Interview No. 73
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guest is still not really known on Newgrounds and still has yet to do a lot here. He is a singer and has covered songs such as Hallelujah (Acapella) and Kryptonite (Acapella). He has also written one of his own songs Never Sleep Alone. Please welcome, @FolegAlmighty.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: That's a tough question... I honestly don't remember how I found NG. I actually Joined back in 2003 under the name Rextex, I just have a different account for my music. I know that I used to spend hours and hours and HOURS on Newgrounds back in the day, watching flashes, posting in the BBS and especially sig making. I actually almost went to school for Graphic Design thanks to NG. (I ended up going for theatre.)
Q: When the different Members of the Audio Portal were here they discussed a few things about music. How did you discover music?
A: Well, my first exposure to music was back in fifth grade when the kids at my elementary school were given the opportunity to join band, to start playing instruments and taking lessons. I wanted to do that. I I went in and said I wanted to play the drums, so Mr. Teeter, the band instructor, said alright, tap out quarter notes with your left hand and eighth notes with your right. Once again, I had no exposure to music at this time, and so I blew it. I ended up playing the Trumpet because that's what you play when you can't play anything else.
Q: What first inspired you to make music? Acapella in general?
A: Well, as far as recording goes, that started when I got a software on my old Dell PC that could layer multiple tracks; something like Audacity. I did a lot of voice acting for NG, and then I started goofing around with recording my voice over itself. At the same time, I got a pirated (lol) version of Finale, and delved into the field of composing. That's about when I fell in love with the concept of harmonies. To me, harmony is the most pure, beautiful thing in this world. I can't describe it, and I certainly don't understand harmony, but... I became obsessed with it. And it's always come very easily to me. I can hear a song for the first time, and a harmony will play in my head, and then another one, and then it's just a matter of putting all those sounds together. When I went off to college, I got my MacBook Pro with Garage Band, so I started goofing around with that, and that's when my acapella stuff started. Summer of 2007.
Q: What in your opinion is the definition of music?
A: Hum. I don't quite have a definitive answer for that. I'm inclined to say that any audio created with the intention of being music is music, but then there are things like The Beatles' "Revolution Number 9" and Acid Mothers Temple that I just don't see as being musical. I think there needs to be a certain degree of structure, or rhythm, or pitch, or SOMETHING for me to listen to it and admit, "Yeah, that's music."
Q: Your first entry to the Audio Portal would be Hallelujah (Acapella). There truly are many songs in this great big world to choose from, why this one as your first?
A: The first time I heard this song, it was performed by Rufus Wainwright in the film "Shrek." I fell in love with the song, both the melody and the lyrics. It's one of those songs that has stuck with me ever since. So when I started recording things, I decided that that song was perfect for what I was trying to do. There was just so much opportunity for harmonizing that I couldn't pass it by.
Q: Your second song would actually be a comedy bit Misirlou (Acapella). Why did you want to do something a bit more comical with a song?
A: Truth be told, I recorded Misirlou before anything of my other songs on the portal. It was actually my very first venture into recoding self-layered acapella. The reason for it, I can't tell you. I think I was just... bored. And I thought it would be fun. And it was.
Q: Your comedy would not stop there, but we would at this point still get a full song with The Lion Sleeps Tonight. When people talk about this song there are usually two responses, one is they heard the song and just liked it or there is a connection to the movie "The Lion King". Would one of these be your answer or is there a different answer altogether?
A: It bugs me when people cite "The Lion King" when talking about The Lion Sleeps Tonight. I'm not saying my version, I'm just talking in general. I've never quite understood why that connection is formed so strongly in peoples' minds, either. Timon and Pumba sing it for, like, thirty seconds, and then that's it. The song itself was written by a South African composer in the 1930's, and then made famous in the 1960's by the group The Tokens. As far as I'm concerned, it's just one of those timeless classics, and it needed to be done.
Q: One of my favorite songs by you has to be Kryptonite (Acapella). It is one that I not only really liked, but one that I would like to hear the rest of. How come this song has yet to be completed and will we see it finished?
A: First off, if anyone knows what happened with Kryptonite, please tell me. I left it on NG, didn't check it for, like, a year, and I came back and it had explosive traffic. Tens of thousands of listeners, hundreds of reviews, I found it all over the internet, it was in NG flash movies, on YouTube... I mean, I really don't know what happened there. It's not even one of my favorites I've done. I barely like it, to be honest. Haha. Anyway, when it comes to my acapella songs, you'll notice that most of them are either abridged versions of the full songs, or just plain incomplete. I wish I had an artistic reason for this, but the truth is that I just get bored and want to start new projects. Kryptonite will never be finished, because all of the source material was deleted, along with about forty other incomplete acapella projects. Those will never see the light of day.
Q: When talking to beat boxers or acapella singers their main attribute is their voice and how they utilize it is amazing. You are no exception. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is truly an amazing piece. What was the process you had to take in bringing this to life?
A: That, I think, is my favorite project I've done. I was interested in doing songs from all different genres of music, and I happened to be listening to a lot of Ennio Morricone at the time. I decided that particular theme would be the most recognizable of his music. I was very interested in doing an all-voice version of a no-voice song, so I set off on it. Basically my process for any acapella cover is just to listen to the original track and try and isolate all of the individual elements. So if I was first going to record, say, a cymbal track, I would listen to the original source and focus only on the percussion. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly was a really fun project to do this on because of the astounding number of subtle elements Ennio put into the song. So I listened, recorded, listened, recorded, listened, recorded. This particular song was completed in one night.
Q: Gangsta's Paradise. I just got to ask, what the fuck. Because this is not only very impressive, but it is quite funny at the same time. Why this song and why not the full thing?
A: Again, my interest is to create unlikely acapella covers from all genres. If I sat around and did the songs that everyone does in acapella groups, there'd be no reason for anyone to listen to my music. As far as I know, I have the only recorded acapella versions of Misirlou, Kryptonite, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly theme... and Gangsta's Paradise. Plus, doing songs that everyone knows but nobody expects in that style makes the enjoyment of listening to them all the greater. Plus plus, Coolio's the shit.
Q: After "Gangsta's Paradise" you would drop off of Newgrounds for 2010 without a submission. Where were you and why didn't you return until 2011?
A: I just got involved in other things, my music hobby slowed down a bit. I don't have any great reason. I just find it hard to stay in one particular place for very long. I get restless. So I stopped recording for a while. Then, earlier this week, I just decided I wanted to start again. So I did.
Q: If someone was to ask me what your best song is I would tell them I'm Your Man. You've stated that the instrumental isn't yours. If it's not yours then whose is it?
A: That instrumental is from the Michael Buble recording of "I'm Your Man." It's just the best one out there. It's a really high-quality karaoke track, which is always nice.
Q: Your latest work is Never Sleep Alone is a very touching song. I can sense that this truly does come from the heart. What all can you tell us about this song?
A: This song... I met my girlfriend of two years in college, and last summer I was a couple hundred miles away from her doing a show. We missed each other a lot, blah blah blah ooey gooey lovey dovey nobodywantstohearthat Anyway, I just... wrote down what I felt and made it into a song. It's a very, very simple song, but it's honest.
Q: We have spoken to other different singers here on Newgrounds, they include JAZZA, Cayler, Zachary Louis, and Hania. They have all taken different routes with their music as well as the creation and craft of it. How does the music come to you? Which comes first in other words the melody or the lyrics?
A: When I write music, usually it's the lyrics that come first. Right now I'm writing a musical, with the working title of "RPG: The Musical." So when I'm writing a song, I just write the lyrics down, find the rhymes, find the rhythm, then find the music. Then the lyrics get tweaked around the music a bit. It's kind of a give-and-take. That said, I think I'm better at ripping off other musicans' work than writing my own. ;)
Q: What can we expect from FolegAlmighty in the future?
A: Well, right now I'm working on acapella covers of "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by the Charlie Daniels Band, and "Fuck You" by Cee-Lo Green. I'm also considering uploading a sample of one of my songs from my musical. I'm always looking for ideas, too, so if NG users wants to hear anything in particular, they should feel more than welcome to send a request via PM. Or anything via PM. I'm always looking for conversations. And friends. And lovers.
You know it saddens me that Newgrounds members don't lurk more on this site. I know Tom Fulp does the Treasure Hunt usually once a year, but only for flash movies and games. Why couldn't he do the same for the Audio Portal? There truly are some hidden gems in this place and FolegAlmighty is certainly a diamond in the rough.