Campus Influencer: Silas Goodman, Full Time BU CFA Student & Singer-Songwriter

CAMPUS INFLUENCER ALERT

Meet Silas Goodman, a sophomore at Boston University who is trying to put the worlds of art and music into one cohesive collaboration of sonic masterpiece.

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I had the fortunate opportunity to sit down with this multi-talented and multi-faceted individual who is both a full time College of Fine Arts student at Boston University, studying Musical Performance. His music can be described as a more light-hearted and rawer form of Ed Sheeran and speaks to a lot of college artists out there today. This Swiss-bred artist has a passion for the sound and the vibrations of music starting from the days of his youth and up until now, he has been working on numerous projects, singles, music videos and many more.

And he moved here for his freshman year to BU. The now sophomore in college, has always found his niche in music ever since he can remember. “According to my parents, I wrote my first melodies when I was 6 or 7 years old, just kind of wandering around humming stuff,” chuckles the young composer. He stems from an artistically and musically gifted family, where his mother was a classical singer and his dad played trombone in college. They have always been open to him pursuing music and signed him up for piano lessons 10-11 years ago.

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I then proceeded to ask him “as a student musician, how has that balance been for you between the school work and the music?” He thought for a moment and then admitted, “well, I’m a music student, studying music composition, and there is quite a bit of overlap, so it’s quite nice. Although what I am actually performing in class and what I play out at gigs and on the street (I do quite a bit of busking) are quite different.” For class he is usually composing instrumentals in the classical realms whereas his own music which he delivers to the public is more pop & jazz oriented. “So, it is hard to find enough time to update my pages on social media, to keep my site up-to-date, and just organizing gigs. So, it is pretty difficult for me with the workload.”

He goes further into detail on how classical music is very different from other forms of music and of course, it has its own culture, its own “niche music,” as he defines it, in society that makes it harder for other genres to merge with its stylings. “For my music, I try to stick to music that is really more accessible.” In order to spread the word about his songs and to get more affiliated with other artists in the area, Goodman has reached out and collaborated with various musicians  in the area, especially on campus like Jason Sanchez of BU Hip hop, Jonny Glenn from BU’s Music Business Club, and a few others off campus.

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I asked him what his opinions were on the music scene in Boston. He laughed for a little bit and then debriefed how the scene is not as thriving as he would wish it to be. He sees the city as being a wonderful place, filled with lots of possibilities and lots of talent, but not exactly one that is easy to book gigs in. It really is about who you know and who you contact.

He has kept close ties with other artists on campus such as Jonny Glenn, Jason Sanchez, and a few others, and through that he has really built his range in the sonic realms. He tries to distribute his sound to the general public.

“I can’t NOT write. It just comes. I’m always jotting things down and composing stuff as I go. I am also a film student, so I might be composing for a film even.”

I then had to ask one of my favorite questions to ask artists all the time, and that is “what is one word to describe yourself?” Goodman replied, “perfectionist.”

“If you had to choose an actor to play as you in a film, who would it be?”

“haha, Jake Gyllenhaal.”

He has actually used his passion for cinematography in collaboration with his music in order to create his music video for his track “Honesty”! You can watch his music video below:

You can purchase his album Rêverie now on iTunes and Apple Music HERE!

With an album, Rêverie, finally out now, he couldn’t be more proud of his 1 whole year’s worth of work. Completely inundated with his art, he made sure to encompass all fantastical efforts of other art fields and realms such as visual art, dance, and other genres of art to construct this masterwork. He tells me how it’s actually a compilation of tracks that he had been working on for a while and some that he had just created, and then he asked a bunch of his friends to play on it where half of them are from back home, and some are friends from Boston.

He goes on to explain how the cover of his album is actually created by his girlfriend, who is a visual artist herself and how that image that we see on the cover above is actually a photograph of a sculpture she created using Goodman’s vintage typewriter and old, thrown-out ivory piano keys with wires to keep them up! As for his music video, he explains how he was able to reach out to a friend of his who was also studying film and another colleague who was a dancer to create the visual. In the end, the entirety of the project would show off his capabilities and prowess and would also incorporate many modes of art in one. “That’s why it has a lot of pop, a lot of jazz, I was just trying to see how many styles of music I could cram into one without it kind of sounding sporadic, or still making it sound beautiful.”

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As far as the songwriting process goes, Goodman stated that because he is trained as a classical composer first and foremost “because I am a composer and not a poet, I usually start with music, and the melodic comes in straight away, it kind of comes in a package like that. It kind of flows that way. The funny thing is actually, I usually used to just improvise or hum over the instrumentals and find something that I like. I usually find a couple words that I like to play or use in certain spots in the song because of the way the chord sounds or the cut that makes me think of a particular moment. It’s kind of like reverse engineering the track where I have to make the words, so I have to reverse engineer the words in a kind of way. There’s usually a spot that I particularly like that just resonates with me that either makes me think of a color or a moment.”

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“So, what would you say is your greatest challenge in promoting yourself?” Goodman answers bashfully, “I just don’t perform enough out in the city.” 

“So, when you’re not doing music, what are you doing?” “I watch quite a bit of movies, try to film, spend time with friends, and I binge watched Game of Thrones this past summer… haha.”

“How’s the music scene in Switzerland?” “It’s dead… haha. Don’t get me wrong, for a classical musician, it’s great, but for contemporary music, there is probably one pop singer out there from here. One of the main reasons I moved”

“What’s one American habit you don’t like?” “People are flakier here; they say they’ll do things and then they don’t. I don’t know if it’s just the culture, I don’t know, but back home, if my friends say they’ll do something, they usually do it. But here, if I ask my friends to come to my show, they’ll say, “Oh yeah! I’ll be there and then they never show up.”

“Do you think college and your studies really supplemented your career path and what you want to do with your life (and you can be completely honest) or do you feel it would have been better if you hadn’t come at all and just went your own path and way for your music?” “So, since classical music is so difficult, it’s almost impossible to make it in the classical world without being trained professionally. Partly I am blessed for this, but partly I feel that my music is very different from this. Although, a lot of the stuff I have learned in class in Tonal Harmony I have applied to my music and stuff. I can say that it has made me a better composer for pop music. I feel like my vision of what is music and what is not has completely changed, you know? Mostly because it’s completely avant-garde stuff. I think in a couple years or so I would like to incorporate some tonality into my jazz and stuff, and just push the boundaries and see what I can do.”

“Favorite food, go!” “Raclette.” (A cheesy potato dish.)

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“Favorite part of Boston.” “The North End is really nice because it reminds me of home, very European, and Brookline is nice, I sometimes go around there to walk and think about my music.”

A great interview with a great guy, you definitely don’t want to miss out on his music. Go check out his cover of Drake’s “One Dance” and some of his own original work, including his album, above! Liked what you heard? Then be sure to definitely check out this artist on his various platforms like: Bandcamp, Facebook, SoundCloud, Instagram, his Official Website.

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