Drawing together elements of indie-rock, alt-rock, art-pop, blues and a ton of other genres, Irish-Dutch multi-instrumentalist Nicolaas Walle has a unique, eclectic style. We speak with Walle about his new single ‘This Is Me Telling You’, creative processes, future plans and bad habits.
OSR: What drew you to music?
Walle: I’ve always been drawn to music and the way it makes one feel and think. I think it’s more of a cumulative effect and I don’t think I could pin it down to one specific event. I always wanted to be and do something creative and music was where my aptitude and interests lay from a very young age. After years of asking, when my parents gave me my first guitar, I was completely hooked.
OSR: What can you tell us about your single ‘This Is Me Telling You’?
Walle: Like each song on the album, it’s an attempt to fuse styles. I was trying to mix my own musical style with that of the vocalist and also package it in a way that wouldn’t be too niche and alienates people. I was trying to do something that drew on this unique mix of influences whilst being a cohesive and enjoyable whole.
OSR: Did you face any challenges when writing and recording the track?
Walle: Although it was a relatively smooth process, I feel that this was partially down to Ciara’s help with the lyrics. I would have struggled to write such engaging and catchy lyrics on my own in the same period of time, which was actually quite short.
OSR: What do you hope people take from ‘This Is Me Telling You’ and your music in general?
Walle: I hope people take a positive experience from it. That’s what I want from all my music in a general sense. I don’t want to make music that makes people unhappy. Why would I? I hope people enjoy it and that it makes them feel something good. If it makes them think or wonder, even better.
OSR: What is your creative process?
Walle: I often record as I write and write as I record. This way, things don’t get lost in my scatter-brained adventures into music. My writing process is instrumentally very improvisational as well. I also write the music before the lyrics about 95% of the time as that’s what comes most naturally to me. Lead guitar parts and solos are usually compiled together from several parts which I come up with by simply playing. I feel like playing with feeling, spontaneity and emotion is important to me and I doubt I’d get the same results without throwing myself in the deep end in terms of my playing, and if I don’t like something I can literally just record it again, but better.
OSR: Which is more challenging – lyrics or melody?
Walle: 100% lyrics.
OSR If you could change anything about the single, what would it be and why?
Walle: I wouldn’t change it. I like the way it turned out.
OSR: Do you have any bad habits? If yes, what are they?
Walle: All my habits make me who I am and it’s hard to pick them out myself when asked as I inevitably have a biased perspective but, with that said, I have atrocious handwriting and I tend to subconsciously tap rhythms on tables and other surfaces much to the annoyance of some.
OSR: If your life had a theme song, what would the song be?
Walle: ‘Sound Chaser’. A song by my favourite band, YES.
OSR: Do you have future plans as a musician?
Walle: 100%. I’m full of plans, more plans than I could realistically fit in a lifetime and inevitably some will fade away before coming to fruition, but I’ll probably have come up with hundreds more by then. That’s just my nature.