What is your name? Gabriel Wolfchild & The Northern Light
What is your genre of music?
Cinematic Indie Folk-Rock
Give us a little bio about you. Singer-songwriter Gabriel Wolfchild beautifully fuses a range of raw acoustic sounds with the electricity of cinematic alternative rock in his debut EP, Mornings Like These. Intertwining his natural ability for poetic storytelling with intricate guitar, Wolfchild demonstrates the true meaning of Indie artistry. After finding success as a solo artist in his hometown of Seattle, Wolfchild sought the help of supporting musicians who would later become his band, creating Gabriel Wolfchild and The Northern Light.
The EP, produced by Eric Lilavois (Saint Motel, Atlas Genius) and recorded at the famed London Bridge Studios, is inspired by both the beauty and the darker side of human existence, as well as the connections we make along the way.
Wolfchild confides: “I think I can speak for most artists and say that the best ideas bubble up when you least expect it. Ultimately I believe inspiration comes when we are living a full life; the music that arises is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Many tracks on Mornings Like These were written as an expression of a very deep love with a past partner, “a relationship that encompassed every season of change, a beautiful storm, with these songs being the dove in the darkness”.
Are you signed?
Nope. We are “INDIE”pendent, free, and proud!
You are set to release debut EP , ‘Morning Like These’, can you tell us more about that?
Many of the “seeds” that would end up as fleshed out songs on Mornings Like These were written while I was living alone in a tiny house just outside of The Evergreen State College woods in Olympia, Washington. Up until this point in my career music had been mostly a solo venture, then slowly new types of songs started to emerge that were different and somehow did not feel complete all on their own. It wasn’t until I returned to my childhood home of Seattle, that I would discover and piece together a new community of talented and warm hearted musicians that would inevitably form Gabriel Wolfchild & The Northern Light. Mornings Like These symbolizes an ending as much as it does a new beginning.
Describe each track using three words
Mornings: layers – renew – growth
Runaways: connection – ancient – recognition
A Song for a Traveler: wanderlust – reminder – youth
The Last Song: change – trapped – release
Shipwrecks: perseverance – self/forgiveness – unconditional love
Will we see any gigs or maybe even a tour with this EP ‘Morning Like These’?
Yes! Absolutely! We are currently working on a plan to begin touring early next year.
You were on The Voice USA 2015, how was that experience?
The experience was incredible! I went in assuming I would be seen as a complete outsider and fearing that it was not really my scene. While I can’t say I felt completely at home, I left with a ton of amazingly talented friends from many different walks of life.
While on the show I was able to sing a personally meaningful song at the blind auditions, and I was able to emote a message of peace, unity, and breaking out of the bonds of modern society. It was an experience that basically turned out to be everything I didn’t expect it would be.
Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I would. As long as the artist has a good grip on who they are and what they stand for. The amount of pressure 15 million viewers can put on a person is nothing to joke about. The only thing that will stop you from falling apart at the seams is a solid vision of who you are and why you make music. Having and knowing your message is everything.
What was the best piece of advice you got on there?
I’m paraphrasing, but Christina Aguilera told me to “always trust yourself, and to not try to emulate anybody, but to sing the song like you wrote it.”
Did you stay in contact with any of the other contestants?
Absolutely! I recently hung out with Sawyer Fredericks (winner of my season) a couple months back when he toured through Seattle, and I’ve been able to spend time with a bunch of others who have passed through. To me, that has to be one of the most wonderful things about the experience. I had the opportunity to be locked in a hotel with a bunch of America’s most talented people, and came out with great friends.
Where is your dream venue to play in the UK?
I am not really sure! I have toured much of western Europe as a solo act, but never to the UK, sadly I don’t know the scene well. If I must still answer this question…I would say the rooftop where the Beatles played their very last show, that would be an incredible honor.
Where is your dream venue to play anywhere overseas?
Man I would love to bring the band out to anywhere out east! I would definitely say the UK and Japan, maybe even India!
Do you have any collaboration with any other artists in the planning?
I have been pretty busy working with the six other members of The Northern Light, so nothing is planned at the moment. However, I like to stay open to all possibilities.
What made you go into music?
Strangely I discovered music to be my path while I was studying visual art in San Francisco.
At the time my main focus there was in gestural figurative sculpture, I became obsessed with communication, and the way we as people often communicate our emotions not only through the things we say, but also with movement and posture. I dove into exploring what it means to be human within my own experience as well as observing the people I would see on my day to day. My art became my way to communicate what I could not with words.
Even though I loved the physicality of being able to touch, move, and mold the media, I still felt too detached from the viewer. My creations felt more like relics that only held the evidence of my original creative intent. And while that was captivating in its own right, I wanted to deliver my message first hand. It was when I started taking my guitar to class with me and playing in the stairwells on my breaks, that I discovered the directness and accessibility music can possess.
With song, I could place a piece of my heart into another’s.
Do you play any instruments?
I am a Singer, Guitar Player, and Story Teller.
Who are your influences?
Honestly my influences are always in flux.
If playing music is my number one love, listening and discovering new sounds that resonate with me is my second.
That is the most beautiful thing about the hyper connectivity the internet gave us. It gave artists’ the ability to inspire and be inspired by one another like never before!
Who’s been on my playlist lately:
Gregory Alan Isakov
The Paper Kites
Death Cab For Cutie
The Head And The Heart
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
For me it’s more a matter of showing up first. It’s unrealistic to think that I will wake up everyday inspired and ready to create. The important part is that I take 30 minutes to an hour every day to sit and see if something comes up. If nothing does, that’s okay I just go out into the world and live my life. Chances are, I’ll come back with something beautiful.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Still Happy 🙂
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I love yoga, people watching, cozy coffee shops, and hanging out on creaky wooden docks. Most of all though, I love spending time with an old or maybe new friend one-on-one, and listening to their stories. We as humans can experience the world so differently, and yet the same all at once.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
Man… it would have to be “Gagging order” by Radiohead. It’s kind of an obscure Radiohead song, but one day it came up on shuffle on my iPod while I was sculpting and I could not stop listening to it.
I would wander the San Francisco streets for hours just listening to this one song on loop while occasionally finding eye contact with people when it was natural.. It sounds kind of crazy, but it felt like that song allowed me to see past the surface and deeper into their being.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
-Uncle Henry “Spider Man’s Uncel”
Haha no but seriously, an incredible teacher at Evergreen named Andrea Gulickson taught me about how music throughout time has played incredibly vital roles in nearly every major mass movement. Whether it was The Beatles breaking down the barriers of segregation, or Bob Dylan giving voice to the struggle of America’s growing pains, or Henry Van Cliburn finding warmth in the hearts of America’s sworn enemy “The Russians” during the cold war. There is nothing that can bypass the mind and empathically connect people like music. It only makes sense to do great with it.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Be vulnerable, don’t change yourself for anyone, and take off the mask. At all costs be unapologetically yourself, even if that means showing some of your not so refined unpolished bits. If you’re a mess, be a beautiful ruin.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“Follow your Bliss”
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
My guitar, my pedal board, my amp, and my cello bow… and maybe the words to my songs.. yeah those are important!
You are away from home on tour for ages and you get back, where is your go to place in your hometown?
I go to The Sunlight Cafe, it’s Seattle’s oldest vegetarian restaurant. If I look back as far as I can, my very first foggy memories are of my parents taking me there as toddler. In all my years I don’t think it’s changed even one bit.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?