interview with Selfieman

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Have any of you played in other bands? I perform live shows alone that's why it's pretty hard to answer this question. I used to play in several Russian bands, before I started my own project.
How is it that you started playing music? I began studying music when I was 5. I enrolled different music schools. My majors are guitar and drums. It took me 22 years to complete my education.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
My name is Nikolay Stravinsky, I'm 31, and I play all instruments by myself in Selfieman.
Do you make music even when you were young? Yes. I composed my first melody at the age of 6 and still remember it.
Where are you from? I was born in Ulyanovsk, Russia. It is a hometown of Lenin. I moved to Moscow 6 years ago, now I live in Los Angeles.
What year did the band form? September 2014. That's when my first single, True, and music video were released. That video was shot in Iceland by Anna Patarakina, a Clean Bandit's clip-maker. A bit later my first album was released.
What's your style of genre? I think it is something like alternative rock with some electronics elements.
What inspires you? It's a hard question. Petr Ilyich Tchaikovsky once said, “I simply work from 8 am to 4 pm.” I do pretty much the same. You can wait for an inspiration forever and nothing is going to happen. That's why I
simply work.
How often and where do you reherse? It depends on live shows. When there's a break in between gigs, I'm
working on new material. And before the show I can rehearse for 13-14 hours straight without taking a short break. I perform alone, using loopers that I preprogrammed in Ableton Live. That's why everything should be played perfectly. If I miss something, there will be a gap in a track or if I play something off-pitch, it will play through all the song. So, this is a very complicated process and it takes a lot of time.
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? Yes, I need a good booker to work with, but now I don't have one. I have left Russia not so long ago, so I haven't found one yet.
What are your songs about? My songs are about love, the world around me, and belief that somewhere far away in the space there is life too.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? All music and orchestration I do by myself and do all the recordings too. My friend Dmitry labzin writes all the lyrics. We've been working together since the very first Selfieman record. I think we make a great team.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Music is always first. Lyrics is put on the composed melody.
Have you done any covers live? Yes, I always liked performing covers. And now I do it in my own style
with all the loopers from time to time. You can find it all on YouTube,
What language do you sing in? I sing in English, which is not popular in Russia. But it's an international language and it fits my music perfectly well.
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? The least audience attending to my shows is now in the US, because nobody knows me here. Usually it's 30-40 people. In Russia the biggest audience I had was over 8000 people when I supported Twenty One Pilots. They chose me to be an openning act for their show in Moscow. And about 200-300 people come to my solo shows in Russia. This is not the biggest number but every time it’s getting bigger and bigger.
What ages are most of your concert attendants? Mostly they are teenagers. But those who are over 30 come too. My music is for any age.
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? The set list is changing all the time. I'm trying to add new songs and covers.
What have you played live this year? This year I haven't performed much yet. I had 2 shows in Los Angeles, one in San Jose. In Russia I played in Moscow, Samara, and some other places. Next week I perform at festival in Moscow with Morcheeba, Parov Stelar, John Newman, and others.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? We started selling merch not so long ago and now it's only T-shirts.
Where can people buy your merchandise? Now people can buy our T-shirts only at live shows.
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? It killed music industry, but it is impossible to stop the progress. I'm using Apple Music myself and think I really is convenient. The other side is that music became almost free. In Russia I paid for Apple Music 160 rubles which is only 2,5 dollars. This sum is too small for all the work that musicians do at studios, not talking about production, promotion, and stuff. But that's how it works now.
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? I have no idea. If I get a live show in Sweden or anywhere else in Europe because of this interview, I'd very glad.
Do you have any role models or idols? Yes, I've got a lot of heroes. The biggest one, I think, is John Lennon.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? First of all, do what you like.
Do you have any new material? Yes, I always have something new. But I don't know until the last moment what will be released and what stays on my computer.
What are your web sites? I have a Russian web site – selfieman.ru. My international site is more like a business card of myself as a musician – selfieman.one. You can find there main videos and the most important information about me.
How can people reach you? People can reach me through Facebook or selfieman.one
What are your plans for the future? My plan is to play as many live shows around the world as possible. This is what I want the most.
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