Shallou’s Nomad Series Shines Light on Environmental Awareness
Music has an undeniable influence when it comes to raising awareness on key social issues, and artists across multiple genres often use their platform to nudge listeners to action. Honing in specifically on climate change, shallou is serving up a wake-up call in the form of damn good tunes that inform and inspire. Through his visually stunning Nomad series that’s paired with equally striking sounds, shallou is taking his fans on a sojourn across the picturesque sights North America has to offer.
Milk caught up with the talented producer to discuss his forthcoming Souls EP (out April 27), our ever-changing environment, and the inspiring impression he’s leaving on fans around the world.
Getting into the Souls EP, which comes out very soon, I was able to check out the visuals you’ve released so far. I love the Nomad series. Can you go into detail about how that started and what motivated you to create these different themed visuals?
Yeah, so I guess the Nomad series started with my previous EP which was All Becomes Okay. We wanted to have visuals for each of the songs, but we didn’t want to create the usual cover visualizer or even like a full-fledged music video. So, we wanted to kind of focus on the beauty and cinematography. As we started to get some success with the first EP, we decided like, “Hey, let’s put more of the money into increasing the production value of these videos and make them as gorgeous and beautiful as possible.” This included flying out to different parts of the country like Vancouver and all over California and a couple of other places. I wanted to do it for each song a special visual so that when people are listening to the song, they can have it to kind of accompany [the song] to get where it’s coming from. We’re doing that with each song on the EP. So, each song will have its own world or scenery destination.
Very cool. Based off of the videos released, I can tell that you’re very into nature. For the last release, if a person donated to the Environmental Defense Fund they would receive the EP for free. Why did you choose this particular entity to donate towards?
My music—I feel like—fits really well with the environment, the peace and tranquility of the environment. It’s always been something really important to me that we keep our environment clean and at least keep it sustainable. I thought that avenue was a good chance to get that point across. So, it’s an issue that’s personal to me because I feel like the music fits it so well. Even the themes of the EP are kind of tied into the cycle of life and even though there is all this damage being done to the Earth, the Earth can very well heal itself. The idea of All Becomes Okay was going off the idea that even though the Earth has a cycle, it can always start again if we choose to start over and change our habits, we can have a brand-new Earth. Although a lot of my songs are instrumental, they kind of paint these pictures of worlds and emotions that I think people can apply this kind of thinking.
For the second EP, since we have more of a platform with the music, I just felt like we should take it to the next step and keep people thinking about the environment in an interesting way, not in a scary way of, “Oh, it’s all gonna be gone soon if we don’t get our act together.” It’s more like we’ll all see these beautiful environments all of the time and we take them for granted. Let’s not do that anymore, you know?
Yeah and I think it’s great that you’re using your platform to not just speak on the issue, but to also take action for people to take care of the Earth. That’s wonderful.
It’s also a simple thing. I know people get very overwhelmed and are like, “How can we actually change things in our everyday lives?” The fact is you can’t change things that big. It’s impossible to quit your job and go out every day canvassing, but it is possible to donate a little bit of money here and there to a cause like EDF. If you can donate even a little of your paycheck to something like that, it helps and also gives you peace of mind that you’re actually doing something.
I also hear that you’re passionate about mental health awareness. Music and mental health awareness kind of go hand in hand. What impact would you like to leave through your music?
When I first started making music, I took it super seriously. I was trying to make really cool ambient stuff. Then, as I started releasing stuff and getting the real reaction from people like, “This actually helps me relax. It helps me to not worry about my problems. It takes me out of the situation that I’m in.” I started to think, “Well, I didn’t plan for my music to have that kind of powerful impact.” Since I’ve started to realize that, I’ve sort of embraced it like, ‘If this is the way people feel, I should start making posts about different stuff to tell people that the way they’re feeling is normal.’ I’m using that to tell people that everything will be okay. Even if it’s not, it helps to hear that.
Eventually there’s light at the end of the tunnel. With music you can gain some perspective and hope. Congratulations on the sold-out headlining tour!
Thanks. It was a lot of fun.
You went from the Spotify streaming world to doing live shows. How has that transition and growth affected you personally as an artist?
I think when I started to see some movement on Spotify, I was really, really excited and grateful for it obviously, but a little bit guarded in that I didn’t know if it was real people listening and engaging with it or if it was more like background music that people had on at the office or elsewhere. So, I was nervous. I was like, “Can we take this to a place offline? Can we take this outside of Spotify and have people really engage with it?” I’ve been really lucky that people actually wanted to see the show. I’m going on this tour in the fall that we’re planning—I want to make those shows as much of an experience as possible, so that people who found me on Spotify can feel the real value in the offline world.
Featured image courtesy of shallou
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