil, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Haiti. Every place was unique and impacted me in a different way but I would have to say going back to Haiti, where my mom is from, for the first time was the most powerful experience. It brought things full circle for me after having gone to all these other places dealing with similar social issues (none quite as bad as Haiti) but not having the same personal connection as Haiti does with me and my family.
Shontelle: So now that you have graduated from college, when you are not touring what does the life of Sol look like?
Sol: Haha. I try to write as much music as possible. Read and listen to music when I can. Get better at cooking and taking care of myself and take care to stay in touch and be supportive of my loved ones, friends and family.
Shontelle: I read that while traveling you recorded in studios all over with engineers found through Twitter. Did you make any artist connections that you would like to or will be working with in the future?
Sol: For sure! It was a lot easier collaborating while I was physically in those countries but I stay in touch with as many of the people I met as I can and we are always bouncing ideas back and forth. I also hope to go back to most of the places I visited sooner than later.
Shontelle: How do you feel about being compared to Macklemore pretty regularly now? Do you feel as if it takes away from your own originality as an artist at all?
Sol: I’m not really actively paying attention to things like that, although if I think about it, it feels like comparisons happened more often a couple of years ago when our career paths were more similar. I took a different path when I left the country last year and now that he is a mega-star, there is no one that compares to him. It’s amazing what he has done. I root for him every step of the way.
Shontelle: What do you listen to? Are you solely a hip hop fan or are your musical horizons a little broader?
Sol: Hip hop was the first genre of music after what my parents listened to that connected with me as a youngster. I grew up in that culture making rap music since I was 10, so it will always be special for me. I study rap both as a fan and an artist. But I also enjoy and study all kinds of music. Prince is my favorite artist of all time.