Aryk Crowder: 2×4 Vol. 1

A soulful sound like Aryk Crowder is what this music industry needs right now. Lets admit it, a lot of popular music sounds very similar these days, and unfortunately that gives fewer opportunity to some under-played talent like Crowder. Crowder is from Chicago and brings a sound most may not acknowledge in today’s trending-auto-tuned world but he has broken out of the scene as an artist who embraces the old school sound and gives the genre a reason to bloom once again.

We were fortunate enough to catch up with the former Chicagoan to give us some insight to his latest album 2×4 Vol.1 which just release on September 9.

What was the most exciting part of working on your new EP 2×4 Vol. 1? 

The most exciting part of this process was that I got to work with some of my favorite musicians who also happen to be my friends.  It was a great experience and I couldn’t have imagined a better one. This album was also partially funded by my fans through Pledge Music.  It was great to be able to connect with them on a deeper level and give them a little insight into the record making process.

Can you tell us what to expect for the second half of the two-part EP series in Volume 2 which is due to release next spring?

Volume 2 will expand more on what you’re hearing now as well as some band arrangements. In the interim, I’ll be releasing my first music video this November along with a new single.

What is your favorite track off the new EP 2×4 Vol. 1?

I can’t say I have a favorite track, but the one I gravitate towards most is “Perfect Body”.  I really enjoy playing that song live, plus I find it’s a melody that people keep in their head.

There seems to be a stillness for Soul and Rock lately, let alone a combination of both. How have you’ve been able to successfully mesh those together and who has been that inspiration to fuel your success?

There are a lot of artists that influence what I do. But at the end of the day, what comes out on tape (or in this day and age, mp3) is what’s inside of me.  The way I play and sing are what’s already in my soul.  It’s the music I hear that helps shape and organize those thoughts and emotions.  But if we’re naming names, Prince, Anthony Hamilton, Maxwell, John Mayer, Hendrix, the list goes on…

Tell us a little bit about your journey as a musician in Chicago and how it all started? 

I grew up about 60 miles outside of Chicago in a small town called Zion. There were a lot of folks doing music, lots of rock bands.  So many friends in high school were playing instruments and in bands.  With hearing my mother sing in a band when I was a kid, it was simply something I gravitated towards. To make a long story short, I simply felt I needed a bigger venue if I was to pursue music and Chicago seemed like the next step for that. I’ve been here working my grind since then.

With all the violence and craziness happening in Chicago today, many wonder how can young people still be successful while following their true dreams, especially as a musician. What advice would you like to give those aspiring artist, musicians and those big dreamers here in the city of Chicago?

Consistent persistence. “In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins- not through strength but by perseverance.” ~ H. Jackson Brown

For Fun:

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If you could escape anywhere in the world to make music, where would it be?
The Caribbean seems like it would be an amazing place to make a record.

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Favorite guitarist? 
Right now, I’m really digging on Andy McKee. Brad Paisley’s flavor really perks my ears too. 

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Favorite Soul musician?
For me, Soul is a wide term that isn’t necessarily limited to a style of R&B music.  Prince, Maxwell, Anthony Hamilton, and Stevie Wonder are a few who are in constant rotation on my playlists. 

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Favorite part of town in Chicago? 
Any part where the food is good, so… nearly everywhere! This city is too amazing to have a favorite part. 

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Favorite Chicago team?
I’m really into boxing and there’s no hometown fighter in the pros that I’m aware of.

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One song you could listen to on repeat?
C’mon now, that’s like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. 

Buy Aryk Crowder’s new album 2×4 Vol. 1 here.

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