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article imageInterview with singer and songwriter John Torres Special

By Markos Papadatos     Aug 5, 2013 in Entertainment
On August 1, I interviewed singer-songwriter John Torres about his new single "Ocean" and its video and his musical career.
John remarked, “Typically before I start writing for an album, I do a lot of listening to other artists, old and new, in order to come up with a direction that I would like the album to go.
Once I get going, I normally write a few songs at a time over a couple of months. When I've got a couple dozen songs, I start demoing and coming up with basic scratch productions. Once I've gotten the work to a place where I feel the songs are communicated properly I start matching them with each other to see if they make for a cohesive album.”
The Los Angeles, California, native shared that the filming of the “Ocean” music video was “kind of magically fated.” “Over two years ago, director Tory Nelson, approached me about doing a video. At the time I gave him the time frame of three to four months until my album would be completed. I played him basic demos, and ‘Ocean’ was clearly the song we wanted to do. Unfortunately that turned into two years. Songs came in and out of the album, and I was honestly blown away that Tory stuck with me. When the album was finally completed, finding the talent, funds and support to make the video also seemed as if it was divinely planned,” he said.
For the music video, he worked with Bruce Weber, Emmy-nominated choreographer Stacey Tookey and Kathryn McCormick. “The three of them were consummate professionals at their craft. Anyone who was on the set that day, can tell you just how much we pushed Bruce and Kathryn to the physical limits. By the end of the day, the two of them were shivering and sore and looked like someone had beaten them up. But not a single complaint came out of either of them. It was amazing. I think when people see their performance they'll understand how hard it must have been. Stacey's choreography is incredible, and Bruce and Kathryn executed it perfectly,” he said.
He co-wrote the song “You Don't Have to Be a Star” with Alex Rosenbloom and Dale Narins. “It was actually written for the documentary ‘Fame High,’ directed by Oscar-nominee Scott Hamilton Kennedy. The film follows a group of students at the prestigious Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) from novice freshman to seasoned seniors, growing up and trying to make their way, in their respective artistic fields. The song was actually in about two days, and mostly over phone calls. Alex was a student at LACHSA and we thought it would be really fitting if he sang the track. It's a gorgeous song and when Scott was excited about putting it in the end credits, we were all really pumped. Last year, the song was short-listed for an Academy Award for ‘Best Original Song,’ and though it didn't ultimately get the nomination, we were still excited and honored.”
He noted that he is building a new studio and that he’s anxious to finish it and get back to writing. “I'm planning to tour this album a bit, as well as start putting together a new live set. The ‘in between’ from one album to the next is always the most exciting time for me, because it's the time when the canvas is truly blank. I'm really excited to see what's coming next,” he said.
John received a nod for the "Independent Music Award" for "Unchained Melody." “It was surprising above all else. About a year and a half or so ago, my good friend and old band mate, Ben Hall from L.A. group ‘The Elevaters’ asked me if I was interested in recording an a-cappella version of ‘Unchained Melody’ along with another college buddy, Christopher Harrison of the group ‘Sonos.’ We had a blast recording it, and I didn't really have any expectations beyond the great time we had that day. So when I heard that it had been nominated, I was pretty floored. I think the recording came out really well, and I was just honored by the nod.”
For more on John Torres, visit his official website.
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