“I focus on making things. If I walk into a room with no music, I’m going to build an unforgettable experience for someone.”
“I know a place...”
For Paul Loren, a crooner and songcrafter from Queens, that place can be a room with no music where he will create an unforgettable experience for someone.
That place can be a time in the 50’s and 60’s where soul, rhythm & blues and the American Songbook filled the rafters of the Brill Building in New York City, the birthplace of a distinctive style and sound Paul embodies.
That place can be moving through the dense and diverse suburbs of Queens and the city, writing music inspired by the influences, vibrancy and cultures surging through the No. 7 train as it embarks on its daily American gothic journey from Flushing, Queens to Times Square.
That place can be a neat 15 mile radius of inspiration radiating from a place he proudly calls home, Kew Gardens in Queens.
Paul is one of a select group of Community Champions being feted by the Queens Council on the Arts at the upcoming Caribbean Carnival 2018 Gala.
Tell me about your work
“For me, music is an energy exchange between people, something I inject positivity into with hope that it will make some impact on their daily life.
I care about the vocal heritage of the 50s and 60s, about recording to tape, having everyone in the same room making music the old way. All of this speaks in the result, not only can you hear it, you can feel it. Having this tradition is like having an infrastructure where you can add something of yourself and make something new.
I grew up listening to my mom’s 45s. I liked the feeling of records, the sound of the music. You could say I was a toddler DJ. I’m self taught, I play the piano and I played violin in school. Music is something I knew I wanted to do forever.”
Do you think art can change the world?
“Undeniably. Remember the cultural revolution in the 1960s? It changed the world then as it will continue to change the world now through more divisive times. I believe in optimism and its inherent potential to positively influence peoples’ outlook.”
As you grow as an artist, what are your thoughts about the arts in Queens at this moment in time?
“Queens is the real version of New York with all different kinds of people and all kinds of energy. My music wouldn’t be what it is without New York and specifically, Queens. Living in Kew Gardens gives my music meaning and a sense of place between 2 extremes - the suburbs and the city. There is something special about the artists in Queens. There’s this sax player I know from Astoria and he just plays differently than other sax players - he’s got this ‘Queens tinge’. Geography, place and time affects my music and how I write music.
I like to think of my life as an act of construction. To build something from scratch, from a spark of an idea, from a room with no music. And to craft something something that is unforgettable for someone.
In the next 5 to 10 years, I want to expand my audience, play in new places to new people. Although my musical influences include the Shirelles, the Drifters, Carole King, I want to be part of creating a contemporary music culture.
I identify myself as a Queens singer/songwriter. I am very proud of that.”
Here’s how to find out more about Paul:
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