By Nicholas Jason Lopez
In the vein of artists like Moses Sumney and Nick Hakim, 29-year-old R&B vocalist/dancer an only child recently unleashed his debut LP ‘Prepare The Body.’
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with him about ‘Prepare The Body’ and more.
Music Bugle – What interested you the most in wanting to play your type of music?
an only child – I’m not so sure, really. I guess it was finding my unique voice. I enjoy singing and I felt I had an opportunity to play music that encouraged that. Perhaps it was the challenge of organizing all of my influences into a singular sound. I was curious about where the work would land naturally. It’s interesting because I’m not thinking about it so much when creating. It happens on its own. I don’t find the threads until after the song is created.
Music Bugle – What inspired your artist name?
an only child – Being an only child inspired the name. I felt it was the perfect moniker to describe me because it suggests a lot. They say birth order influences certain aspects of our personality. Growing up without siblings contributed to both my independent and lonely upbringing. It still informs parts of my adulthood.
Music Bugle – What was it like making your debut LP ‘Prepare The Body’?
an only child – It was one of the most emotionally challenging things I’ve ever done. I had vocal cord surgery three months before recording. I couldn’t speak, let alone sing for a month following the procedure, so getting in a studio so soon after a trauma like that was overwhelming. Each day was a real exercise in listening to my body in order to facilitate healing. My friend Crow produced the record with me at Pioneer Works and Concrete Sound in Brooklyn. He was more than a producer, sometimes a therapist! (Laughs) All of the songs required a lot of emotion and challenged me vocally. He had incredible discernment on when it was good to push versus when I needed to ease off and rest. We also spent a great deal of time making sure each choice from a production standpoint felt deliberate and organic. There was a lot of experimentation. We initially threw a lot into the songs and then as time progressed, kept trimming or carving things out.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
an only child – Well, I’m a dancer, so all of the performances I was attached to were canceled. My entire career depends on working closely with people. It certainly changed my relationship to dance and caused my community and I to rethink how to create art.
Music Bugle – Away from music, what’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
an only child – I’m obsessed with taking baths while watching period piece films or television.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
an only child – It’s not really a quote, but the best advice I’ve received that always motivates me is, “Keep breathing.” Doesn’t get more practical nor poetic.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
an only child – Right now, currently obsessed with this song called “Lolo” by Michael Beharie, an amazing musician based in Brooklyn. Also listening to Rokia Traore, specifically her song “Laidu,” as well as Timber Timbre, Jazmine Sullivan and Abdel Halim Hafez.
Music Bugle – What’s something you wish happened more in today’s music industry?
an only child – I wish more thoughtful and authentic musicians got their flowerers and not these TikTok artists. No shade to TikTok. It’s cute and fun.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you feel the need to escape?
an only child – The beach or a bathtub.