[Creative Fridays] #20: Gabriel Lynch

I first met the amazing singer-songwriter Gabriel Lynch via our mutual friend Froya. At that time Gabriel was still based in Australia and wanted to do a Kuala Lumpur tour. We connected and then Yin and I organised a music workshop for Gabriel at International College of Music in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Since then, we’ve kept in touch and some time ago, Gabriel relocated to Malaysia. We’ve performed together twice and I’m a fan of his music. I’m so delighted to have him be a part of this week’s Creative Fridays.

Let’s learn more about Mr. Gabriel Lynch!

Australian singer-songwriter, Gabriel Lynch has spent much of his adult life travelling and wowing audiences across Asia, Europe and his own home turf with his breathtaking live performances. With his powerful command of the stage, he can incite a pin-drop silence as quickly and effortlessly as he can instigate a soaring, cathartic singalong.
And now for the interview! 🙂

1. What’s your latest project?

Over the last two months, I’ve released two singles to Spotify/iTunes/all the regular suspects. “TRIPPING WIRE” and “Love Can Conquer Anything”. There’ll be plenty more to come too for anybody following me on those platforms.I’ve also got two YouTube series people can check out. “A Bit About…” is a Vlog where I talk about anything and everything that I find interesting or funny. Sometimes I tackle a subject, sometimes I recount a story. It’s all just for a bit of fun.”Single Shot Songs” is a new series of musical collaborations filmed with a single roving camera. Expect a mix of originals and covers with each video showcasing some of my favourite musicians (both locally in Malaysia, as well as abroad).

2. What inspires your music?
I get inspiration from almost everything. Whether it’s a place I’ve visited, somebody I’ve met or a smell I encountered on the way to work in the morning, everything we stumble upon is – in some way – its own self-contained story. To me, music is just glorified storytelling. I love the challenge of using the facilities available to us – lyrics, harmony, rhythm – to try and capture these stories in a unique way. I also think this is one of the fundamental reasons people listen to music; to feel a connection to somebody else over a shared experience. Whether that experience was a bad break up, a fun holiday or some other life event, it is always comforting to hear an artist perform a song that tackles a similar experience. It makes us feel less alone.

3. What’s your 5 Desert Island Albums?

1. Ben Folds – Songs For Silverman

A lot of people prefer his old Ben Folds Five records. But for me, this is a songwriting tour de force. The tone of the album is a little more serious overall than his previous outings, but the storytelling is infallible and the arrangements are those of a master craftsmen. Simple, beautiful, piano-centric pop.

2. Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid

This album is inspiring for so many reasons. Musically, it is stunning. Guy Garvey has one of the most distinctive male voices on the planet and it simply soars from start to finish. This album – in particular the song, “One Day Like This” – is what broke the band out into the mainstream. Here’s the thing, though, this was their fourth album over a career that had spanned more than a decade. They’d been picked up and dropped by labels, they’d grown a loyal cult following… But this blew them up. Let that be a lesson to all of us fickle musicians… Don’t give up!

3. Radiohead – OK Computer

I have to include this. After having really studied the ever-loving hell out of this album (presumably listening to it well over 1000 times), I don’t think I could ever listen to it again. But when I heard this record at age 12 for the first time, it changed everything. Rock and roll was so much more than four chords on a guitar. It could be a symphony (check out “Paranoid Android”). It could be a lullaby (“No Surprises”). OK Computer was everything a kid in the 90s who wanted to write songs ever needed to hear.

4. Dan Croll – Sweet Disarray

A relatively recent release compared to the others on this list. But Dan Croll is a hero to me. A multi-instrumentalist who writes brilliant indie pop covering a broad spectrum of sounds. He is the definition of a modern songwriter and arranger. Listening to his songs, I often hear an acknowledgement of what has come before, as well as the sound of somebody embracing all the wonderful new toys and facilities we have to play with in this current age of music production. Brilliant.

5. Eels – Daisies of the Galaxy

It’s hard to describe this record in any way that does it justice. Mark Oliver Everett (or “E”) is one of the most prolific musicians out there. His output is at times heartrending, at others humorous, but always sincere. I think he just understands the human condition better than most others out there. This album has some of the most beautifully sad and harrowingly hopeful material I’ve ever heard. And it’s all delivered with an almost childlike playfulness without ever coming across as dishonest. I cannot recommend this album enough.

4. Who’s one artist/musician that you love but most people probably don’t know of?
Little Barrie.

Vintage sounds, funky tunes, good times all around. I love these guys for one simple reason: The music is fun. We’re allowed to have fun sometimes playing music. Sometimes we singer songwriters like to spend too long loitering in the ballad badlands. I love expressive introspective music as much as the next acoustic guitar player, but Little Barrie knows how to make you feel good. They got some attention in the last few years after they contributed the opening song for the Breaking Bad spin-off, Better Call Saul. But for me, it’s all about that self-titled first record of theirs.

5. What’s an advice you wish someone told you when you started in the arts?

All the cliches. “Don’t expect to get famous”, “Don’t expect to make money”, “Don’t expect to be anything other than miserable in every single capacity except for the small amounts of nourishment that your craft in and of itself may provide you if you’re lucky”

I think basically, the idea is this: if you have any other calling in life, or any remote interest in something other than the art you’re pursuing, do that other thing instead. Seriously. Being a musician mostly sucks. Mostly. You have to really be in it for those tiny, fleeting moments of satisfaction. They are, honestly, few and far between.

6. As a singer-songwriter and now Vlogger too, what has been your biggest challenge in your work? How did you overcome it? 

Forgiving myself for my failures. I have put out so much terrible music and content over the years. I’ve blown opportunities because I was out of shape, drunk, unprepared or simply incapable. I’ve promoted shows that, looking back, I am ashamed I ever played.

How did I overcome all of that? Easy. Never stop. So that one record I released a few years back is truly terrible. So what? I’m working on my next one! The tour I organised was a failure and nobody came to see me play? So what? I’m going to tour somewhere new next year!

You can’t spend too long looking back. It’s nice to do sometimes. But creators only truly go crazy if ever we stop creating.

7. How do we reach you?
Instagram: glynchmusic
Twitter: @glynchmusic

Thank you for reading this week’s instalment of #AzCreativeFridays. Please do check out the past interviews (18 so far) and come back next week for the next one with jazz guitarist & educator Rizaltony. Till next time! 🙂

Read the recent [Creative Fridays] interview:
[Creative Fridays] #14 : Taylor Roberts
7-String Solo Guitarist

[Creative Fridays] #15: Dylan Lee

[Creative Fridays] #16: Scott Murphy
Saxophonist and Composer

[Creative Fridays] #17: Nisa Addina

[Creative Fridays] #18: Jake Shimabukuro
Ukulele Virtuoso

[Creative Fridays] #19: Jared Sims
Jazz Saxophonist

[Creative Fridays] #20: Gabriel Lynch

Next Friday:
[Creative Fridays] #21: Rizal Tony
Jazz Guitarist and Educator
Coming up August 24 2018

[About Creative Fridays]

The original Creative Fridays was an interview series I did back in 2012. Published on my website, www.azsamad.com, it explored the musical influences of various musicians from all over the world. Relaunching this now in 2018, there are some cool add-ons. For a super obvious one, we’ve now added Spotify and YouTube links whenever possible for the Desert Island Albums list.

This to me is amazing because you can actually immediately listen to the recommended albums. Coming from a generation that used to make trips to the record store to check out new music, it still boggles my mind that we can immediately listen to the records that is recommended here. Imagine if you listened to the 5 suggested albums – how much could you learn from it?

Also, in addition to the original questions from the series, I’ve added a new question into the mix asking about the biggest challenge each individual has faced in their work. I’ve found that we all can benefit by learning from one another. Let’s share and grow together!

If you know a musician who you think could be a good fit to be featured in Creative Fridays, please contact me with your ideas. The focus is in diversity for music, cultural background, geography, age and experience. It doesn’t matter where you are around the world, if you’re a creative making interesting music on an interesting journey and have something to share, please reach out to me. Please do note, due to this being a weekly series, the interview may be featured later in the year depending scheduling.

Thank you! 🙂

[The Original Series]
Season 1: Every week for 13 weeks, published from Feb 2012 to April 2012.

[Creative Fridays] #1  : Kevin Broken Scar
(Melbourne Singer-Songwriter/Sound Engineer)

[Creative Fridays] #2  : Deborah Crooks
(SF Bay Area Singer-Songwriter)

[Creative Fridays] #3  : Dylan Kay
(UK/Auckland Jazz Guitarist)

[Creative Fridays] #4  : Azmyl Yunor
(Malaysian Singer-Songwriter/College Lecturer)

[Creative Fridays] #5  : Gustavo Assis-Brasil
(Boston Jazz Guitarist/Educator)

[Creative Fridays] #6  : TragiComedy
(Malaysian Singer-Songwriter)

[Creative Fridays] #7  : Candelaria
(Oakland Cumbia-Dub Band)

[Creative Fridays] #8  : Pete Teo
(Malaysian Singer-Songwriter/Filmmaker)

[Creative Fridays] #9  : Lori McKinney
(West Virginia Bandleader/Festival Organizer)

[Creative Fridays] #10: Helen Sherrah-Davies
(UK/Boston Violinist-Composer & Berklee faculty)

[Creative Fridays] #11: Adam Everett
(SF Bay Area Drummer-Composer)

[Creative Fridays] #12: Julian Chan
(Malaysian Jazz Saxophonist)

[Creative Fridays] #13: Sharon Chong
(Malaysian Keyboardist and Vocalist]

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