He’s been called the “Bon Iver of Salem” and if you have had anything to do with the Massachusetts or New Hampshire live music landscape you know who he is. Dusty Groove America has rightly said,”He has a sound unlike anyone.” As an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, he’s worked with some of the greats such as Richie Havens. If you know him you know him. Otherwise, for those unacquainted: Ladies and Gentleman meet Jesse Ciarmataro, known to fans and other artists alike by his stage name, Qwill.
Qwill’s new single, “Falling” was just released on his label Simple Truth Records. This new track is a great example of what Ciarmataro does best. “Falling” begins with a syncopated lo-fi violin sound that emulates the sound of a guitar or uke. As tasty, chill, and ambient sounds fire off the programmed drums drop with a hard hitting crossover groove somewhere between breakbeat, dancehall and hip-hop to then bring in his vocals which compliment the beat perfectly. The lead vocals ring with a beautiful lyrical simplicity yet stripped down feel. The single also features a verse by local Boston rapper, Esoteric and includes a B-side: an acoustic rendition of the song by Wood & Bone.
We took the time to chat with Qwill about his journey in music:
When did you start to get interested in music?
I grew up around music. My Grandfather, a few uncles were musicians. My mom has a beautiful voice, and was always singing around the house, and my older sister had an awesome record collection!
If you were an advertisement what would your slogan be?
Share Light & Love
Which is the part you enjoy the most about music?
There’s a lot of elements in music that I enjoy, but a few things would be the recording and producing side of things, and then translating that music live and sharing that experience with people.
In which aspects has music helped you?
Music is a gift that has given me a vehicle to not only express, but to understand someone else expression. I think its been a life force along my journey.
What does music mean to you? Everything (Love)
Your new single “Falling” starts with the line, “Under my breath I feel I am waiting for someone to let me live” What did you mean when you wrote that line and how does that relate to your life at the moment in 2021?
Its an expression of vulnerability. That’s how I felt when I wrote, and sang those lyrics. That’s not where I’m at now, but it still communicates vulnerability, which I think is the foundation to opening yourself up, and seeing things in a more compassionate way.
What was the songwriting and production process like for “Falling”, how did the song come to life?
I made the beat with a sample of an unplugged electric guitar that I recorded on my phone. The instrumental came together, and inspired me to write the lyrics. I was pretty fired up about the mix and had recently collaborated with MC Esoterics on his amazing album “Saving Seamus Ryan” and I could here him on Falling. I sent the mix to Eso, and the next day he had his vocal stems done, then I mixed it. The energy felt incredible.
Do you consider that nowadays there are more or less opportunities for new artists?
I believe that there’s much more opportunities available to get your music heard and recorded then when I first started out, but I think there’s always a space to improve things.
What would your idyllic life as an artist be like?
I feel blessed to be living this life, and when the music that I am able to be a part of touches someone else, its another reminder of the gift, and the power of music.
What should the 2021 artist be doing?
Express yourself, and don’t wait for anyone to tell you that you can. See where an idea leads you, and don’t be afraid to listen and learn from other artists.