Out Now Magazine Spotlight series featuring rising musician Aaron Sand for an interview
Where are you from?
I’m initially from Westchester NewYork, but I’m based in Nyc.
When did you start making music?
I’ve been singing and performing since I was a little kid, but the first time I wrote an original song I was 12, and my debut album didn’t come out till earlier this year, as I’ve always been very self conscious, and I didn’t wanna put anything out until I was sure it was ready, and I had all copyrights properly registered and secured.
How do you describe your music?
That’s always been a hard question for me to answer because I don’t really fit into the box of any specific genré. I started off pop, but then my music took a turn more towards alternative… now it’s very much rock & roll. One thing is for certain though. Unlike most artists these days, my music is actually original, and I actually have something to say. I want my music to get a message across. I want it to make you feel something, and I want it to make a difference. At the same time though, I also want my music to bring people together. I don’t wanna come off conceded or anything, but I think I’ve done a pretty good job at that thus far. Long tangent cut short, I think I would describe my music as original, important, artistic, and something that is meant to make a difference, help people, and unite people.
Favorite moment from your career?
I think my favorite moment so far in my career would have to be getting to perform my song “Funhouse Games” in front of a live audience. I’ve been doing my best to book live shows whenever I can lately, and that song in particular is so much fun to perform… it’s also such an empowering song which I wrote about my abuser and how I’m no longer taking her crap. I love that it has such a powerful message, it brings awareness to such an important topic, and at the same time… it’s such a fun song to rock out to. It’s by far one of my favorites to perform… I just lose myself in the music and go crazy. Also, tied with that for my favorite moment so far in my career is ModelHunt International. I was just a finalist in a modeling competition, and it was truly such an amazing experience. I made so many new friends and connections, I got way out of my comfort zone, I learned a ton, and I had so much fun.
Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
Britney Spears. Especially when it comes to her unfiltered vision, her unfiltered voice, and her unreleased music that her label wouldn’t let her put out. I also feel like we’ve gone through very similar things with our families, as well as with society turning on us… and I feel as if the way in which she continues to stay strong, and stay at the top despite all the adversities she faces is truly inspiring… and her level of intelligence and artistic vision is one that cannot be matched. I’m also really inspired by Juliet Simms who now goes by Lilith Czar. She is one hell of a fighter, and a true badass.
She doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do. She’s turned down so many labels because they tried to get in the way of her vision (which I can definitely relate to) and she always puts out her art her way. I truly admire the way she stands up for herself, and the way she doesn’t ever sacrifice her artistic integrity. I also love how she writes about what’s real. Everything she writes about will hit you hard and get you to really feel and also think. She doesn’t shy away from going there.
She (unlike most) actually has something to say… and can feel the power and emotion in her voice as well. Her voice is truly amazing. She’s got this natural rasp and this raw emotion in her voice. People have called her the Janis Joplin of this generation… I’d go so far as to say she’s even better. Britney and Juliet: Two entirely different artists who each inspire me in their own ways.
What is your producing software?
I can’t answer that as I wasn’t the producer. I recorded at Quad studios with RJ Pasin (producer) and Damion Normand (engineer.)
What other things do you do besides making music?
I also act, model, dance, design clothes, write poetry, run businesses, the list goes on…
What is your favorite track of all time?
Great question. I’m not sure if I have a favorite of all time… my favorite song tends to change a lot. At the moment however, I’d say it’s 25 by The Pretty Reckless (specifically the stripped down version.) I absolutely love it!!!
What is your best-producing tip?
Know what you’re doing, be professional, and listen to the artist. The people at the studio I recorded my first album at sabotaged my project. They highjacked what was supposed to be my vision and completely disregarded everything I said.
This was not a collaboration. This was work for hire. I was paying them to bring my vision to life, and instead… they disregarded everything I wanted and did what they wanted ultimately ruining the album, and every-time I would bring up issues and make them change things… they would charge me extra because it “met their standards.” I don’t care what you want or what your standards are. I’m paying you to work for me… not the other way around. This is my vision, and you need to make what I want happen.
Eventually I said it’s good enough, took what I could get, and released it. If you listen to it though, you can totally hear how I was sabotaged by the producers.
I learned the hard way never to work with some crappy producer who looks like a wannabe druggie, has a diva attitude, and works out of his cheap appartement. I also learned the hard way that you very much get what you pay for.
I mean, he literally threatened me by saying “I know where you live” when I texted him one day that I couldn’t come to the studio and needed to reschedule because I had terrible food poisoning and was throwing up.
This time around, I went straight to the top. I said no more amateurs. I saved up enough to be able to afford to pay top dollar, and I went to Quad and worked with the best most professional team I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with. Top notch professional, and top quality production.
It was an entirely different experience than my first album.
We recorded this single that I’m promoting right now, as well as another… and I hope to finish making my next album there. They are the best of the best.
So my producing tip would be: Be less like the people at WAWG Studios, and be more like the people at Quad.
Be professional, be reliable, listen to the artist, understand that it is their vision and not yours, know your craft, and make sure your work is top quality.
Why did you start making music?
I started making music because it’s what I love, it’s when I’m most at home, it’s who I am, and I have something to say.
What are your goals for the future?
I’d like to be more known. I want more credit and respect where it’s due. I’d like to have a larger platform. I want more people to hear my work, and to be able to make more of a difference in the world and in peoples lives. I’d also love to go on tour, and to help bring more positivity and love into peoples lives.
What advice can you give for young music producers/DJs?
Be yourself, trust your gut, follow your heart, and don’t let people hold you back. Also don’t sacrifice your artistic integrity for what’s trending. We don’t exist to follow the mob. We exist to create art and be original. If you truly wanna make a statement and have an impact… be original. Don’t follow the mob. Lead. Use your voice. Don’t say what people want you to say. Say what you truly feel… tell us what you have to say.
Please write a message to your fans.
To my fans: I love and appreciate you guys so freakin much. You have no idea how grateful I am for the support. I hope that I’m doing what I’ve set out to do. I hope I’m making a difference in your life and helping to lift you up and inspire you. I hope that I’m doing right by you. Every ounce of love and support I receive means the world to me.
I hope that you guys follow your dreams, and never lose sight of yourselves/who you are. Be you. Be proud. Be original. Be confident.
Strive for intelligence. Strive to make a difference.
Don’t ever make decisions based on what other people might think. Say and do things for you… nobody else.
Stay true to yourselves.
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