Wrabel is a singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles. I discovered him five years ago through a friend.
After releasing a few songs with Afrojack, including the smash single ‘Ten Feet Tall’, Wrabel has been writing for different artists such as Will Young, Rozzi Crane, Prince Royce, Adam Lambert, Phillip Phillips and the list goes on. He released his first EP ‘Sideway’s in 2014, and is now working on his full lenght album.
Describe us your writing process. In which atmosphere do you create the best?
Hmm. I don’t think there’s just one way I write. I do tend to always start with melody and music. I love to write lyrics once I have a map of the song. I’ll get a sketch going and then record a bunch of takes and see what I say. Free association, really. Just seeing if there’s anything out there or in here that wants to come out to play. Then i’ll fill in the empty space.
What is the best song you ever written so far? Why?
That’s hard! I have a few favorites (or, favourites, rather), but it’s hard to say what I think is “best”. One of the songs I’m most proud of is called “Love Is Not A Simple Thing To Lose”. I wrote it with two brilliant fellows, Jimmy Hogarth and Dan Mcdougall, in London. It’s about a break up and the start of a new relationship. It’s the most page-out-of-the-journal song I’ve written. I’m proud that I said what I needed to say and very happy to have had two brilliant songwriters to help me say it.
You get to write with many artists and songwriters, what makes a good writing team? What makes a good song?
I have a few writers // friends I work with a lot. I’d say number one is just the energy. I can’t work with people I don’t enjoy. That maybe sounds bad; hmm… I work best with people I enjoy. To me, it’s not about how many #1 records a writer has, but about what they’re bringing into the room. When I get together to write a song, I crave honesty and intimacy and energy. I get high off of it. It’s such a bizarre rush when a few people are writing a song together and things start really flowing. There’s no place for negativity. No place for "industry”. No place for ego. It’s hard sometimes, but I try to keep my writing very simple.
Who am I to say what makes a good song? haa. honestly, I have no idea… My favorite thing is melody and lyric. but really, I’m still shooting in the dark most days.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My songs are always about my life. About something I’ve been through. Something I’m in. Something I hope to go through. ha. Emotions, feelings. All that. I love listening to music I’ve never heard before. Some of my big inspirations are Paul Simon, Kate Bush, Aqualung. I tend to write songs about longing a lot. Longing for a person or a state of being or whatever it is. Love songs. Maybe more unrequited love songs. I also like to think I can save people. That comes out quite a bit, too. I guess I tend to just vent about my intimacy issues in song form, hoping that somebody else in this giant world has felt the same.
You’ve released your debut EP ‘Sideways’ last year. Could you describe us the recording process? Who did you collaborate with?
That record was all over the place. literally. LA, Paris, London, Wales. We were writing and writing and writing. I got to work with some of my favorites on that EP. Quite crazy, really. Jim Eliot, Drew Pearson, Dan Black, Dan Mcdougall, Chris Braide. Some absolutely brilliant folks! We wrote songs all over and recorded them all over. That’s the reader’s digest version.
You have worked with Afrojack and got to perform with him in different places of the world, what have you learned from these experiences? What did you like the most about it?
The crowds. The energy. That’s what’s been the most amazing. So many people and so many faces and so much energy coming at you. Lots and lots of love. I’d never been in the EDM scene before, so it was a bit intimidating at first. Seeing so many smiling people singing along, every word. Oh man it’s amazing. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a performer. What I like, what I don’t like. How to do this, how to do that. Still learning. Forever learning.
What is your favorite memory of your career so far?
Wow that’s really hard. I guess hearing “Ten Feet Tall” on the radio for the first time. Can’t even describe the feeling. There’s actually a video online somewhere of me hearing it. I called into 97.1 amp radio out here in LA and Casey Mccabe let my introduce it. So I heard myself introduce my song on the radio and that was the first time I heard it…on the radio. That last sentence was weird, so I put an ellipsis…
In your opinion, what is the hardest thing about the music industry? How do you get through it?
Ups. Downs. All arounds. You never know what you’re gonna get. You never know when…If…How…What…Where…Why. It can be very defeating if you (I) let it be. I’ve found things like meditation to help just keep me grounded. Also friends and family and management that are all so supportive and encouraging and just there to listen and help and come on this weird journey with me. It really can get crazy at times. I think staying “grounded”, whatever that means to you, is what’s most important. In what is real and not what is fake. What is true and not what is false. Staying on the side of “good”. I try to keep myself surrounded by good people with good hearts.
What does music mean to you?
Everything. Almost everything. It’s full of wonder, mystery, magic, love and truth. I couldn’t live without it.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Ok I really love Drake’s line “Don’t ever take advice”, that was great advice. Advice is great. But I’ve also been given some shitty advices from some shitty people. Maybe be careful about who you’re asking for advice. I’ve learned to be.
What can we expect to hear/see from you this year?
Some possible features coming up… Can’t quite discuss yet, but some things in the works. Also still hard at work on my full length. Ahh… I’ve just written a song on Will Young’s most recent record called "Blue” that’s out and about now. Some other tunes possibly coming out soon, too. Who knows? Does anyone actually ever know? ha. If anyone does, please tell me. Always writing, so you never know what could happen…
What is your life purpose?
To love. To spread love. To accept love. To show love. However and whoever and wherever and whenever I can. I think that might sum it up.
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