fbpx

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Heart-to-heart with LEFT.: The Child Melophile turned Storyteller

In the vibrant landscape of indie music, artists often find themselves on a unique journey, navigating through creative territories as diverse as the sounds they produce.

Today, we have the pleasure of delving into the personal and professional odyssey of LEFT., born António Graça, a multifaceted musician whose passion for music was ignited at a tender age and then propelled him into a path of innovation and self-discovery.

LEFT.: The Child Melophile turned Storyteller

LEFT.
LEFT.

Let’s get personal…

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in music?

Music has always been present in my childhood years, as my father tried very hard to make me and my sister early melophiles. He introduced us to multiple genres of music, and the interest just grew through the years. When I was 12, I got my first guitar and, at 13, I started playing with FL Studio. The rest is history.

What inspired you to pursue a career as an indie artist?

I released my first song in 2013, “Antony Left,” and it got a lot of positive feedback, especially online and among the indie-folk community. That made me very invested in pursuing the dream of releasing music and living off my art.

Musical Journey

How would you describe your musical style and the themes you explore in your music?

It is one of the hardest things to do, define myself. I really wish we get to a point in art where genre stops being a relevant means of identification. I take from R&B, Folk, Pop, Rap, Electronic, Emo, and other elements to create music.

Other than that I would say my music is quirky, pop in structure, but very nuanced in production and storytelling.

Can you share a bit about your artistic journey, from your early works to your most recent projects?

My music has varied greatly, but I can say for sure that I’ve traveled from a more simplified approach to music to a more processed and more intricate production.; although now I’m feeling gravity is pulling me to simplify again.

Songwriting Process

What does your songwriting process look like? How do you typically come up with lyrics and melodies?

I normally find an instrumental base to work on, either with guitar/piano or production. Then I normally hum melodies until I get to a point where I feel I found something musically enticing.

Are there specific themes or experiences that consistently inspire your songwriting?

I would say self-love/self-acceptance. It’s a big theme for me. That and love, of course.

Influences

Who are your musical influences, both within and outside your genre?

Ben Howard, Joji, The Japanese House, Bon Iver, Gorillaz, Ryan Beatty, to name a few.

How have these influences shaped your music, and do you actively seek out new inspirations?

Songwriting mostly, but also sound. I use a lot ‘Discover Weekly’ on Spotify and find a lot of amazing music there.

Indie Music Scene

LEFT.
LEFT.

What do you find most rewarding about being an indie artist in today’s music scene?

It’s very freeing to be an indie artist. Although it takes longer to get to certain places, it provides me with time and space to think about how I want to manage my career. It also allows me to manage my finances better.

What challenges have you faced as an independent artist, and how do you navigate them?

Certain people and contacts are harder to make with no label. There is also a stigma about independent artists: they don’t have money or they are not successful.

Recording and Production

Can you walk us through your recording and production process?

It’s normally a one-man show. I plug in my UAD, my mic, and my MIDI controller, and it’s go time. I use mostly my voice to shape my ideas, and that’s how my songs quickly gain a very specific identity since no one else has my voice.

How do you approach the creative and technical aspects of your music production?

I prefer to start on a full-on creativity mode, and then progressively get more technical with my productions. I hate wasting time listening to a synth layer over and over to make it sound perfect, if I don’t have any structure for the song yet, it just makes me tired of the song. So I really try to maintain the focus on the bigger picture and not on technical details.

Collaborations

Have you collaborated with other artists, and if so, how did those experiences influence your music?

Collaboration is a big part of my career, especially through my Lisbon collective, Avalanche. The purpose of the collective is to release music with 3 or more artists per song. Collaboration has impacted me a lot, it’s my favorite way of learning and sharing knowledge.

Is there a dream collaboration you would love to pursue in the future?

Yes, there are a few of course: Ethan Gruska, Bon Iver, Joji.

Performance and Live Shows

How does performing live compare to the studio recording experience for you?

It’s scarier, for sure. But also incredible. It’s when you see your audience, it’s no longer an abstract conversation and it becomes a palpable exchange between you and your fans. I love it.

Do you have any memorable or unique experiences from your live shows?

My solo loop station gigs are probably the most memorable because they involve a lot of improvisation, so they are different every time.

Challenges and Achievements

 What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your music career, and how did you overcome them?

Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated, especially when I’m involved in so many areas of the industry: producing, writing for others, and my own art. It’s hard to keep focus and look at the long term. When this happens I just remind myself of how lucky I am for living off my art and to be able to enjoy the ride.

Can you share a moment in your career that you consider a significant triumph?

Releasing my albums, playing them live, producing for big artists in Portugal, and waking up every day.

Advice for Aspiring Indie Artists

What advice would you give to aspiring indie artists who are just starting their musical journey?

Start releasing music as soon as possible. That will allow you to get over the fear of judgment, and to look back on your work and improve it. If you release music consistently for a period of time, it can only get better and get better results.

Is there anything you wish you had known when you first started as an indie artist?

Follow your gut, other’s opinions are not that important. Focus on getting your sound, that’s how you add value to the world, by giving it your sauce.

LEFT. is a true testament to the power of perseverance and authenticity in the realm of music. From the humble beginnings of childhood melodies to the present-day tapestry of eclectic sounds, his journey embodies the essence of artistic exploration and individual expression. Something he makes very clear in his latest release, “ANTÓNIO“.

A storyteller, a dreamer, and an inspiration to all those who dare to chase their passion against the backdrop of uncertainty.

Be the first to receive updates
on our blog content