Sameer Shukla
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Sameer Shukla

Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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The best kept secret in music

Press


"Three Imaginary Girls"

Sameer Shukla "Cheap Cheap Moon" While Sameer Shukla has yet to release, There's Only One Side Tonight yet, I bet if you email and ask him really nice, he can get you a copy. Or wait a short while — I'm sure some smart local label will scope up this pop gem soon. Fans of local band Dolour will be happy to hear Shane Tutmarc's influence on the arrangement as well as some backup vocals, if our ears don't deceive us. Catch Sameer at the Crocodile on February 8th with Graham Travis and Matthew Shaw — a stellar singer-songwriter lineup!
- threeimaginarygirls.com


"Allalom Interview"

Once again we have another promising artist emerging from the Seattle pop scene, under the mentorship of Shane Tutmarc (Dolour) we find Sameer Shukla quickly climbing up the singer / songwriter ladder with his blend of pop and garage rock. After recently finishing up his debut full-length we had a chance to ask him a little about his music.

Allalom Productions: Welcome to ALLALOM! So how has the response been to you, as an artist, in Seattle?

Sameer Shukla: It has been a complete atmosphere of support and encouragement.  People like John Richards and Sean Nelson have been very positive towards my recent effort.  For not having a label, a lawyer, or any kind of "formal" representation, the response I have gotten is something I'm really happy with.

AP: What kind of music are you currently listening to?

SS: Right now I'm listening to the new Dolour record, U.S.E., The Beach Boys, Weezer's 'Pinkerton', and most of all:  The Strokes.

AP: When did you decide you wanted to start performing music?

SS: When I saw the movie La Bamba.  That was the fisrst time I ever knew I wanted to play guitar.

AP: You recently finished up your sophomore album, have you found a label yet to release it?

SS: Well, it's my first full-length.  I did do an EP before, but this new record is what I would consider my debut effort. As for the label thing, I don't have one as of yet, but it is something I'm actively pursuing.  It's a weird place to be in, because I haven't done any touring, and that's the main thing that most indie labels look for.  And it's a catch-22, because I would love to spend most of my life on the road, but I don't think it's a smart idea to tour a record that you can't even buy. If, in a few months time there isn't label interest, I'll just self-release it because I'm dying to get it out.

AP: Are there any artists that truly inspired you while you were writing this album?

SS: My biggest inspiration was Shane Tutmarc, bar none.  My idea of songwriting was completely changed by working with him.  He was one of the first people to show me the "craft" of songwriting by giving me encouragement and advice.  Ever since our first meeting, my whole approach to songwriting differed in a very, very productive way. Other than that, I really tried to study a couple of my favorite writers' melodies. The main one would be Julian Casablancas of The Strokes.  He has the ability to write simple, catchy melodic lines that are instantly recognizable.

AP: How do you normally write your songs, is there a set process or is it different for each one?

SS: It usually starts with a lyrical idea or phrase that sums up a point or idea I'm trying to express.  Other times I'll be fooling around with a chord progression for a while, and a melody will just hit me, sometimes at the most random times.  Once I've got a general idea for a melody or lyric, I usually try to write the song in one sitting.

AP: Where did you record?

SS: The entire record was recorded at my house in Ballard on Pro-Tools.

AP: Why did you choose home recording over a professional studio?

SS: There are just so many reasons.  The main two are money and comfort.  The studio can create an atmosphere that is not really catered to creativity.  Home recording provides a space where you can try out new ideas without pressure.

AP: Would you do it again?

SS: I'm actually planning on getting Pro-Tools and producing my next record.  I want to play every instrument on it, too.  I've got about four songs ready, so we'll see how it'll go.

AP: What was the recording process like?

SS: It was a ton of fun.  We would lay the basic structure of songs down to a click-track and then added each instrument around that.  All of my roommates are musicians, so it was a blessing to constantly have five differing opinions on songs we were working on.  Also, the fact that we did the album at home really created a productive atmosphere of calm and comfort that isn't always present in recording studios.

AP: Why did you use Shane Tutmarc (Dolour) as your producer?

SS: Shane was a guy who I've always had a great amount of respect for, and is someone I have total musical trust in.  As a producer, he is able to showcase the strengths and potential of any given songwriter.  We're also really good friends, so it just seemed natural to have him do the album.

AP: Where do you want to be in ten years?

SS: Making records and touring.

AP: If you were not performing music, what would you like to do?

SS: My dream job would be an America's Most Wanted re-enactment actor.  Everyone thinks I'm kidding when I say that, but those dramatizations look like so much fun.

AP: If you could perform in any decade – when would it be?

SS: Without a doubt: The Sixties.

AP: Why the Sixties?

SS: The Beatles and The Beach Boys.  It just seemed liked such a great time for creativity.

AP: Has there ever been a concert or performance that just blew you away - and why?

SS: Yes. I saw Brian Wilson do "Smile" in San Francisco.  There are too many reasons why it was amazing.  But just to see this guy perform his masterpiece after years of struggle and hardship was really, really inspiring.  It gave me faith in the human spirit.

AP: What is your opinion on the current independent music scene?

SS: It seems to be getting stronger by the day, and it's so great to witness.  I think technology has put all the power back in the hands of musicians instead of bureaucrats.

AP: OK, a couple random questions: what is your favorite food dish?

SS: Chana Masala and Rice.

AP: Favorite film of 2004?

SS: Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind

AP: Favorite drink?

SS: Chocolate Soy Milk

AP: Favorite city to visit?

SS: Walnut Creek, California

AP: Thank you for your time, we wish you the best on your musical future.

SS: Thank You.


Learn more about Sameer and his debut album at sameershukla.com
- allalom.com


"Allalom Album Review"

or some reason I get records that I want to completely dissect, that I want to tear down to the very foundations and see how they are built; I don’t want to just give an overview of the album, I want the world to know everything about it and what makes it so special.

When I received Sameer’s album I was not sure what to expect, I had heard the EP releases late last year, and had thoroughly enjoyed it, but I could not decipher where he would go with a full length. I listened to it once, then twice, and on the third time I started to comprehend what I was feeling about the music; I enjoyed most of it, but it was lacking in whatever was needed to make it a great album. It is a good album to be sure, but not a great album, and that is kind of what I was looking for when I first listened to it.

I blame that on the fact of who was behind the album, I saw Shane Tutmarc (Dolour) and Jason Holstrom’s (U.S.E.) involvement as signs of greatness, not mediocrity. More then anything I probably set my sights to high for this release, because it truly is not bad; I will keep this in my player for a while yet, and will enjoy playing it for years to come. It is just not as good as I expected.

Sameer has some growing and learning to do in his songwriting, although he cites both The Strokes as influences I did not hear any trace of the garage-rock revival, but glints of vaudeville and the cabaret permeates the track listing. His Ryan Adams influence is the most pronounced, easily showing through on each track, a form of flattery that never crosses into bad imitation (though on occasion he comes close). Some of the more memorable songs include “Cheap Cheap Moon” and “Jack Daniel’s Eyes” – sure to be hits among the indie circles.

The music is subdued compared to his vocal delivery, showcased in a manner to broadcast his many talents and the occasional flaw. This album is ten times better then 80% of the music released today, unfortunately it falls flat on the other 20% - so consider it a stepping-stone; a notch in what will hopefully be a bright future for this promising artist.
There are also some minor technical styles that I don’t enjoy, but that is much more a matter of personal taste then anything else. Overall I expect this will become a brave start for Sameer to become part of bigger and better things.

Reviewed by: Samuel Aaron
- allalom.com


Discography

LP- 'There's Only One Side Tonight' to be self-released in Summer 2005.

Added to rotation on FM Seattle radio stations '107.7 The END' and 'KEXP 90.3'

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Sameer Shukla is a singer/songwriter from Seattle, Washington. He has been performing in and around Seattle for the past five years. Drawing from the intimate emotional qualities of Ryan Adams, as well as the immediate and lasting effects of melodies from The Strokes, Sameer creates a songwriting style that is all his own.

The twenty-three year old has just completed his debut full-length album, entitled There's Only One Side Tonight. With the production and arrangement help of Shane Tutmarc (Dolour) and the mixing abilities of Jason Holstrom (United State of Electronica), the album is a testament to the possibilities of DIY production. Local magazine thestranger.com described Sameer as an artist who, "...knows his way around the classic pop form, with adventurous melodies and smart lyrics to spare".

The unlreleased full-length album has quickly gained the attention of the local music press and radio. Influential KEXP (90.3 FM) DJ John Richards named Sameer "Your New Favorite Artist" shortly before the albums completion. Currently, Sameer is shopping the album to various independent labels and is hoping for a Spring, 2005 release. According to local internet 'zine threeimaginarygirls.com, "...some smart local label will scope up this pop gem soon". He is anxious to seize on any touring or label oppotunities that will help him get his music across to as many people as possible.