Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Music journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie artists. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
Artists oftentimes make grandiose comparisons when describing their music. Loveskills, however, likes to think of his EP, Multiplicity, and brand new remix EP, Reskilled, as hangover cures.
“There are certain sounds that actually affect me physically, and my psyche, immediately, when I hear them,” the New York City singer/songwriter/producer explains, “Kind of like if you’re hungover, or you’re kind of malnourished when you go to sleep, and you wake up in the morning and have that glass of orange juice, suddenly your body feels an invigorated sensation, there are certain chords, there are certain sounds that I react to like that. Usually when I’m writing I have to have that feeling just to start a song off, just to start the process, so they’re all kind of coming from this almost physical reaction to the music that I feel.”
That feeling is incredibly important to Loveskills, who has also used the monikers Nite Club, Vinyl Life, and Little Star Dweller, in the past. For this particular project, which has its roots in R&B, and love songs, he says, “I don’t think of Loveskills necessarily as electronic, or acoustic, as much as just the concept of the songwriting, and the musicianship.”
Musically, Loveskills explains it’s best to expect a wide variety from his work. “When I think of records, it’s hard for me to just keep bringing the same style on every song. Multiplicity was me trying to bring one vibe in a multilateral projection, so it’s like every song is stylistically different, but they’re definitely coming from the same place.”
According to Loveskills, this love of diversification is derived from his place of residence. He says, “New York City is a constant force of inspiration and drive. It’s like pure adrenaline. It’s pushing me to use all my strengths in music, and different styles that I work with. I think it’s sculpted me into being a multi-stylistic producer.”
Raised in Queens, but now calling Brooklyn home, Loveskills has a Cuban, and Orthodox Jewish, background. While being raised on arroz con pollo and gefilte fish (not mixed together. That would be awful) certainly had its culinary advantages, Loveskills feels his unique background also played a major role in why he became a musician.
Loveskills’ mother was raised in Cuba, and he explains, “She studied music in Cuba in a conservatory there, and she was a dancing machine, so basically I was surrounded by music growing up, and I think it’s made me who I am.”
Spiritually, Loveskills gives a nod to his Orthodox Jewish background, even though he split from the religion due to some musical lifestyle choices. “They found my Guns N’ Roses records, and skulls and crosses, and my metal stuff,” he remembers. “They were just not having it. It’s OK, it was a mutual separation, but I’m still appreciative because those people are pretty hardcore when it comes to being spiritual, and I think that’s important for anybody in any faith.”
Music is viewed as religion by many, and in that area Loveskills found himself at a temple of a different kind, studying music at SUNY Purchase alongside the likes of Regina Spektor, Dan Deacon, and Levon Vincent. He’s also studied with Philip Glass.
Loveskills remembers one particular composition class with Spektor, saying, “I played a piano piece and she cried. She was like ‘thank you, you made me cry.’”
Once out of school, Loveskills found that his biggest inspiration would also turn out to be his biggest hurdle, as he began to experience the life of an artist in New York City. “It’s so brutal to live here and survive as an artist,” he explains, “but I think if you can do it, if you can attempt to do it even, it’s gonna make your work that much more intense and more connected to you because of the struggle you went through.”
Surviving in the city, and out of it, Loveskills has taken his music everywhere from the Dominican Republic, to Japan. The latter being a performance at his friend Shigeo’s final concert with the rap group SBK (Shigeo is now with a band named The SAMOS).
A healthy alternative to a midnight Taco Bell run, Loveskills is now invigorating, and curing, the musically hungover, in New York City, and all over the world.
B-Listers are a select group of artists that were featured in my Artist Of The Week series that ran every Monday from April of '06 to April of '11. All of these artists have two things in common; extreme talent, and a flight path far too under the radar for my liking. They took on the title of B-Listers as they embraced being featured by me, Adam B. Check out the AOTW Archives for all the interviews.