The Real Ding
GET TO KNOW: Guthrie Galileo
Photo: Montgomery Sheridan
Following on from a flurry of bright and enticing releases over the last few years, US singer and songwriter Guthrie Galileo has now returned to deliver his vibrant new single 'Tender'.
Lifted from the deluxe edition of his latest EP 'Balladeer', which is available to stream now, 'Tender' makes for a wonderfully exciting listen. Blending Latin-inspired percussion with a soaring guitar-led hook gives this new effort a fresh and distinctive direction throughout.
So with the new single available now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and influences over the years.
What was the first band or artist you fell in love with?
I often credit Usher as the artist who inspired me to sing. I distinctly remember watching the music video for “U Got It Bad” and seeing him belting it out while standing there in the pouring rain and thinking: “that’s what I want to do.” I actually did a whole Usher cover album—somewhat ironically—yes, but with sincerity undoubtedly at the core given his real influence on me.
Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?
I was in a number of bands growing up, starting from when I was 10 or 11 years old. Lots of guitar music, pink converse and power chords type stuff. There’s no such thing as ‘just as phase’. I revisit all of the music I liked when I was younger and consider everything as a building block for what I’m making now.
What has been your primary inspiration in writing music?
The infinite pursuit of new sounds. The most fascinating thing for me as an artist is to create a whole new world for the songs to live in. Giving it layers of depth and meaning, textures and colour. Something you can experience with all the senses. And with all the tools available these days, the boundaries are pretty much endless. I don’t believe I’ll ever get bored with it as long as I live.
What is a song you wish you had written yourself?
The next song I’m going to write.
If there was any moment in your career you could relive, what would it be?
I think I speak for a lot of artists in saying that, before the pandemic, the local scene I was part of had a lot of magic and momentum going for it. It feels like the air got sucked out and there’s a lot of rebuilding that needs to happen. But I’m inspired by all the incredible music that’s coming out now. I'm making the best music I’ve ever made and I’m excited for what’s to come.
Which artist would you most love to share a stage with?
I’m actually starting to step away from live shows a little bit. I’ve always resonated more with the production side of things versus performance, but felt I had to play live to stay relevant. Now I’m looking for new ways to interact with my audience while focusing more of my time on creating the next thing to share with them.
And is there an artist you would love to collaborate with as well?
A full string orchestra would be nice. Perhaps a ballet troupe to go along… All seriousness aside, I’ve appreciated getting to know the music of the British producer Labrinth more, through his work scoring the show Euphoria. His music is nothing short of riveting and it’s the most effective pairing of sound and image I’ve witnessed in a long time. Also, Caroline Polachek is absolutely a collaboration to die for.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I seem to have two different modes with my songwriting: one, where I’m off exploring the world, experiencing new things and living outside of my comfort zone. My songwriting then reflects that—the lyrics will often be more third person and story-based, touching on different perspectives. The instrumentation will comprise field recordings and will sample a wider range of musical styles and worldly sounds.
The second mode is when I’m confined to one location and my lifestyle, my routine and everyday experiences are more repetitious. My songwriting, in turn, becomes introspective—the lyrics expressing deep personal thoughts and feelings (albeit in a way that’s relatable and universal, hopefully). I usually get into a more rigid pattern with my sound, though I always make a point to do creative exercises that help me break out of my own headspace.
You can probably guess which one of these two modes I’ve been in for the past two years… So, in five years I hope to be travelling somewhere and soaking up some wild inspiration or, perhaps, just returning from my travels ready to start writing music with a whole new palette of sounds.
Guthrie Galileo's new single 'Tender' is available to stream now. Check it out below.