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A Dirty Dozen with RIVER SULTAN – October 2020

| 3 October 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “When you enter the mystical world of River Sultan, you’re immediately transported to the Middle East as you meander down the river Nile in a vessel filled with atmospheric tones and transcendent sounds steeped in rich color.  Opulent layers of delicate textures fill the sonic space with a tapestry of synthesizers, drum machines, guitars, bass, and piano blending together to softly cradle Sultan’s gentle vocals. River Sultan creates music as a means to tell stories that intertwine the human experience at the center where east meets west.  He’ll release “Falling Out Of Time,” a song that he wrote, performed and self-produced, on October 9.” We get River to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

Photo Credit: Victoria Smith and Keeley Cori King

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

“Falling Out of Time” is my second single to be released on Oct 9, 2020. It’s about a fear that I overcame, which revolved around the idea that I was “too old” or it was “too late” for me to pursue a career in music. The beat has elements that are inspired rhythms from the Arabian Gulf.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I’ve always heard melodies in my head, and after hearing Dark Side Of The Moon at the age of 10, specifically the guitar solo in “Time.”  It made me realize that perhaps David Gilmour hears those sounds like I do. And if I got a guitar I would be able to translate them. I never thought these melodies I heard had a purpose until that point.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Thom Yorke of Radiohead.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Thom Yorke, Pink Floyd, Abel Halim Haviz, Um Kulthoum, and David Bowie.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Thom Yorke, He is my kind of “weird.”  I relate to his music and process immensely.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Emotional, deep, ethereal, experimental, effeminate. Everyone hears differently, so different opinions never bothered me.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I’m a solo artist.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

David Gilmour live at the Forum in 2016.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The ability to have an outlet for my pain and translate it into something progressive If I could no longer be a musician, I would be an actor.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

“If you could give advice to a young artist, what would it be?” In which I would answer: Be yourself, trust your choices and don’t pay mind what any to others think. I just started releasing songs and being interviewed, so this one of my first… I’m not sick of any of them just yet.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I wouldn’t change a thing. Regret is boring and does nothing for the process.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

The Velvet Underground’s Peel Slowly and See. I love the curation of the record in its versatility. Every song on that record is different, and powerful in its own realm.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

In all honesty, nothing changed for me! I was isolated making music before and after because I was taking care of my mentally ill brother which required full time attention aside from getting to work on music in my studio at home.



Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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