Keep it simple and cumulate on that simplicity – Interview with Yellow Majesty
Tell the world about yourself. How did you grow up to become the musician you are today?
Hey there! I’m Amir Haj-Bolouri, the guy behind (in front of) ‘Yellow Majesty’. To make a long story short: I grew up during the 90’s which was a great time for the music and entertainment industry, so I got to witness the emerging culture of several interesting acts at a young age. Later on, I started to play the guitar at an age of 13, started my first band when I was 15, and from there on continued to advance my interest in writing and performing my own songs. Fast-forwarding in time, beyond playing with dozens of rock bands, singing in post-metal acts, and collaborating with different kinds of musicians in Sweden, I recently decided to start my own audio-visual project: Yellow Majesty’.
Introduce your current musical projects and tell us what makes it special for you!
Currently, Yellow Majesty is my one and only musical project. It’s a ‘disembodied playground’ where my bleach ego and astute imagination bleed one into another. Drawn from influences within the rock genre, Yellow Majesty’s sonic landscape builds on a textured outfit of haunting melodies, suggestive and wicked lyrics, versatile guitar playing, heavy bass, dark synthesizers, and punchy drumming. I am in charge of the whole package concerning the project, everything from writing and arranging the songs, playing all the instruments, singing, mixing, mastering, and producing the music. It’s a very fun and rewarding project where I get to experiment with all of my ideas without having anyone interfering. I started the project in early 2020 and released my debut EP in the end of May. The EP is titled “Tonight’s Blessing” and it explores the ugly, claustrophobic, and paradoxical themes of human conduct. This is expressed sonically through a dense and isolating production, together with stated and tortured lyrics.
How do you find the drive and inspiration to keep playing music?
Life in general. Friction, tension, and a combination of experience and intuition.
How is your local music scene from your perspective? Do you feel like you belong there?
So long my project has been a studio project, but there will be opportunities to play live in the future. Our local music scene is however not that expansive as I would like it to be. Musicians are pretty much struggling to get the attention they deserve, especially the ones that have original ideas that go beyond the typical ‘stomp-your-foot-to-the-rhythm’ and ‘shake-your-ass’ kind of music.
What is your all-time favorite record and how did it change you as an artist?
Tough question, but if I would go with one record that had a strong impact on me, then I would go with ‘Aenima’ with Tool, and interestingly enough the overall theme of that album is ‘change’. I discovered Tool and ‘Aenima’ when I was around 17. After that, my perception of rock music was changed forever.
What are your favorite software and hardware tools for music production?
I use Logic Pro X for music production. In terms of hardware, I believe in ‘less is more’, so I pretty much keep myself busy with the IMac and Focusrite Clarett 2Pre USB as expendable interface.
What is your songwriting process like?
My main principle is: keep it simple and cumulate on that simplicity. I either start with an emotion, energy, abstract idea, melody, rhythm section, or whatever that inspires me and incarnate the segments with a guitar or some other appropriate instrument. Essentially, however, I like to build upon intuition or something highly vague which I then elaborate into a complete song. In contrast, the recording process is highly structured, yet inspiring and rewarding.
Out of all the live shows you have played, which one was the most memorable, and why?
The most memorable show I played must have been the first one in secondary school. By that time, I was 15 and had written a couple of songs which I sang and played together with my school mates from back then. We played the show at the commencement before summer break and I remember that the first thing I did on stage was to break one of the guitar strings, whereas the drummer lost his drum sticks, and the acoustic in the hall was like being inside a church. It was a fun and twisted experience, for everyone, including the audience.
What is your biggest musical goal?
Don’t become ‘fat and happy’, stay inspired, keep on creating the music I enjoy, share it with others, and preserve artistic integrity that does not compromise with pursuing short-term rewards.