Basil Panagop is a Berlin-based singer-songwriter, producer, and a clothing designer. “I’m originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada,” Basil tells Eat This Music in our chat about his latest nine track album, ‘LaLaLand‘ an introspective look at his life between the ages of 16-21, “but made a move to the U.K two years ago on advice from a friend, Ffi Lewis, who ended up signing me to the label she was working at.”
“I mean music is one of the mediums that I express myself in,” Basil tells Eat This Music about why he chose music to express himself. “If you watch the music videos that I did with my friends Eric Liddle, Kasparas Vidunas, and Julian Schmidt that also help tell the story of the music and is another way to express ones self.” For Basil as well, the clothing he is making evolves along with the music and the videos to relate to where he is as a person at the him. “I think this for me it’s important to have my hands on as many mediums to express myself as possible,” he continues. “It’s like telling stories in different ways that people can enjoy.” Essentially this is also refreshing for Basil because he feels like one can feed off the other. “I might get inspiration for clothing from something I listen to or see and vice versa,” he adds.
Basil is doing alright at the moment, although, he does think not being able to play shows at the moment is trash. “I understand and support why we can’t play shows,” he says, “there’s this feeling of playing live and feeding off the vibe in the room that can’t be explained, that human connection is what I’m lacking right now.” That being said, the heat of the lock down phase was also helpful as well for connection, “I kind of holed myself up and used the time to introspectively work on the release of the album, what my next steps would be for the clothing and my next music project, and really take the me to reflect on how important that human connection is, and how a lack of it can impact someone.”
“It’s all about how you look at things, there can be negatives and positives to draw from anything, I try to always draw from the positives.” — Basil Panagop on how he is doing.
As briefly touched on above, this album is what Basil calls his death of adolescence. “It’s such an important period for all of us in developing who we are,” Basil states, “[and] who we are going to be going forward.” When Basil first got to the U.K he spent a lot of time alone, and in that process he started to look inward. Thinking about all the good and bad experiences that he had. “All the mistakes I made, and all the things I had experienced for the first me in shaping who I am today.” In a way, Basil wanted to re-create all those experiences into a physical format as one larger story, which became the album. “For me music is the art of storytelling, and the musicians I look up to are all great story tellers,” Basil continues.
“Moulin Rouge as a song itself is a prey personal story about first love,” Basil tells Eat This Music about one of the important songs off the album. “I wanted to create a sense of intimacy so I would stay up and record from midnight to about 6 am.” In fact, Basil found it worked perfectly because during those times, especially from the hours of 4-6 am you feel like you’re the only person on earth awake. “I essentially started with the music, which was the piano, then created the scenery,” he explains on the creative process, “I would record the sounds of the empty street out of my window, pages flipping etc, which are all in the background of the song.” Basil thought this created that source of intimacy that would do the words justice. As if you were in the room with him and he was telling you this story.
The whole album essentially features stories from Basil’s own life, which are playing out. “The whole project is a physical form of these memories from my adolescent time frame that I brought to life,” Basil explains to Eat This Music. “I find music is very visual for me, so memories for this project was what I used to draw inspiration from.” Basil would ask myself, how would that memory sound, so he would create the musical landscape, then with the lyrics he would describe it to create the whole scene or mood.
“I took this time in Lock down to start working on my next solo project,” Basil reveals to Eat This Music on what he has coming up next. “I’ve got some feature tracks coming out with some amazing artists over the next couple months.” Now that manufacturing is back up and running, the plan is for Basil to have the next capsule of clothing for his clothing company out for November/December, and working on new music and a larger project with a London based collective he is in called RE:MIND. “I dunno, I’m just trying to stay busy and create as much as possible because I def want to go hard playing shows when that’s actually a safe option again,” Basil concludes.