Interview – Blue Capricorn

Blue Capricorn

Blue Capricorn’s ‘WILL YOU AFFECT ME?’ is a hauntingly beautiful track that delves deep into the artist’s emotions. The song captures a sense of isolation and profound love, reflected in its ethereal atmosphere and intricate production. Blue Capricorn’s vulnerability shines through in every note, making this a standout piece on his new EP, ‘¡AYÚDAME!’. The track’s evolution over time showcases the artist’s commitment to his craft, resulting in a sound that resonates with authenticity. ‘WILL YOU AFFECT ME?’ is a testament to Blue Capricorn’s unique musical vision and his ability to convey complex emotions through his music.

Indie Midlands: ‘WILL YOU AFFECT ME?’ seems deeply personal. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind this song and its role in your new EP?

Blue Capricorn: When ‘WILL YOU AFFECT ME?’ was written, I was in a really vulnerable place in life. I wanted to write something that really had to do with where I was mentally and physically at the time, and it turned out I was in a state of isolation craving warmth and love from my partner. At first I didn’t know how to quite articulate my thoughts because anything to do with love wasn’t really what I was used to writing about, so I didn’t know how to be complex with the subject like I originally intended to. But once the mix for the track was complete, I immediately knew this needed to be the closing track for my EP ¡AYÚDAME!’. I had a lightbulb moment and there was just no way this track could be placed anywhere else. It became a dreampop/slowcore style type of ballad that perfectly emulated my thoughts in a piece of audio.

Indie Midlands: Your friend Skyler contributed to the guitar work on the track. How did this collaboration enhance the song’s creative process?

Blue Capricorn: Skyler is a really talented musician. I actually don’t play guitar, so having him give himself to the project was extremely beneficial. Michael Briggs, the producer I worked on this with, and myself came up with the notes for the guitar and we had Skyler come into the studio and play the pattern. At first, I almost opted to just use a pre-programmed midi version of the acoustic guitar, but then I felt like that would’ve eliminated the organic process of the song development, so I went ahead and had Skyer play throughout the whole song. It turned out to be absolutely fitting for ‘WILL YOU AFFECT ME?’. I was blown away with how it really changed the style of the song.

Indie Midlands: You mentioned sitting on the song for eight months and revising it. What made you feel that it needed further refinement, and how did you approach those revisions?

Blue Capricorn: I’m actually very glad I sat on this song for almost a year. When I first thought it was ‘done’, there was something missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I relistened and relistened and relistened until I figured out how to drastically improve it. As a musician, you always want to make music that even you can listen to, and that’s what I wanted for ‘WILL YOU AFFECT ME?’. I wanted it to move me and to help me picture a scene from a movie like other artists’ music has. Anyways, I eventually figured out that the vocals were what needed some more love. What you hear now is probably the 5th or 6th revision. I wanted the vocals to have an atmospheric yet cathedral-like muffled feel because I really wanted to take up space, especially in the chorus. I’m really big on reverb and effects on vocals so it was really challenging to find the right effect for such a specific sound. I thank Michael for his patience because I kept bugging him to change it lol. That’s how you know you’re growing though.

Indie Midlands: The track carries an ethereal atmosphere. Can you elaborate on the creative choices that helped you achieve this unique sound?

Blue Capricorn: I absolutely love dreampop music. I was listening to a lot of Mazzy Star and Ethel Cain at the time when the song was written. When you listen to their music, it leaves a long lasting impression. It’s music that feels like you’re in a scene from an A24 coming of age drama and I was really interested in doing something that was just as effective. I made it a goal to have the listener feel lost in a world of haze and warmth, which I had not done before. I’m glad I took the route that I did with my music because having a song already that’s been described as “cinematic” & “ethereal” is what I eventually want Blue Capricorn to partially be. I was also interested in making more music that was accessible. I asked myself how I could make this song more appealing to a greater audience. Structure, mixing, and instrumentation were the answers.

Indie Midlands: In your comments on the track, you mentioned vulnerability and the realization of love’s different forms. How do these themes resonate throughout your EP, ‘¡AYÚDAME!’?

Blue Capricorn: ‘¡AYÚDAME!’ is ultimately about my call for help and my own realization that it’s acceptable to be vulnerable. It’s about having the courage to feel worthy of love. A lot happened in my life when the record was written. I lived alone far away from everyone I knew. I had financial struggles for months in a row. I lost the first car I ever bought due to an accident. I couldn’t record any music because my writer’s block was at its peak. I wasn’t doing well and I refused to seek help because I was afraid it would be perceived as a weakness. At the same time, I was in a new relationship with someone who is now my current partner. She taught me all about love and how worthy I was of it. Every song on ‘¡AYÚDAME!’ has something to do with my experience of love and vulnerability in different variations. When I finished the project, I recognized that I simply had a lot to unpack. I’m glad I was able to talk about something I wasn’t comfortable exploring before. It felt like a release of sorts.

Indie Midlands: Your music is known for its eerie soundscapes and moodiness. How has your sound evolved from your debut EP to ‘¡AYÚDAME!’, and what drove this evolution?

Blue Capricorn: My debut EP was much more stripped down. Looking back, I thought that was as good as it was gonna get but to be honest, I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I wasn’t as confident with my music as I am now. With ‘¡AYÚDAME!’, I wanted to be even more complex and nuanced. I grew curious about guitars and other instruments I had never involved with my previous music. With music, the possibilities are endless and with ‘¡AYÚDAME!’, I knew no boundaries. I was always curious to see where my sound would go next because I like to be unpredictable. This time around, I really experimented like never before. I touched genres and stitched sounds that you wouldn’t normally hear, and that to me is interesting. I ultimately want to make music that will make me stand out, and with ‘¡AYÚDAME!’, I feel like Blue Capricorn is getting closer to a sound that I could stand for in the long run. I always think about how I could be better.

Indie Midlands: You’ve mentioned several musical influences. How do these artists inspire and shape your creative process, and how do they manifest in your music?

Blue Capricorn: To me, authenticity is the most important thing about being a songwriter. But when it comes to influences, I will admit I listened to a lot of artists that I love today that helped me shape the artist I am today. The vocal style of Nick Hakim is intoxicating to me. The old-soul of Puma Blue influences me to not be afraid to be old-fashioned with my music sometimes. The notion of James Blake’s instrumentals pushes me to explore electronic music. The way Nicolas Jaar approaches his music with pride of heritage inspires me to show off who I really am in my music as well as to take risks. Willie Colón motivated me to explore identity and culture. Portishead and Massive Attack’s music taught me to be minimal, but interesting. Billie Holiday stimulated my love for jazz. Nosaj Thing inclined me to consider space and how to take advantage of it in extraordinary ways. Frank Ocean’s work persuaded me to always pay attention to detail. Mazzy Star encouraged me to be cinematic, slow, and easy on myself. 

I’m still learning as I grow. Influence goes a long way, but I truly never really know what I’m going to write next. Either way, I’m thrilled to share what’s next. I won’t be long… bear with me.

Nat Greener