December/January 2020

by Felicity Farrell

Fresh Talent: Solomon Crook

by Felicity Farrell

Fresh Talent: Solomon Crook

Solomon Crook grew up in a small town in Coromandel – Opoutere which is around about halfway between Whangamata and Pauanui. With two older sisters he grew up for his first seven years, in the bedroom he was born in.

His school time at St Peters in Cambridge saw him enter five Smokefree Rockquests; three times in a band, and twice solo – finally managing third place as a solo artist in his final Rockquest in 2015. Having studied for a Commercial Music degree at Massey the 21-year-old’s current band comprises four bandmates he went to school with, and fifth he met at uni.

While he credits a lot of his lyrical content and songwriting to the place he grew up in, Solomon says moving to Wellington (where he is now living) for university opened up a lot of musical connections. B

Being surrounded by other musicians and like-minded people helped him to grow and develop musically. Starting to make his mark, Solomon Crook has already opened for the likes of Australians Amy Shark, and the Teskey Brothers, and was awarded NZ On Air funding for his latest single, The Day I Thought About Dying, earlier in 2019. He is currently at work on a second EP, due for release in early 2020.

Solomon says he’s influenced heavily by his bandmates, and their own musical evolution, while currently on his rotate are artists like Matt Corby, Brittany Howard/Alabama Shakes, JPEGMafia and James Blake. He describes his own music as “…organic and emotional, alternative indie pop.”

The mixture of gravel and honey, and the raw, soft timbre in his voice is unique, something he has honed and developed along his musical journey. It is definitely an international sound and Solomon is already considering a move away from Wellington next year to continue his journey. Unsure as yet if this means Auckland, or further shores, he is ready to push his music to the next level.

Working with producer Devin Abrams is already pushing his sound, as evidenced on the powerful new single The Day I Thought About Dying. Accompanied by a stunning music video, this thought-provoking track about loneliness and isolation should, he hopes, create images in your mind and evoke strong feelings.

“It’s a song about introspection and internalising these feelings and thoughts, interpreting and trying to understand them.”

The single’s video was directed by Wellington-based Oscar Keys, and has an almost ethereal vibe, Solomon clad in red robes on an altar in the opening scenes. With choral style backing, the song is brought to life in the dramatic clip. If the forthcoming EP is anything like this latest release, we can expect very big things to come.