On May 1st, New York City based singer/songwriter Nick Africano released his album The Butterfly Bull, a disc that pairs some of the best elements of folk and soul with superb storytelling and raw passion.
The album’s roots date back to over seven years ago and are the direct result of ideas Africano developed while studying the poetry of Federico Garía Lorca, and later composing “The Poetics of Contradiction,” his college thesis paper. Africano’s rough vocals are sometimes spoken as much as sung, in a Waits meets Dylan style, with lyrics inspired by some of the greats: Federico García Lorca, Faulkner, Joyce and Hemingway — and Sam Cooke.
SongCast recently sat down with Africano to learn more about him and his work:
Q: As an indie artist, what are some of your biggest accomplishments?
A: As an indie artist, my biggest accomplishments are first, completing The Butterfly Bull, my latest album. I had a vision for the project, convinced an investor to help finance part of the recording, and produced the album myself. And secondly, another accomplishment has been performing regularly in New York City. This is where I want to be, and am performing regularly.
Q: We see that you’ve created a series of promo videos for your upcoming album. How important do you think video content is in music and what was it that prompted you to create these videos?
A: I think music videos help express one’s music on a visual level. Videos offer a depth of tone and symbolism and also can offer more intimate views of artist’s performances. My long time friend, Filipe Bessa, was the inspiration behind these clips. I love his poetic sensibility with the camera.
Q: We see that you’re new to Twitter and new-ish to Facebook. Tell us about your social media strategy and level of interest there.
A: I was very hesitant and worried to join Twitter. I don’t like using the verb “to tweet”. It sounds so insignificant-”to tweet”-and the limitation scared me. I thought it was culturally dangerous to limit one to using less written language in a time where the written word and print is at risk of becoming obsolete. But I now use the limitation as a platform to promote a more visual mode of expression. Instead of “tweeting,” I mostly post pictures of words I’ve painted in watercolor. People expect new content all the time, and it can be overwhelming to juggle these pages and the daily discipline of writing songs.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone interested in pursing a music career?
A: Keep trying to write better songs. You eventually will. And ask for help. It’s really worth it. Believe. Believe. Believe.