In this interview spotlight, we chat singer/songwriter and electronic music artist Enzo Sprigg about influences, the newest project (Cosmic Bipolar Nebula), navigating the digital music world, music consumption preferences and much more.
Full Q&A along with links and streams are available below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
I currently live in Los Angeles and by day I’m a video game developer. That can be very creatively demanding so I use my songwriting as an artistic counter balance to that work. It helps me stay creatively fresh. I would say my style of music is a mash up many facets of electronic music but at the center of it I’m a singer/songwriter. There are elements of electro, new wave, dark wave, and industrial all wrapped around a synthpop song approach. I love crafting songs that are melodic and catchy but also have elements that are unique and a bit out of the ordinary.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to stay the course?
Growing up I sang in bands and loved playing music with my friends. Over time though I became more interested in writing original songs and wanted to create something unique and memorable. I never seemed to find the right musical counterparts within bands though, so early on I decided to write music on my own. All my biggest heroes had gone down this path (Bowie, Gary Numan, Peter Gabriel, Bjork, Trent Reznor etc.) I figured I’d be in good company. I also write and record constantly and I didn’t want to have anyone else dictating how much I could get done. I’ve written and recorded 3 full length albums in the last 3 years and I hope to continue at that pace.
Who or what are your biggest influences when it comes to your creativity?
David Bowie is by far my biggest influence. At his center he was always about song writing and playing with different genres and that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do in my own writing. I’m very vocal centric so I’ve always loved great singers with authentic voices. Artists like Alison Goldfrapp, Bjork and Peter Gabriel come to mind. Because of that my own singing, vocal composition and lyrics are very important to me. Lastly I’m into newer artists that are pushing electronic music forward like IAMX, Chelsea Wolfe and Purity Ring. It’s easy for a lot electronic music to sound the same and these artists have a uniqueness I admire. I wish to have my own unique approach to my albums and work hard to grow with each release.
How is your new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
With the previous release “Television Graveyard” I looked for inspiration from external sources. Living in a big city like LA you see a lot going on that can inspire songs. That album was about that, i.e. the excitement, pace and sometimes isolation of living in a large city. With the new album “Cosmic Bipolar Nebula” I turned the lens inward. I wanted to write songs that reflected who I am. Of course not all the songs are about me specifically but there are strings of thought in each track that express what I believe and how I see the world. Through writing this album I expressed things I hadn’t before and that was exciting to me.
This time I also made a conscience effort to expand my musical pallette. If you listen to the full album you’ll sense elements beyond standard electronic music like Reggae, Goth, Punk and even Bossa Nova.
Do you face any challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? On the flip side, how has technology helped you (if it has)?
The biggest challenge I’ve found is just in being heard by the right audience. There is a lot of music out there so it’s hard to pin point your efforts to the right listeners who may appreciate what you’re doing. I make videos to help promote my songs but there is so much happening online that’s competing for your attention and it’s hard to rise above the static of that.
Conversely when it comes to my songwriting technology has been my greatest ally. I have a small studio in my house and it was very affordable to setup. This allows me to keep my overhead low and with the DAWs I use (mainly Propellarheads Reason) I can write, record and sequence my music whenever I am ready to get something done. I always have songs floating in my head so having my space and gear there ready to go has proven to be quite productive for me.
How do you feel about streaming services? Any romantic attachments to the physical formats: vinyl, 8-track, cassettes, CDs?
I don’t mind streaming services at all for a few key reasons. I’m at the point in my music career where I’m searching for my audience and streaming services have proven to be great for just that. Also, I don’t have bandmates to share the proceeds with and don’t have the large financial overhead that big artists have either. I self publish so I own all my publishing, songwriting and performance royalities so at the end of the day I’m fine with what I get from streaming As I said before I’m just trying to find my audience. Ultimately I write and record music for the shear joy of the process.
As for the attachments to physical formats I sort of miss them but I also remember the downside of having to buy your favorite albums, cassettes or cds over and over because of damage, loss etc. I do feel there was more respect towards the craft of music back then though. I think streaming is here to stay so there’s no point in fighting it. I think we should just try to improve it as much as possible so the artists are treated fairly since I feel people are enjoying music more than ever these days.
Where can we follow you online and hear more music?
I’m also on Spotify and many other streaming services including Soundcloud. My music is also available on Bandcamp.
Anything else before we sign off?
I think the last thing I’d say that defines me musically is my artistic background. I work on the art side of video games so being visual is something that comes natural to me. Because of this I really enjoy making videos and plan on making at least 4 new ones for this new album. I also dabble in makeup art and costume design and have used that in the past to present my songs visually. I even hand drew and animated a music video for the previous album and illustrated the album cover of this latest album. My lyrics also tend to be visual so in many ways that approach is all encompassing.
You can find all my released videos on youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpi31c8QFdru7zYGTnoU1SA