Ethan Mark has recently begun producing his own music, and with his latest release, “The Concept of You,” this song is definitely an ear-pleaser. Ethan Mark is an up-and-coming artist from Toronto who has the ability to produce and master music that definitely should be applauded. With his indie-psychedelic soul sound, the uniqueness of this listen can't be understated.
From a studio apartment in Toronto, Ethan Mark’s journey began producing music years ago, from playing guitar, piano, and saxophone in school choirs, to being solo with an old laptop, pirated music software, and a summer job that gave him too much free time. This is when he created his best work. Although music has been a passion since he was young, it didn't all make sense to him until he mastered the production of sound.
“The Concept of You” was recorded, produced, and mastered by Ethan himself and is a beautiful masterpiece. In his own words, “the upcoming album came about from a challenge from my partner. She, a listener of neo-soul and jazz, challenged me to pare my usually elaborate and busy musical style down to something more organic, soulful, and pretty. The result was a series of love songs encompassing many different facets of love. The single refers to her, the sepia-toned memories of summers, the roots we have put down together, and the love for home. “
With flamenco-style guitar riffs, cascading violins, and gentle piano notes, “The Concept of You” is a soulful piece from Ethan, bearing down to the raw emotions he feels for his lover. This track has a Sufan-Stevens feel to it, that beautiful indie-psychedelic sound overlaid with beautiful harmonics and vocals.
It is obvious that Ethan has created something incredible with this song, with touching lyrics and riveting vocals, accompanied by a groovy overall sound and unique instrumentals, “The Concept of You” is the title track in his new album of the same name. This self-produced masterpiece has that beautiful listening ability, easy on the ears and gentle on the soul.
Wrap yourself in this musical maestro's gentle new track, “The Concept of You,” available on all streaming platforms.
A warm welcome to BuzzMusic, Ethan Mark, and congratulations on your latest release "The Concept of You." Tell us about the inspiration behind your single “Concept of You.”
Musically, I had been listening to a ton of flamenco music at the time. The things flamenco players can do with the classical guitar are just breathtaking. I wanted to pull from those sounds and grooves and move them into a more contemporary R&B space. Stripped back and acoustic, but rich and layered. Lyrically, it’s an ode to home, whether your “roots” are a place, a person, or even just an idea.
What does this song mean to you?
Prior to releasing this song, and the new album it comes from, I had been making very different music – much more dance-focused stuff. “The Concept of You” was huge for me. It proved I could venture into such a different style. I could write and perform lyrics. I could center songs around my vocals. I could record live instrumentation instead of sequencing everything on a computer. And I could make it beautiful and compelling without losing the trademarks of my sound.
What was the recording, producing, and mastering process for “Concept of You?”
I don’t have a fancy studio or anything like that, so it was mostly recorded and produced in my little apartment in Toronto. I find the limitations of the DIY setup actually contribute to the music. There are textures and ideas that come from recording in your own hobbled-together recording studio that would never come from a bigger setup. The production of the song is really about not ruining a good thing. The guitar is so delicious and addicting here, so the idea was to build rather than deviate, adding all these swirling layers of harmony instead of moving somewhere different. My favorite little production trick on the song is the reverse guitars. Reversing and arranging them makes for this really smooth, blossoming effect. It really makes the track glide.
What do you hope listeners take away from “Concept of You?"
I hope it can maybe open up some people’s ears to a wider musical palette. Drive a bit of a hunger for something different. There’s so much incredible music out there behind the more mainstream releases, both old and new. So many great artists blend genres and sounds in wonderful ways. I want to be part of that wave that surprises and tries something a bit different, and I hope people hear that with this song.
What's next for you?
“The Concept of You” is actually the title track for a new, entirely self-produced album of mine that I released a few weeks ago, featuring nine tracks of cosmic soul music. I am hoping to release totally acoustic versions of a track or two in the coming months. But I also have a ton of new, collaborative music on the way. I’ve been making some beautiful neo-soul music with talented friends in Toronto and in the UK. Lots of vocal harmonies and sumptuous grooves! I can’t wait to share.