I met up in a coffee shop one morning with newly signed SONY artist A-Sho (Adam Shomer). The dance-pop Montreal artist spoke with us about his debut single Feel Something, acapella groups, the hardships of being an independent artist trying to make it and much more!
How did you start making music?
My mom was a singer so she kind of instilled the music bug within me at an early age. I did a couple hip-hop groups in high school, listened to a lot of r&b and soul music growing up, but I’d say I really engaged in music in university. I joined an acapella group, I don’t know if you saw Pitch Perfect?
Yeah, of course!
Yeah ,so that whole acapella culture is a very real thing in the States and that’s exactly how it is and its super over the top, out-going and competitive. Its insane, there’s a super intense competition for all the schools. It was really cool, I learned how to write music there and how to sing and perform and that’s what gave me my base. From there I started writing my own music and I would find beats online and record my vocals on top and send my vocals out to EDM producers. One thing lead to another and I had a couple releases on some major dance labels in Europe and I was lucky enough to meet the good people at Sony. Things clicked and that leads us to my single I guess.
Awesome, so you just learned how to sing and do your falsetto?
I’d say the falsetto was inspired by a lot of the r&b I listened to growing up. In terms of just understanding vocal range and melodies and harmonies and stuff like that, that definitely came from the acapella group but I don’t know how the falsetto came. Honestly, when you do something enough, you repeatedly do something over and over again you kind of get good at it. I was like ‘I wanna sound like Miguel, I wanna sound like The Weeknd’ so I practised a lot and I got to a point where it worked.
Why this genre of music?
I guess the genre is dance pop you can call it with a bit of an r&b vocal vibe. I took dance because that’s what influenced me and that’s how I got my start in the industry really, but also Montreal is a bit of a dance hub. I wanted to keep some of that flare in my music. You heard of Kaytranada? Its a bit of a Kaytranada-esque vibe I guess.
You’re with Sony now and you’re first single came out, how is that whole vibe of being with a major label and releasing new music?
Its unreal, surreal even. When you’re an independent artist starting off you don’t know how to start really, you don’t know where to go and how you’re gonna do it so you waste a lot of money, give a lot of money to a lot of different people who tell you a lot of stuff and whatever and usually it takes a long time. I invested a lot of money and time, you have to treat it as a business and then yeah, now i’m super excited to have a team that’s excited and supportive and ready to work as hard as me at releasing music. I’m super excited about it!
Tell me a bit about Feel Something
Okay, so first of all I wrote it with a producer and DJ here in Montreal, his name is David A, he’s super talented so shout out to him. But the songwriting process; I came up with the hook first. I was really inspired by the fact that we live in a weird time right now where social media is dominant and we live our lives behind these screens and sometimes its a little numbing. And sometimes we use Tinder to hook, like its kinda gross and its just this lack of human connection.
So, I wanted to make a song about human connection and I brought it to David A, he hopped on the keys and we wrote the structure out and then one thing lead to another. I ended up making the verses like a really raw conversation between me and a girl. The whole point of that was that I feel like we live in a time where there’s a lack of conversation and an Instagram notification is more important then a face to face conversation and thats pretty much what inspired the song. In terms of production we wanted to keep that Montreal dance vibe and have a little bit of house, a little bit of funk, a groove. That’s pretty much it about the song.
What does your music mean to you or what do you want it to mean to others?
Wow, we’re getting deep in this coffee shop on this Tuesday morning! I think in any good song there's usually a story in the lyrics and I think the more layers you can put in your song, in the lyrics, melody and story you’re trying to tell, the more people are going to connect with it. The deeper people will dig into the song and you as an artist and into your world. I guess the goal is to have people, this is going to sound super cheesy, but have people feel something, to have people connect.
You mentioned a couple artists before but what are some artists that inspire you the most?
I'd say, honestly its been like Usher, Michael Jackson, The Weeknd and Miguel. Those are the four artists that have inspired me just from the stage presence point of view, the lyrics, the stories. The grittiness and raw feeling you feel when listening to a Weeknd track, you know you get goosebumps like 'damn'. I just want to have that effect, I want to convey a raw message and authentic message in my music.
What’s something about Montreal that inspires you and your music?
Good question. I think the nightlife! There’s a vibe here when you’re out. The DJ’s here have a really great palette, great taste. Whenever you’re out you’re hearing really groovy house music, sexy music and thats the kind of music I want people to listen to. I definitely want to bring that vibe into my music. I think there’s something really special here in Montreal, whereas you’ll go to a club in the States and its always hip-hop, trap and you come here and you hear more dance stuff.
One thing you want to accomplish?
I want to travel, you know get out there and play some shows in different countries. I think the real goal though is to use my music as a platform to promote human connection and peace, love, positivity and just use my platform to tell a story and provide an escape for people, for whoever needs it.
Listen to Feel Something HERE