Up-and-coming artist Smeethan delves into the creative process behind his latest release “Soul Symphony.” Passionate about the environment and its preservation, the talented singer-songwriter draws inspiration from the natural world to infuse his music with a sense of awe and wonder. By incorporating elements of nature into his work, he hopes to raise awareness about environmental issues and spark action towards greater sustainability.
Smeethan believes that our connection to nature is integral to our survival as a species, and worries about the state of our planet in the face of human activity. Through “Soul Symphony,” he aims to inspire listeners to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and take action to protect it for generations to come.
Read the full interview below.
Can you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind “Soul Symphony” and how it relates to your views on environmental activism?
“Soul Symphony” is inspired by the natural beauty of our world. In a society where it’s easy to be consumed by technology and apathy, I found myself increasingly looking to nature to find a sense of self and purpose. Through my search, I discovered how closely intertwined we are with nature; we fundamentally depend on it to survive.
Our ability to live in harmony with the planet is coming to a crossroads. We can choose to either innovate and improve our impact on our environment, thus becoming better shepherds, or we can over-consume, pollute, and dismantle our ecosystem, succumbing to the fate of the wolf who hunts all its prey. We have ushered in the sixth great mass extinction event on earth. It is foolish to think we will not be affected.
It is becoming more and more evident that action needs to be taken if we are to survive and thrive in the future. Soul Symphony is a tribute to Spring: A new beginning, one that searches for beauty and strives to protect and cherish it forever.
The use of natural sounds in “Soul Symphony” is quite unique. Can you walk us through the creative process of incorporating these sounds into your music?
I went to school for music production and sound engineering. While these two disciplines offer a lot of insight, I found the way they think about sound to be narrow and outdated. We’re at the point technologically where we can make any sound with a computer. This changes the way we can interact with sound. It’s no longer a practice of recording sound waves, but a practice of producing them. The importance is in which sounds you select to build your sonic story.
In “Soul Symphony,” I chose to use the sounds of nature because I wanted to illustrate just how beautiful the world can be, in hopes of inspiring an appreciation for what we have. I layered the sounds of birds, animals, wind, thunder, and rain on top of the bass and piano notes to build an atmosphere and a story. The possibilities of what we can do with sound have expanded past what we classically think of as instruments. We have entered an Age of Waves.
You’ve mentioned your support for the Sunrise Movement. What urged you to get involved with this organization, and how do you hope your music can help raise awareness for their cause?
The Sunrise Movement is a youth-led movement that is fighting for our future. Born into a world of uncertainty and adversity, we are determined to prevent humanity from falling into ruin. The Sunrise Movement managed to get The Green New Deal, a proposal that calls for the US to address climate change, economic inequality, and other social programs, presented before Congress. This is a huge step in demonstrating the power we have in influencing our government and inspired great hope in my heart.
While logic is great for educating people, I have found that feeling is a more powerful tool in convincing and motivating people. I hope to inspire people to first appreciate the beauty our planet offers, and then expand that appreciation into a desire to protect the Earth, by raising awareness and support for the movement.
The music video for “Soul Symphony” features breathtaking footage of nature and wildlife. Can you talk about the significance of these visuals in relation to the song’s message?
My goal in creating art is to make you feel as intensely as possible. I find that the more you can feel something, the more you can empathize with it.
Sound as a medium is the most emotionally powerful of our senses, but every sense is valuable. To accomplish my goal of intense emotion, I chose to also engage with the visual sense. The music video is my first step towards that.
In the music video, I present spectacular vistas, cute baby animals, thunderous waterfalls, and the dance of rain. My intention is to immerse you in the feelings of serenity and awe.
How important do you think it is for artists to use their platform to raise awareness for social and environmental issues?
I think opinions and beliefs are deeply personal. However, when an issue is genuinely meaningful to you, the first step in stimulating change is to share your ideas. I wouldn’t expect anyone to immediately believe what I believe, but I do think it’s my responsibility to use my platform to inspire.
Regarding other artists, I don’t think I should tell them what to do or not do. Everyone has the power and free will to use their platform for whatever they would like. Nevertheless, I do think that what you choose to do in your life directly represents what you believe and value, either consciously or unconsciously.
In your opinion, what are some actionable steps individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprint and help preserve the environment?
Individuals can reduce their carbon footprint in a number of ways, and this is a great step in the right direction. But, if we are to look at what is truly threatening our environment, it is primarily greenhouse gasses. We have known this for years and we know who and what is producing them. If we want to have a real impact on our environment, we must reduce our carbon emissions on a global scale.
As individuals, we can only do so much. If we want to have an impact, it needs to be done through governmental action. We must come together and push our government to change our laws and enforce them, which is what the Green New Deal is attempting to do. Individuals can contact their representatives and push them to prioritize this issue.
This type of mass movement happened in our country in the past and worked. The civil rights movement and women’s suffrage are two excellent examples of this. As individuals, we may feel like we don’t have a voice, but when we come together, we are strong.
What’s next for you in terms of your music and activism, and how do you plan to continue spreading your message?
Musically, I am in the process of making a second half of this project. It focuses on humanity with an optimistic look toward our future.
Regarding activism, I intend to travel around the country in efforts to communicate my message. I hope to help people pursue the common goal of promoting and preserving life.
Watch the Official Visualizer on YouTube:
Listen to “Soul Symphony” here: