‘Resin, Sandpaper, Velvet’ | Interview with Ark White

With a minimal arrangement, the sweet tones of the guitar accompanies Ark White’s richly emotive vocal delivery in a track that is deeply emotional and truly honest. Read our discussion with the artist below!

Describe your sound in 3 words

Resin, Sandpaper, Velvet

You recently released 3 singles, Green Pastures, Foldin’ Love and Try me. All three sound really emotional and deeply melancholic but with some chill moments in them too. Tell us a few things about your upcoming debut EP and the main idea behind it.

My Debut-EP is the summary of my creative work of the last two years. It is titled “Foldin’ Love”, just like its first single. While never intended, all the songs ended up being songs about love, lust or the loss of a beloved. I therefore chose “Foldin’ Love” to be the title of the EP, also because I like the surreal and tactile image of love folding onto someone and feel like it really fits the sound the EP has.
I also feel like the songs were conceived as a form of self-therapy. While this sounds like a cliché, it really fits how my songwriting process takes place. All of the tracks were written in moments of intense feeling and started out as poems that I wrote without thinking about melody, symmetry or rhymes.
To me, the EP is indeed full of melancholy, but I also see many soothing moments, some anger and also excitement taking place. I have, however, always found melancholy to be a very helpful feeling to work through things I have experienced and therefore tend to express it a lot in my own writing.

Adding to our previous question, how does Ark White differ from the previous project you were involved in titled Ruhe & Bit?

My previous main project “Ruhe & Bit”, which is still ongoing, saw me taking the role of a producer in am experimental hip-hop duo. I’ve had a huge interest and liking for hip-hop since my late teens and really got into music production around that time too. I then started working with one of my best friends, who started writing and rapping at the time. As a producer I have always loved how much I can mirror the texts in the music I produce and how much I can amplify what the lyrics are saying musically. However, I often tend to overload the tracks I produce, because I want to say a lot through the music. With the vocals coming on top, the tracks most often need to be quite minimalist and leave a lot of space for the rap. Therefore I really started craving to make music again, where I have all the space to express myself and can also come back to my own voice and writing. After we released our Debut-LP, I slowly started writing solo tracks, that were at first quite beat-influenced. They then slowly evolved into a much slower, classical-guitar and folk influenced sound and would turn out to be the first “Ark White” demos.

Which is your go-to tune on a gloomy day?

“Dear Prudence” by the Beatles

Also people and artists that have influenced you?

The Beatles very heavily as a kid
the Strokes, Radiohead, Bombay Bicycle Club’s “Flaws”, the first two Kings of Leon Records, James Blake, A Tribe Called Quest in my teens
Also classical guitar composers like Manuel Ponce, Joaquín Rodrigo, Leo Brouwer and many others
And more recently I’ve really been into Nick Hakim, Derya Yildirim, King Krule, Kendrick, Alice Phoebe Lou’s “Glow”
There’s many more I could name and have probably forgotten! 🙂

If the music of Ark White was a film, which film would that be?

Maybe “BAL” by Semih Kaplanoğlu

In your real life, are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Definitely an optimist!

What is the story behind your name?

The name does not really have a precise meaning. I didn’t want to use my real name for my music, but held onto “White”, which is my last name. I then wanted to use an image for the other part of my name, which represented the kind of music I was making. I started out with “Bark White”, but then decided to turn it into “Ark” in a moment of slumber just before waking up one morning. It felt right, so I changed it.

Thank you!

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