Songs About Now
Minneapolis transplant Stuart D’Rozario knows a thing or two about writing a beautiful song saturated with emotion, insight and empathy.
Songs About Now listens like the soundtrack to childhood films on one of those old reel to reel projectors. And like most great artists, D’Rozario has the acuity for capturing those special moments in life that transcend pop culture, fashion and peer pressure.
His songs harkens back to those innocent, intimate moments like sitting on the floor in an old farm house watching the shadows creep across a creaky wooden floor; watching an ant carry food across a cracked sidewalk; listening to your Grandpa sing spirituals on a dilapidated front porch stoop in the midst of a draught.
D’Rozario’s knowing lyrics, gentle guitar and gorgeous backing band give us a soliloquy meant for all to hear.
Specifically, the haunting synth and knowing bass on “Butterflies” is reminiscent of Roger Waters’ acoustic solo work. And the more we think about it, we think Waters would be awfully proud of this album’s vocal delivery and superb songwriting.
As you’ll read in the interview below, one of D’Rozario’s earliest childhood memories, “…is sitting in a trench in the middle of a cold night with planes flying overhead dropping bombs.”
Now we all know that’s absolutely a scene from The Wall.
And since we’re on that name-dropping path, let’s simply say that Paul Simon, Dylan and Paul McCartney could all be fans of D’Rozario, and for good reason.
Songs About Now boasts 10 songs that are actually about something. They don’t rely on clichÃ©d, formulaic hooks and engage the listener to feel for the sake of feeling. And while our therapist will be getting twice a week sessions in December, we like the warm, squishy feeling we get from it.
We sat down with D’Rozario to chat about his childhood, musical influence, and where Songs About Now is headed next. Read on…
Where are you from? We take it you are either European or have a flair for foreign grammaticals and accents.
I was born and brought up in India. I lived in Hong Kong for a while and have been in the US for the last 12 years. I moved to Minneapolis from New York a few years ago.
How long have you been playing music?
Iâ€™ve been playing for about 25 years. But have often found myself distracted by my day job. The last 10 years have been more focused.
Who are your influences?
I tend to like a really wide range of music. But I guess the biggest direct influences on my music have probably been Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Dave Matthews, Crowded House, Sting and of course, The Beatles. From a guitar finger picking stand point Paul Simon has certainly been a huge influence. His songs are easy to listen to, but what a lot of people donâ€™t realize is that he is technically and musically extremely accomplished.
We can tell from your songs you have a definite eye for the intimate moments of everyday life. Has this always been the case?
To be honest, I havenâ€™t ever thought of myself that way. But I do know that every now and then I see something, or read something, or feel something that makes me want to write lyrics or which makes me hear a tune in my head. Iâ€™m intrigued by this. Because Iâ€™m not totally in control of it.
I believe the purpose of music is to make people feel something â€“ to experience a certain emotion. Words and the melodies are the vehicles that help accomplish that. More often than not the inspiration tends to come to me from everyday situations.
What’s your first childhood memory that still holds a lot of impact on
your life today?
One of my earliest memories is sitting in a trench in the middle of a cold night with planes flying overhead dropping bombs. Frankly, it really wasnâ€™t as dramatic as it might sound, and Iâ€™m not sure itâ€™s had any lasting impact on my life. But itâ€™s still a clear memory and a good story!
We love the artwork with the album. Where was the photography taken?
At a museum. We changed the art, though, since it was proprietary.
Can you tell us a little bit about one of the songs – how you came to
write it, and what it means? How about “Dreamy Eyed Loser”?
I wrote “Dreamy Eyed Loser” in Las Vegas at 4 in the morning. It was tragic to see so many people sitting all night and day gambling their lives away. There were clearly a lot of people losing money they didnâ€™t have; hoping to hit the jackpot, thinking that it would be a solution to all their lifeâ€™s problems. To me, thatâ€™s what the song is about.
The funny thing is when I came back home and played it for people, many of my friends — who are successful professionals and not gamblers at all — said, “Hey, I feel that song is about me. I relate to that.” I think maybe they found the idea of being a Dreamy Eyed Loser a little idealistic. Or maybe I need some new friends.
Haha…tell us about it. What do you think of the Minneapolis music scene when it comes to your particular genre?
I think there are a lot of very good musicians in the city. I donâ€™t follow the music scene as closely as I should. But what Iâ€™ve heard Iâ€™ve been very impressed by. For my money, 10,000 Years by The Honeydogs is one of the best albums ever.
Any news/upcoming gigs?
Right now Iâ€™m busy promoting Songs About Now. I am fortunate to have found people in NY and LA who like the record and are representing it for film and television. It could be a great way to get a lot of exposure.
As far as gigs go, Iâ€™m hoping to play again early next year in Minneapolis and in New York.
In the meantime, of course, I continue to write new songs. And I keep playing everyday — because I love to. At the end of the day, I think that what itâ€™s all about.
Songs about Now is currently available at Minneapolis’ Electric Fetus or online at SongsAboutNow.net.