Being an artist isn’t always as easy as people think. It’s not all colors and tambourines. It comes with many challenges and sometimes unforeseen obstacles. An artist must be fearless and willing to attack these challenges. When it comes to music there is quite a long road to climb up.
When Staring a new musical project it is imperative that you isolate your specific sound and am image that represents what your sonically producing. Finding your voice, so to speak, and what makes it unique. Like in all industries there are steps on this road to having the world hear and recognize your music.
We have started a new series here at CMF to talk with up and coming artists and what they are doing to carve their way in the music world. Then coupling their thoughts with Artist that have made their mark and are working in the industry now.
This article will start with two part series that will first feature a local Chicago group named Purple Tokyo, then will be followed up by an interview with the one and only SAVOY.
Recently we found Purple Tokyo when turned on to their Instagram by a dear friend. We were pretty impressed by their marketing technique and thought to it would be awesome for them to talk a little bit about how they are pushing their project.
CMF: Who is Purple Tokyo?
PT: Purple Tokyo is an exploration of the mind’s mysterious places that are somewhat dangerous and dark while maintaining a sense of fun, feel-good excitement.
CMF: When you started this project what was the theme or goal you had in mind?
PT: Initially, it was an outlet from a previous project. I felt I had gotten away from my roots, and I just wanted to feel a bit more in control. I wanted to be me again. At first it was just DJ-ing stuff that I liked for fun, but in the back of my mind I always wanted to play drums for our live shows, focus on original production, and create a signature sound in both Spanish and English. Specifically a sound that would cross-over genres and emotions.
CMF: Was it a collaborative concept?
PT: Purple Tokyo was a collaboration from the start. As my brother and I started to finalize the music, it quickly grew and became more of an art project. I wanted to create an experience alongside the music and began to form a larger team behind Purple Tokyo—a team of designers, illustrators, photographers, videographers, developers, and other musicians.
CMF: You’ve created a unique form of marketing your artistry. Could you please talk a little bit about that?
PT: I have always admired bands/groups who have a very defined image. Nowadays, it is as important as the music. I wanted Purple Tokyo to be well branded. I began to explore the idea of creating a symbol for the name instead of just some cool font for the name. It began to be developed further with each release.
CMF:How did you develop a concept?
PT; The concept all came together from our instrumental debut, “Deities”. We wanted an image to accompany each song, releasing one song a week over Instagram. However we thought it would be overkill to create new album art for each release. That’s where the idea sparked to break up the original album art into 15 sections, one for each release, to form the big picture. We continued to collaborate with other musicians to make these instrumental versions into actual, finished singles. After shooting a video for the first single, it just clicked. Why not use the initial sections we posted of each instrumental to tag a new profile? That way our followers could go and preview the video as well as the music.
CMF: Why did you feel that this was the best way to begin the group’s promotion?
PT: People are already glued to their phones. Everyday apps, such as Instagram, allow our followers to easily preview our upcoming releases. We innovatively utilize the tag-function to enable further exploration of our visual art and videos for each single.
CMF: You’re opening for Savoy next week. How was your group given this opportunity?
PT: I have been working my ass off to make this project come to life. Deciding that I needed to go full throttle, I quit my full-time architecture job. It became about taking every opportunity to become further involved in the local scene, whether it was selling merch, managing hospitality, booking local acts, taking event photos, producing, or handling the settlement with venues/artists at the end of shows. This gave me a full industry perspective that I could put in use when on the other, fun-side of things.
CMF: There are a lot of artists out there that are looking to get a gig such as yourself. What advice can you give to artists that are looking to do the same?
PT: First and foremost, be yourself; make music because you love it not because it is what’s “cool”. Second, create your own sound. Be authentic, innovative, and wear as many hats as you can fit. If it doesn’t fit, then find a way to make it work. Be in it for the long run, and do your homework. It is all about how bad you want it.
CMF: If you were to ask any of your biggest musical inspirations what they did to hone in their sound what would you ask them? And who would that be?
PT: It would have to be Pink Floyd. I consider them to be pioneers when it comes to having a timeless sound and image. I want to know what they struggled with before finding their signature sound, and what they would consider their perfect-imperfections within their music.
CMF: How do you plan on moving forward after this show?
PT: Purple Tokyo is in its infancy. This show is a great opportunity and stepping-stone; we are really looking forward to the response from this live show, and hope to connect with new people and grow in our fan base. Moving forward, we want to portray both a consistent image and a flexible sound to our fans. We will continue to have a new release every month until the end of the year. It is very exciting to expand on the first phase of this project and see our Instagram world collide with our live show.
In celebration of our new article series (which we will be following up with Part 2 in an interview with Savoy this weekend) and the upcoming show for Purple Tokyo and Savoy (presented by Silver Wrapper and React Presents) we are doing a surprise giveaway for two tickets for you and a guest to attend the show. In order to claim it you must Follow Savoy, Purple Tokyo, and CMF and repost the featured image with its hashtag on either Facebook or Instagram. Chances double if you post on both. So, for those over achievers here is where you can really make it happen.