As the debut solo project from musician Nicholas Tillery, Future Soul is a name you’ll be hearing plenty of in the coming months. Having made waves with his single “Process”, he’s set to release his Elastic Love EP next month and he kindly agreed to this interview to chat song-writing, dream shows and thoughts on social media.
PW: How would you describe yourself and your music in a few words?
FS: Analytical, quirky, and expressive.
PW: How and when did you first discover your love of music and performing? Was there an album you bought or concert you attended that inspired you to pursue it as a career?
FS: I always enjoyed listening to music at an early age - it brought out a degree of excitement that nothing else really replicated. Things kick-started when I began learning how to play the drum-set around age 10. From there, I practiced and performed whenever and wherever I could, picking up piano and singing just 3-4 years ago. I wouldn’t say there was a particular moment in time where I discovered my passion, it just progressed over time.
PW: Which bands or artists influenced you growing up and have those influences changed over the years?
FS: My influences have most certainly changed over the years…I grew up listening to Anberlin, Copeland, Greeley Estates, Switchfoot, Rage Against the Machine. Then into my middle school years I began listening to a lot of metal, like Lamb of God, Slayer, Metallica, Children of Bodom, Opeth, Cynic, etc. Out of high school, I started straying from metal and listened to artists more along the lines of Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Silverchair, Daniel Johns, Frank Ocean, SOHN, etc., all of which strongly influenced my musicality.
PW: Is there a band or artist you might say you're similar to?
FS: I have been told my music sounds like a louder Damien Rice, which I could definitely see some similarities in.
PW: Tell me about your single "Process." Is there a story behind it?
FS: I think a lot of this song is a personal attempt to understand modern romance. I have seen many people I know go out into the night, intoxicate themselves, find a stranger to confide in, and wake up either regretting the process or becoming addicted to it. It never made sense to me, so “Process” is really a conversation with myself trying to make sense of it.
PW: Who or what most inspires your song-writing?
FS: Life experiences fuel my song-writing.
PW: In your opinion, which is the greatest song ever written and why?
FS: This is a tough one. If I’m being completely honest, I personally don’t think that any one song is the greatest. There are far too many different songs, genres, etc. and each affect listeners in their own unique way. I believe that variability in and of itself makes music as a whole so incredible - that it can affect anyone to some capacity.
PW: You're releasing your Elastic Love EP next month. Without giving too much away, what can you tell me about it?
FS: Elastic Love draws from a lot of my personal experiences in order to examine the modern relationship and the complexities that are involved. It’s about the connections we make in life and often how difficult it can be to maintain them. I see the modern relationship as flexible in the sense that people often bend their perception of love to favor the idea of someone rather than accepting reality.
PW: Could you pick a favorite track on the collection?
FS: The track “Faith” holds a special place in my mind. It illustrates a troubling, but necessary event in my life.
PW: If you could share a stage with four other bands or artists who can be living or dead, who would they be and where would you play?
FS: I would be honored to play alongside Daniel Johns, Gallant, Sam Smith, and Mew anywhere around the world really…though I have always wanted to go to Europe.
PW: Could you choose your favorite performance to date?
FS: One of my favorite performances took place at a bar called the Yucca Taproom in Tempe, AZ. The place was packed with good friends, family, and people I had never met. The energy was right and everyone just had fun with it.
PW: What are your upcoming performance plans?
FS: Right now I’m looking to focus mainly on the Phoenix area, performing anywhere possible to help build a presence in my hometown.
PW: How does it feel to be praised by the likes of Impose Magazine?
FS: It feels amazing. I’m honored that they took the time to listen to and share my music.
PW: What are your thoughts on social media and to what extent has it helped boost your career?
FS: I am not a huge fan of social media, but I realize it is a necessary facet of communication that artists nowadays must embrace. The world is very connected because of social media, so it’s unwise to shrug it off. Using it has helped me share my music to people that I would have otherwise never spoken to.
PW: What else does the rest of the year have in store for you?
FS: I will be focusing all my energy on promoting the EP and performing locally as well. Aside from that, I have already started honing in on songs for the full length record. No set timeline yet, but it’s in the works.
PW: Finally then, what's your ultimate ambition as an artist and with that in mind, whose career would you most like to emulate and why?
FS: I’m not shooting for fame or anything grandiose like that. I just want people to listen to and connect to my songs in their own way, like I do when I find an artist that gives me the absolute feels.