When did you realize that you wanted to be a musician?
I grew up with great music, in the sixties and seventies. I loved it! I loved it all. From Rock to Motown, music made me feel so good. I wanted to be the music. The answer, every moment of my childhood.
Can you talk about the first project you made as a professional musician?
I would have to say, it was a song I recorded in a studio in my hometown of Evanston, Illinois. It was a new studio opened and operated by veteran recording engineer, Jim Reeves. He had just relocated after working many years in New York. I’ll never forget that moment when I heard my own voice coming through the headphones. It makes a difference when you sing through a ten G Neumann microphone. It was the most incredible experience. I was recording a song I wrote “Angels, Roses, and Stars”. The sound of my classical guitar was like never before. So nicely eq’d. with the perfect amount of reverb. I learned the art of harmonizing ooh’s and ahhh’s with steady crescendos. After the recording session, Jim showed an impromptu video he made during a recording session the week before. It was PJ Harvey and band trapsing through the studio. They left a nice vibe.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a musician?
It was getting people to listen. Trying to get people to take me seriously. Getting your stuff out there to a vast audience is truly the hardest thing. I could have said rejection, but I came to realize it to be a tool. It’s what polishes you and makes you better.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a musician?
Just doing what I love to do and while doing it, making people feel good. It keeps me going and gives me life. Artistry is a part of the formula in the Fountain Of Youth. But I must add, I have made acquaintances from around the world. Some really, awesome people. And when you can give these souls something that brings them up, I can think of none greater.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I think of so many artists that inspire me and it’s endless. From Jimi Hendrix to Bach. Many artists leave an impression on me, but the one who inspired me is my late sister Carol. As her younger brother, I was blown away by the albums she brought home. She worked very hard to be able to buy these records while being a student in high school. But it was amazing. I think she bought Just about every Motown 45 that came out. She was listening to Led Zeppelin before anyone ever heard of them. There was no doubt in my mind that this is what brought me to my passion. She had such great taste in music, that it inspired me.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
I would say it would be working with both Dave Gahan and David Gilmore. Singing with Dave and indulging in a guitar vibe with David. But I must admit, who wouldn’t want to sing with Lady Gaga? Oh, and I have to mention the artist Her. She is amazing!
What project has been your favorite?
A Deeper Space is my favorite, in that I really found my voice and my sound. My music can be very diverse and transcend genres, but it is important to have focus and this tune embodies what I’m trying to express.
What advice would you give to someone who is fighting to be a musician right now?
I love this question. It gives me a chance to share some valuable wisdom with those that thirst. Well, as you may know, Rome was not built in a day. No one is an overnight success, but some faster than others. Do you need to be a guitar shredder? No, but there is nothing wrong with going for it. It is important you create and continue to create, over and over, again. If you write lyrics, write something every day. Work on your chops, whatever they might be. For those that sing, vocal exercises are an absolute must. That is your athletic workout. Don’t strain your vocal cords. Find your voice. It must be most natural. Always sing from the diaphragm. Be patient! Do not ever become too discouraged. We all get discouraged. Share your music with your friends that care about you and what you are doing. Of the platforms available, TikTok and Instagram seem to offer the best opportunities of getting yourself out there. Just remember, rejection is part of the process. It is what makes you better and not a reason to quit. Le Mystique started out at Reverbnation. It took four hundred and twelve submissions before I got a bite. Most importantly, do not worry about other artists competing with you. Think along the lines of “This is me and this is the thing that I do”. Be you! That is being true to your brand. Your brand is you!
What do you have in store for us this year?
I’m going to come out with an Alt rock EP, that will embody everything that I have learned and experienced since day one. I have found a vast amount of material and ideas that do not work, so I am leaving that out of the mix. My next one will be eclectic, mesmerizing, and soulful. It will have a groove that charms the soul and drives the spirit. And most importantly, in the spirit of Le Mystique, will have a positive theme.
Le Mystique's newest album Total Reset is available on all platforms now!