The best artistic inspiration usually stems from real-life experiences. That is certainly the case for alternative pop artist Bales, who has just released his debut single, “Medicine.” The singer wrote this song based on the most personal of life circumstances, and has now released it out into the universe for all of us to get to know him as a performer. Celeb Secrets caught up with Bales to get the story behind this powerful new song, and what has influenced him so far in his budding career. Check out our exclusive Q & A below.
Celeb Secrets: Can you tell us about your first official single, and what went into creating the track?
Bales: My first official single, “Medicine,” was inspired by the journey my grandparents were on last summer. Both were facing health issues, and fighting to hang on, increasingly becoming more dependent on medication. That’s what led me to sit down and start writing. But more personally it’s about my own mental and spiritual fight for health and freedom. At the time I wrote “Medicine,” I was dealing with a lot of bitterness, anger, and frustration. I was trying to escape what I was feeling with self-medication, which just led to more frustration. And in the end, it’s about my journey to finding a healthier way to handle hurt, to forgive, to pray, to love, and to ask for help.
It took me about 2 hours to form the structure and write out the lyrics of the song. Then I spent several hours fine-tuning and adding in instrumental parts. Once I had the main components of the song, I took it to my producer Dave Cook. We spent a couple weekends adding more instruments and recording vocals. Overall the process of creating the track spanned about 3 months.
Celeb Secrets: How do you hope your debut song introduces listeners to what’s ahead for your career?
Bales: I hope that my debut song introduces listeners to a career that continues with songs that are real, honest, sonically enticing, and in some way point to a higher character or hope for something better to come.
Celeb Secrets: Can you share why it’s important to you to make music with a story behind the lyrics?
Bales: It’s important to me to make music with a story because stories are everything. We’ve been communicating through stories for as long as humans have existed. Telling stories is the fundamental way we relate, learn, and share life. So it just makes sense to me to tell stories with my music. And nothing tells a story quite like music does.
Celeb Secrets: How would you describe your sound?
Bales: I would describe my sound as ambitiously guitar driven, with laid-back grooves that are layered with nostalgic synth undertones. Over the years I’ve drawn influence from bands like The Killers, Coldplay, and Twenty One Pilots, to name a few.
Celeb Secrets: What is a message you hope listeners take away from your music?
Bales: With “Medicine” specifically, I hope that listeners take away the idea that living controlled by or dependent on some coping method is not the best life. It’s not living free. It can be the hardest thing we ever do, to be open, to forgive, to be vulnerable and ask others for help. But it’s so much better than the alternative. I’m learning how to live in freedom, and my hope is that others will find that freedom as well.
Celeb Secrets: How does it feel to have something personal that you wrote out there in the public now?
Bales: It feels great to have something personal that I wrote out in the public. I used to feel uncomfortable playing my personal music in front of people, and I definitely still feel vulnerable the first few times I play a song. But I feel like my songs have meaning, and tell stories that need to be told, so I’m excited to put them out there.
Celeb Secrets: What is your favorite part of the music industry: recording, performing live, etc.?
Bales: My favorite part of the music industry is crafting the song, and seeing it come to life. But I do also love performing.
Celeb Secrets: What is some of the best advice you’ve ever been given, and who is it from?
Bales: One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given is the age-old adage, “You reap what you sow.” Good or bad, hard work or laziness, what we do, and how we treat people will produce an equivalent outcome. I believe it originated from the writings of a man named Paul.
Celeb Secrets: Would you be able to share 3 tracks that are currently some of your favorites on your playlist?
Bales: Three of my current favorite tracks are “Turn” by the Wombats, “Live in the Moment” by Portugal the Man, and “Lost in the Wild” by Walk the Moon.
Celeb Secrets: Who are some artists that you would love to collaborate with one day?
Bales: I would love to collaborate with Ryan Tedder, Kygo, and Tori Kelly.
Celeb Secrets: For Celeb Secrets, would you be able to share a fun fact about yourself not too many people know?
Bales: Fun fact! Not too many people know this, but at one time I was being paid to count the number of cars passing through random intersections in LA during rush hour. It was the strangest job I’ve ever had.
You can listen to Bales’ debut single “Medicine” on Spotify below, and check him out on iTunes.