When a musician manages the rare feat of successfully composing in two different genres, it’s hailed as a crossover success. Where many musicians have carved out entire careers comfortably composing in one or occasionally two genres, Solo Goodspeed (composing under the name Schizo-Brainiac) comes along and makes them all look like slackers. This is a guy who seamlessly switches from pop to jazz to rock to classical, sometimes all within a few measures, and still manages to prolifically produce cohesive and very listenable music, and people on SoundCloud are noticing. We caught up with Solo to ask him a few questions about how he does what he does.
Hello Solo! I’m sure this question is a tough one for a musician like yourself who spans so many genres. How do you try to describe your music to somebody who’s never heard it?
Your bio describes you as not just a music programmer, but a graphic artist and a video editor. How much of your time do you spend doing each of these things?
It looks like the work you have up on Soundcloud is very much a solo project. Have you collaborated with other musicians before? Is that difficult for somebody who jumps so readily between musical styles?
Would you mind telling me about one of your favorite projects or sets that you’ve put out on SoundCloud?
If I could narrow it down to one track, that would probably be Delirium Trimmings, it’s gotten some gratifying responses in its time, and is reasonably representative of my higher energy stuff.
Delirium Trimmings by SchizoBrainiac
The set I would choose is Economical Stimulants (which contains Delirium Trimmings), a more palatable collection of original instrumentals and the first one everybody sees when they visit my profile. There are 8 sets total: the one I just mentioned, a Classical/Symphonic style set, an edgy experimental set, a small set of jazz fusion tracks, a New Age/Ambient set, a set of vocal originals, a set of cover songs, and a variety collection titled A Revised History Of The Future. That last one would be my second choice as a set.
A Revised History of the Future by SchizoBrainiac
You’ve described your music as being in the “Soundtrack” genre. Just for kicks, what kind of production do you imagine your music provides the soundtrack for?
Do you upload most of your musical output to your Soundcloud page, or do you choose only some subset?
How has Soundcloud helped you? Do you engage much with the community, and are you able to use your Soundcloud page as a showcase for your music?
Beyond a doubt, SoundCloud has connected me with listeners I don’t believe I could have found otherwise. Since I don’t do mainstream, genre-specific music, and I don’t solicit it all that aggressively (that could change in the near future), and all the musicians I used to know have moved on to other things, I haven’t gotten anything in the way of helpful listener feedback in my immediate social circle. I’ve found more adventurous listeners on SoundCloud, as well as fellow musicians aiming higher than the dance floor, whose responses to my work have been so encouraging I honestly believe it has directly impacted my productivity. So in that sense, definitely helpful. There are a couple of musicians I correspond with regularly, and we have participated in each others’ projects, first time I’ve done anything like that online. I also moderate five groups consisting largely of artists I’ve personally invited for both quality and variance, which is a bit like doing A&R for a label…. except in this case, doing it for a preferred genre.
I do see SoundCloud as a potential showcase for my work, and in a way it’s helped me find a better focus with all the directions I go in, so I can define myself better to potential collaborators, sponsors, managers, whomever might assist in finding what real world potential the product may have. Right now my profile page provides a fairly comprehensive portfolio, organized into different albums for each classification my stuff falls into, starting with what I feel is the strongest, most accessible original work, some lofty artsy stuff, some truly twisted experimentation, and ending with a variety pack for those who feel they can go all directions in one sitting.
Many thanks to Solo for taking the time out to provide some insight and some wonderful music. If you haven’t done so already, it’s definitely worthwhile to follow him give his tracks a listen!