NewTracks New Artist: Solomon Crook

NewTracks New Artist: Solomon Crook

In 2015 a Coromandel student named Solomon Crook wowed the crowd at the national finals of Smokefree Rockquest with his unique voice and beautifully written songs – but placed only third. Three years later, now based in Wellington, Solomon released his debut EP ‘Abandon Adolescence’ in May this year. Candid single Love Juice featured on NZ On Air Music’s NewTracks compilation this July.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My full name is Solomon Jack Crook. I’m from a small beachside village called Opoutere, on the Coromandel. I mostly play the guitar and sing but do dabble in keys for production purposes.

What other projects might we know you from?

Nothing else currently. However, I am in the process of executive producing a collaborative album with other Wellington artists that I will also feature on. It will be released towards the end of this year or the start of next.

What makes Love Juice stand out for you as a single?

Love Juice was the most ‘catchy’ of the songs on ‘Abandon Adolescence’, having the repetitive chorus that people can sing along to made it seem the most appealing. It also offers a provocative narrative that people are intrigued by, questioning, “What is ‘Love Juice’?”

What is the story behind the song?

Love Juice was written from my home, on the Coromandel, where I write most of my music. The hook surprisingly came about whilst I was singing in the shower. I then went on to develop the rest of the song, based around that idea. The song talks about being in a relationship and how you can experience feelings of doubt and uncertainty in the early stages, when the relationship at first can be based on lust rather than love.

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

“Are we making love, or is this just losing lust… A modern form of expressive art…”

Who did you produce the single with, and where?

Myself and a good friend Jesse Austin-Stewart produced the single. It was the first track to be recorded on my debut EP, ‘Abandon Adolescence’. The earlier stages of the record were written and produced from my home on the Coromandel.

I then showed Love Juice, along with the other songs to Jesse and asked him if he’d like to produce my debut EP. All of the recording was done from the Victoria University studios and the new Massey University studios.

What do you most want listeners to take away from this song?

Whenever I write a song my aim is to provoke the listener to feel something. Within the lyrics of Love Juice my hope was that people could possibly relate to what I felt. They might not feel the exact same thing as I felt when I experienced the moments expressed in the lyrics, but I want the lyrics to somehow relate to their own life.

In general, how do you work out what song would make a good single?

I often ask a lot of friends and family about what they think. This insight is invaluable because it allows me to remove myself from any emotional attachment I have to songs. I also consider which song will have the most appeal and best reflect me as an artist. It’s about finding the balance between all of these for me.

Can you tell us three other local tunes that should be on a playlist alongside your song?

Marlon WilliamsDark Child
ThomstonAcid Rain
Thomas OliverTenderly

Any of your previous applications not get funding or not get included on NewTracks? Got any advice for people out there?

This was my first application so I feel very lucky to be included! But I think you need to ensure whatever you are working on at any time is the best you can present, that will then carry through.

How can we find you on social media?

Who did you create the video with?

The video was directed and edited by my good friend and flatmate Solomon Drader. We came up with the narrative together then shot it in our Wellington flat for convenience.

Any last words?

Very grateful to have been chosen for NZOA New Tracks!

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