Introducing your favorite new Desi singer song-writer, Axel Mansoor. Emmy-nominated Mansoor made his debut in early 2017 with his single, “Wasted My Love," which gained some major traction reaching #5 on Spotify’s US Viral 50 chart and airplay with KCRW. His music already has millions of plays and has been featured on Ones To Watch, Indie Shuffle, Hillydilly and Buzzfeed. We had an opportunity to talk to Axel about his new single, "The Other Side" and got to know him better as an artist. Check out our Q&A and listen to,"The Other Side" below!
What was your inspiration when writing "The Other Side"?
A well-rolled joint and a lot of hurt feelings hahha! I had just gotten back from an amazing 2-night solo trip to Joshua Tree, which I had to take for my sanity cause I had been pretty depressed and doubting if I'd ever write another good song. While I was in Joshua Tree I spent a lot of time journaling about my emotional / mental state and I think "The Other Side" was a reaction to / processing of that experience.
What was the process like working on the song?
The song itself came together pretty quickly, looking back it feels like it just kind of flowed out of me. I think it was one of those situations where I needed to express something for a while but just wasn't sure how to. Then, all of a sudden, it just happened. The main parts of the song were created in a few hours in a session with me and another writer (Ben Samama) and the other elements (keys, drums, FX, etc) were laid down by Tim Randolph (the producer).
What was the biggest challenge you had while in production with "The Other Side"?
I'd say the biggest challenge was maintaining a sonic, and emotional, balance between the two main vibes of the song: really intimate and vulnerable on one end, and explosive and energetic on the other.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
This is ever-changing. I have my all-time favorites (Bon Iver, John Mayer, Tame Impala) but right now I'm also super into The Beach Boys, David Bowie, and also some "now" artists like Jeremy Zucker, Lauv, Cautious Clay, Rex Orange County. God there's so much incredible music out there it's simultaneously amazing and terrifying.
What is your dream collaboration?
Man if I could collaborate with any of the artists I just named I'd be esctatic. I'd also love to work with an old-school kind of producer, on the George Martin, Quincy Jones, Rick Rubin vibe.
Did you watch Bollywood movies growing up? If so, what were your favorites?
I actually really didn't like Bollywood growing up. Something about the melodrama and super long runtimes and zaniness of it all just made me uncomfortable. At my High School (Go PALY!) there was a small Bhangra group that was awesome and they kind of acted like a portal for me to that world. Eventually I was able to open my mind and understand that Bollywood is actually pretty great.
You're having a traditional Desi dinner – What dishes would need to be present to make your favorite meal?
If there's no dahl or naan I'm not even showing up. I need me my lentils.
What can we expect from you next?
A lot more music over the next months; the next 3 are already written! A lot more shows, definitely on both coasts but also hopefully in other parts of the US (and maybe Canada). The live show is really evolving and I'm super excited about that: there's a live drummer, we're running tracks to make it sound epic, and I'm live looping guitar and vocal parts! Also going to be putting out more video content (covers / tutorials / other fun stuff) on YouTube, staying active on my Instagram. Keep up with me, it'll be fun I promise.
Axel Mansoor - The Other Side
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