Chicago artist Aryk Crowder recently released his new 2×4 Vol. 1 EP. Known for his soulful music and rustic tones, it would be fair to compare his genuine talent to artists like Jeff Buckley, John Mayer, or Ben Harper. To our delight, we caught up with Aryk in a recent interview to discuss music and art influences, EP titles, dream jam sessions, and workouts — enjoy!
AMBY: Hey Aryk, thanks for speaking with us today and congrats on the release of your new EP 2×4 Vol. 1. What was the experience like recording it?
Aryk Crowder: Thanks for having me on! The recording for these songs was great! I was fortunate enough to work with a great team of folks who are also my friends.
AMBY: What inspired you to release music on the 2×4 EP series rather than a full-length album?
Aryk Crowder: Honestly, it came from a financial standpoint at first. I didn’t have the funds to record and release 10 songs at once and I didn’t want to wait for the opportunity to do so. Instead, I started recording what I could and decided to release the songs as a collection that will be separated into 2 EP’s and 2 singles.
AMBY: Which influences can be found on the EP that might not be apparent to a listener?
Aryk Crowder: This is a tough question to answer as I find influence from all different types of music and art. I truly listen to and enjoy lots of styles of music and find influence in all of them. But a source most wouldn’t hear is stand up comedy. My all time favorites are Richard Pryor and George Carlin. Those two hit on a lot of social commentary that sparks my brain in to relating what they said into what’s going on today. It may not be a direct influence, but it’s definitely something that motivates.
AMBY: When it comes to the title, what’s the significance behind calling the EPs 2×4?
Aryk Crowder: Many of the songs on this collection are nothing more than vocals,guitar,bass, and percussion. They’re essentially a foundation for what can be a larger arrangement. Similar to how 2×4’s are the structure for which a house is built on, these songs are the foundation for what can and will be bigger arrangements at a later time.
AMBY: Does living in Chicago have an influence on your sound? If so, how?
Aryk Crowder: I think that where ever you live will have an influence on your sound, so yes. I’m not sure exactly how, but I know that what I hear coming out of Chicago definitely plays a role in what I create.
AMBY: Who would you like to be most and least stuck in an elevator with?
Aryk Crowder: Well, it depends on how long we’re talking. But I would have to go with Sophia Vergara or Jennifer Lawrence. What, you think I’m gonna pick some musician to shoot the shit with while we’re stuck in an elevator for what could be hours?
AMBY: Who would your dream jam session be with?
Aryk Crowder: Alive: Prince, Questlove, Robert Glasper, Thundercat or Pino Palladino. Deceased: John Bonham.
AMBY: Lastly, what’ something about Aryk Crowder that nobody knows yet?
Aryk Crowder: My addiction to the iron. I’m cranky if I can’t get my daily workout in.
Thank you Aryk Crowder, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout