Vancouver born Singer/Songwriter Ephram, along with his long time writing partner Johnny Séguin together, are creating some really excellent music. Growing up in a highly musical family, it wasn’t long before Ephram’s own singing and performing talents began to show. With the release of his latest singles ‘Mary Jane’ and ‘The Nines’, Ephram takes his generation on a musical ride back to the infectious “disco” dance craze. After releasing a few well-received singles, recently started a kick-starter project for his new album marking the beginning of his freshmen album. We sat down with Ephram, only 20 years old, to figure why and how he ended up choosing disco as the primary genre for this album.
Lotusland: When we listened to the music, we noticed the particularly high quality of the production. How did you get involved with a pretty professional level recording process?
Ephram: Well I was writing songs throughout high school, but I only started getting serious about it in grade 11 or 12. So what happened was I had these songs that I had written, and the summer after I graduated I took them to the music teacher at my old high school, Johnny Seguin. The guy’s a fabulous musician. So I came to him and told him that I had been working on some music and I’d like to pay him to chart it for me, but little did I know at this point that our writing partnership had just begun. Later on I met this guy named Jesus Parlange (a local producer) and told him about the EP I was working on explaining that I was looking for a producer to go into the studio with to help me out with this EP. He agreed to help out, and so together Johnny, Jesus and I went into the studio and recorded the tracks, and then released them to the public for free.
Now during the summer of 2013 Daft Punk came out with the album Random Access Memories, which ended up having a pretty huge impact on me. I actually remember the first time I heard the song “Get Lucky”. It grabbed me like nothing else I had heard on the radio. Something about the style of music really spoke to me, I mean I love 1970’s dance music, it had so much soul and and such fantastic production, it really has become my favourite era.
So influenced by the music, Johnny and I began writing and producing new music that followed along that genre. A little while after I met another producer by the name of Michael Fraser, and I showed him what Johnny and I had been working on, impressed by the work we had done he jumped on board and after months of hard work we produced the songs “Mary Jane” and “The Nines” and released them in the summer of 2014. So I guess to answer your question it would be that I had really talented people working with me and helping me out, to make that high quality of production that you hear.
When you listen to your music, it’s easy to tie in some of those conventional influences rooted in the era like James Brown, but then there’s the best of Bruno Mars sound that comes through that couldn’t be from that period. And there are definitely elements of pop.
Well we wanted something that could capture the feeling of the era, but also have a more modern feel as well.
You do live instrumentation. What is the reasoning behind that?
I believe that live quality is very important, so no matter what style track were writing or producing, I try to make sure that about 50% of the instrumentation is live, even if its a electronic based sound were going for.
Yeah, on your single Mary Jane you have violin, guitar, horns, and even back up vocals.
Well its funny because that track started out really electronic, but after breaking it down to its bare bones, the hook sort of just came to me, and we rebuilt the track based on that, ending up with that great disco feel.
Do you find it hard to book shows in Vancouver?
In my opinion the live music scene in Vancouver is very lacking. I mean at places like the FanClub or Joe’s Apartment you can usually see a pretty good live show. But when it comes to a lot of the clubs in downtown on a Friday or Saturday night. they would rather have a DJ on stage that can play a 2-hour set.
And it’s cheaper.
Yeah, so my show incorporates a DJ aspect for easy mobility and setup, but it still has that live performance feel to it which is singing to the tracks on stage. I mean ideally somewhere down the road I’d like to have a live band on stage with me, however this concept allows me to be very mobile with my show. So no matter wherever the venue is, if they have a microphone a PA system and a stage I’m good to go.
With regards to all the different challenging factors that are involved in becoming a musician, why did you really finalize that decision to avidly pursue music?
Well for me I’ve always been a performer/entertainer, and throughout my life music was one of those things that really stuck with me, but I think that I always new that in some part of me, music was what I wanted to do as a career, I really truly love it.
And catch up with him at these upcoming shows:
Jan. 30th @ aura nightclub
Feb. 11th @ Belmont Bar
Feb. 27th @ Joe’s Apartment