Music is a calling. There is no denying that. We can all try to build a life that will suit us best. But when music comes calling there is no denying it. Our recent discovery Austin Mulka has answered that musical call.
We had a chance to chat with the soulful rising rock star to get a little deeper into his journey. Enjoy the interview here:
First off, what drives Austin Mulka to create music?
I’m driven by the desire to capture how I’m feeling and express unconventional viewpoints in a socially acceptable manner.
How would you describe your sound?
I would say my sound is very smooth and clean. My genres range from pop, rock, alternative, and jazz—but my songs are always very polished.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?
All time, my biggest influences have been the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Bill Withers, and The Temptations. As for more modern artists, I’ve been really influenced by Regina Specktor, Ben Folds, Fiona Apple, and Rebecca Sugar.
Through your college career, it looked you you were heading for a career in politics. What prompted the change to music?
I went into politics because I had a lot of ideas and solutions to problems. I was always really into solving puzzles and brain teasers and loved learning about STEM. But, politics wasn’t what I expected and just wasn’t my thing. I wasn’t very good at it and I was very immature when I first started.
The biggest reason, perhaps the nail in the coffin for my political aspirations, was because of a speech made at a political conference by a speaker named T.K. Coleman. T.K. made a pitch for Entrepreneurship being the best way to help lives and make social change and it really inspired me. I I realized I could do whatever job I wanted and still make contributions to society. So I decided to do what my heart called me to do, which was music, and pursue my crazy save the world soultions on the side. Regardless of how my music career goes, I plan to donate and promote things like Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, CRISPR, and various other ideas I believe will benefit humanity. Yet, I am also doing what I love to do—writing and recording music.
Tell us about your songwriting process. How does a song come together for you?
Songwriting for me is generally a three step process. First there is an outburst of emotion. If that emotion is sadness or anger, the first step is usually a mess. When it’s a burst of inspiration or an epiphany, however, I usually have a pretty solid first draft! During the emotional burst I record (usually about 10-20 minutes) everything I’m playing and singing and write everything down.
When im in a more clear head, I will pick a recording and analyze what I was feeling. During this second step, I sort out the emotion and structure all of the musical parts and melodies into a verse, prechorus, chorus and bridge.
Finally, in the last step, I really try to make the song objectively significant. It’s different each time. In one song, since it was a love song, I changed the lyrics a bit to make it in iamabic pentameter since that’s universally known as a heartbeat. Or, I’ll exchange a lyric with a witty metaphor, really examine my word choice. Etc. This is usually my longest step, because I never feel a song is finished.
What do you hope the listener takes away from an Austin Mulka song?
I hope my listeners are able to connect my music to their own experiences and find solace.
What advice would you give to other artists pouring their heart and “Soul” into their music?
Don’t be afraid to look stupid and don’t play for anyone else but yourself. Stay true and be unashamed of your feelings and your music. Don’t write music you think is bad because others like it, or not write music you love because others don’t. You’ll be loved and hated no matter what, might as well be genuine.
Where do you see the career of Austin Mulka in the future?
Regardless of my popularity, I see myself improving as a musician. I plan on becoming a better singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist, and performer. I don’t care if I’m performing in front of 2 or 2,000 people as long as I know I’m giving a good performance.