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Enter the fascinating universe of Soularflair!

Adam Mannering AKA Soularflair first signed with Blue Pie Records in 2005, and over the years he has fostered a mutually beneficial and avid supporting relationship with our label. Ever since we met him, we’ve been adamant fans of Adam’s work, as he shows the world his skill in numerous musical genres and fields, including Industrial, Avant Garde, Electronica, Ambient, Soundtrack, and many more.

Soularflair always struggled to find his place in the music landscape until recently, thanks in a huge part to Spotify, Youtube Red, and the advent of playlisting. This renaissance of how we consume multimedia has allowed many talented artists who were once drowned out by industry giants to have their shot at getting recognised for their skills. Fans all over the world have been listening to his high-quality works, mostly through Youtube and Youtube Red. In the last 18 months, Adam gathered over 750,000 streams across his catalogue, and he is finally penetrating the European market, and creating a new market of his own!

Adam’s popularity is well-deserved, due to his incredible host of talents, and due to this, he is snowballing into a rather desirable and noteworthy figure for artists in the industry to collude with. He recently completed a video for one of our artists Danny Vash! Check out the amazing visual effects that Soularflair contributed to the video… his talents aren’t limited to creating music!

Note the man’s complete and total understanding of both musical mood and how it should be rendered visually… Now it’s simply a matter of time before the film world comes knocking on his door! But surely the advent of the playlisting world wasn’t the only factor? Most certainly not- the Blue Pie license team put together an incredible collection of Adam’s best sound cues designed for film soundtracks into the album series “Stuck In The Q”. Listen to the dark ambience and tangible aura of these cues… imagine them paired with film or game footage! THAT is where Adam was aiming when he constructed these.

This anthology of cues, sound beds, and ethereal soundscapes was uploaded in album form to various platforms such as Youtube with a goal in mind- people consume content through streaming services, and through looking up music on Youtube. Samples of the sonic bliss were distributed to the platforms, and Stuck In The Q Vol. 8 has skyrocketed to huge success on Spotify as a result! The Blue Pie license team have constructed several more playlists for your listening pleasure, and these will be distributed to Spotify shortly, so stay tuned!

But is that all there is to Soularflair? Definitely not- his music has heart, and has a core doctrine which it lives by. Read Soularflair’s creative statement below in order to peek into his brilliant mind!

‘SOULARFLAIR is the vehicle through which I communicate creatively via language, which transcends the limited nature of words.  Not limited by genre, I have composed songs in the vein of progressive rock, metal, classical, experimental, soundtrack, and electronica. I see no reason to place limitations on my creations and so will freely continue to explore genres or make my own as I see fit.

Ideally, in listening to my music, I wish to help people transcend the every day.  I believe I can affect some individuals deeply with it, and that this could potentially affect the world in a positive way. At the very least I want to show that there is an alternative to the norm. I have a strong anti-conservative/non-conformist nature, and believe radical change is necessary to make the world a better place.  I embody this conviction in my compositions. I have a saying – “Mediocrity is cancer”.  The vast, sprawling middle ground of mediocrity is not where the best art comes from.  It comes from pain, frustration, mania, confusion, delirium, ecstasy and chaos. The most interesting human behaviour comes when humans are pushed to their extremes.  I personally believe that the best art does not come from well-adjusted, balanced and happy individuals but from people who are depressed, f**ked up on drugs or going through great adversity. As perverse as it sounds, I am concerned about becoming too happy as an individual, lest my art suffer.

I do not write songs about petty subject matter. For some reason I am constantly drawn to the “dark side”.  Minor progressions, in particular, resonate within me – they just feel right, as if they were my children, whereas the major feels alien. Many popular artists explore this side of things anyway.  I have a strong attraction to odd timings such as 6/8 and 7/8.  Standard 4/4 is overused and bores me.  I often have multiple layers to my music, and it has a lot of depth – this also applies to the subject matter when lyrics are present, or meaning implied via song titles. I would describe my music as “intense”, “passionate”, “deep”,  “cathartic”,  “profound”, and sometimes “brutal” and “chaotic”.  Soularflair music reflects the complexity of life.

I often write songs when I am inspired by something, such as a book I’ve read. I wrote a song called “The Death Of Forever” after reading a book of the same name, to attempt to capture the drama and intensity that I found in that book. Also, I have ideas that I just feel a compulsion to explore. Whether this is a concept, or a desire to, for instance, utilise a new timing or melodic structure, just for the sake of my own amusement. I freely admit to being somewhat of a snob musically, and this mostly stems from my aversion to the commercialisation of music. This music takes what I call the easy option – it uses a formula to get people to think they can relate to the song.  It doesn’t take risks, it favours saccharine sweetness over real substance, and it is essentially forgotten when the next “big thing” comes along. I avoid and challenge this with my own compositions.

I wish to explore uncharted territory in my work. This comes from a familiarity with previous song writing methods, which I wish to eventually transcend. I intend to compose for different instruments as this leads to different musical outcomes.  A distorted guitar will lead to a vastly different musical inspiration than a solo piano.  Stagnation would likely follow if one stayed with the same formula constantly. The nature of life is evolution – those that don’t evolve, die. This paradigm is reflected in my music; if one keeps doing the same thing they doom themselves to irrelevance. The danger of this is the risk of losing one’s previous audience because you lead a journey that they may not wish to take. They have a choice, however, of listening or not, whereas I feel compelled to a large degree to make the journey.  I greatly admire those bands and artists that take risks and veer from the safe path.

I think one of the biggest problems with music today is its commercialisation.  Strong commercial pressures are placed on many artists, particularly under big label deals, but art is not something that should be limited by financial constraints. The majority of mega-selling acts appeal to the lowest common denominator…and I think that is a recipe for creative disaster. My personal belief is that I would far, far prefer a smaller number of die-hard fans, than masses of people to whom I am just the latest flavour of the month, and to whom they feel no genuine connection. To them, my albums would mean little. I want people to relate to my music the same way I relate to albums like “The Wall” by Pink Floyd…I played that album every single day when I came home from school for years.  That album meant so much to me, and I completely related to the feelings it conjured. Also, to paraphrase what YES said about their music, I want to make music that can be listened to 20 years from now, and still be relevant.

I do not create music to become rich. While it would be brilliant to actually make a decent living out of it, this is of secondary concern.  I will continue to create music for myself even if no one else wished to hear it. I create music first and foremost for myself.  One cannot please everyone, so it’s best to please yourself as far as your own art is concerned. Everyone is a critic, and if you listen to and take on board everyone’s criticisms you become creatively paralysed.

While I have always loved music, I can pinpoint 2 key times in my life with regards to its evolution within me. The first was meeting my stepfather. His very eclectic taste in music exposed me to artists and styles I had previously never known – artists such as Pink Floyd, YES, Genesis, Jean-Luc Ponty and Frank Zappa. The second was when I started attending university and doing a Bachelor of Science degree. It was then that my creativity started to truly flourish.  I think that being forced to narrow my mind to accept certain scientific dogmas encouraged my artistic right-brain side to blossom. I’ve actually been referred to as a “mad scientist” before, both creatively and otherwise and this description is very apt.

My scientific background has provided a unique challenge – to balance the rational logical side of myself with the free-form artistic side. During the first year of university was not what I’d call a happy time. Perhaps as a self-defence mechanism, I began to write a lot of poetry and began to attempt composing my own music.  I soon realised I was no longer content to play other people’s music when I could write my own.

I find the artistic process itself a mixed blessing, and not always a fully pleasant experience. It is both cathartic and therapeutic, and basically something I have to do to stay sane.  If I don’t do it, I feel a part of myself dying.  I have an obsessive nature and can often get tied up in minutia of the composing process. I am definitely a perfectionist with my musical creations, which can be extremely draining. I can spend hours trying to fix what I consider to be a problem, which in reality no one else can here – it’s maddening. More times than not I have to force myself to leave a song – to say a song for me is truly ever finished is probably incorrect. It follows that I am a control freak with my music – I demand complete creative control. I believe in my own ability and have so far had great trouble letting anyone else get involved with it, because I desire to astound people with my songs. The reaction of “That’s nice” is the last thing I want.  I want to hear “F**k! That’s intense!”

In creating music, I often feel as if I am channelling – I usually have no idea what the final version of a song is going to sound like. It just kind of comes out of me, as if I am a conduit for a greater creative force.  My songs have a mind of their own and often seem to write themselves. Being primarily self-taught, save for a few guitar lessons around age 10, and not being able to read music, I instead have an instinctual understanding of it.  If it sounds good to me, that’s all that matters.’

-Adam Mannering

Mad scientist indeed- see the passion and flair (no pun intended) in his words. Soularflair may just be finding the happy medium between getting the praise he deserves, and avoiding the gargantuan record label deals forcing their artists to sell out and follow safe paths! Just check out the glorious defiance in how the music composition pairs with this footage… if anyone breaks the mould, it has to be Soularflair.

We would like to extend a special thanks to Rochelle Morris and Shannae Edgar for their incredible artwork created for the Soularflair album covers- the works they produced are based on the style in Soularflair’s original visual designs for his original big 3 albums that he started with- Dark Matter, Post-Human, and the original 2006 album simply titled Soularflair. It would seem that Adam also has visual art talents, and Morris and Edgar’s work did a fantastic job emulating then expanding upon Adam’s original atmospheric vision with their funky, spacey art styles. Thanks also to Byron Rumsey, Sid Kirkman, Lloyd Cole, and Edmund Cotter for the dilligent and incredibly thorough coding and metadata work required to bring Soularflair’s classic and newest releases to the world! The world of music has now become an extensive coding effort to ensure the correct keywords and metadata are loaded with their associated music, and this fiddly process is a key area that the Blue Pie team excel at! Finally, warm thanks to Adam- only fitting that they be given for this success story. We’ve always believed in your music, and best of luck with Europe!

To find out more about Adam, send an email to pr@bluepie.com.au and we’ll answer any questions that we can about this rising star who is finally claiming the recognition he deserves.

OFFICIAL LINKS:

Main website – www.soularflair.net
Youtube – www.youtube.com/user/SOULARFLAIR
Vimeo – www.vimeo.com/user528640
Twitter – www.twitter.com/soularflair
Facebook – www.facebook.com/soularflair
LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/in/adam-m-7ab58729
SoundCloud – www.soundcloud.com/soularflair
HearThis – www.hearthis.at/soul
Instagram – www.instagram.com/soularflair