Exploring Melodies and Memories: An Interview with Gabriel Byrd

Guys we’ve got an amazing interview to share just for you. Now, it’s the turn to get acquainted with Gabriel Byrd – he is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer whose phenomenal new single “Under a Mango Tree” is out now.

Now he draws his ideas from some serious guitar names like Robbie Basho, Jimmy Page, and Egberto Gismonti. However that he is skillfully combining folk, classical, progressive and experimental rock styles and creates this really special sonic tapestry that no one else can ever create. The guy is really something – he played and produced every single musical instrument on the newly released song by himself. And that’s not all, it was mastered by Miles Showell at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, London, UK. How cool is that?

In our discussion, Gabriel shared a lot about his journey into music from those days and how he was inspired by his surroundings and challenges in this sector to the creative process behind his music. Then, we went super in-depth about his ideas, the significance behind his stage name, and the tale of why he titled his recent project “Under a Mango Tree”.

If you would like to see the soul of a highly competent artist who consciously follows his roots and his own thought, you should definitely listen to Gabriel Byrd. Homie is the bomb! His deep-seated love of music is simply contagious. Let’s dive in!

Listen to Under a Mango Tree below

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What is your stage name?

Gabriel Byrd

Is there a story behind your stage name?
My close friends always called me Byrd for some mysterious, but no apparent reason, so I adopted it as my stage name. I like how it sounds and I believe it suits the persona well.

Where do you find inspiration?
Pretty much from everywhere: other artists that I admire, poetry, old films, painters, modern art, architecture, writers, and nature itself. I believe being an artist means keeping your eyes open to the world around you and then translating it with your own unique vision—that’s our contribution to posterity.

What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
I started learning piano at an early age, then moved to guitar, interested in learning rock and pop music. I felt special and deeply connected to it and since then never looked back.

Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Yes. My grandma was a pianist and teacher at the music conservatory in my hometown, and pretty much all of us in the family were somehow encouraged to pick up an instrument. Even those who didn’t follow a professional career were always very close to music.

My dad was a huge music enthusiast, owning an extensive vinyl collection, which today belongs to me. He was responsible for blowing my young mind with all these incredible sounds. He introduced me to most of the things that influenced me from an early age until now, from traditional Brazilian folk music, to Rock and Roll, Jazz, and beyond.

Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
My own compositions, I guess… I believe in them, and I believe what I do is valid as an artistic expression.

How did you learn to sing/write/play?
It was a mixture of having some instrument classes at an early age, listening to loads of records, being in a band as a teenager, and later on studying and earning a university degree in music and composition. With all that background, everything I write is a product of my intuition, taste, and inspiration.

What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
I don’t really remember to be honest. I think it was Milton Nascimento performing at this public concert at the square of my hometown.

How would you describe your music?
I believe it’s fierce, intriguing, and sophisticated, while still raw, melodic, and somehow emotional. I try to be as authentic and devoted to it as I can. It’s an extension of my own self.

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I try to be as authentic and devoted to it as I can. It’s an extension of my own self.

Describe your creative process.
It really depends. Most of the time, it comes from a melodic motif, a groove, or a chord progression. Once I find something that interests me and I find somehow valid, I develop all the context around it, be it the instrumentation, structure, textures, or mood. Most of the time, I write the music first and then the lyrics later. Writing the lyrics later gives me more freedom to experiment with different themes, interesting words, and even different languages if I want to.

What is your main inspiration?
I think the main thing that inspires me to write something is that the idea itself means something to me and reflects my artistic mind sonically. It can be deep personal feelings, daily life experiences, fantastic storytelling, silly love songs… Sometimes the music can also be cinematic, where I try to picture some image.

It can also be political in a sort of protest approach if I want to deliver a message. Again, I believe that the embryo behind each composition is the melody, mood, and aesthetics of each idea. If I find those ideas special somehow, I’m inspired to proceed with their completion, and this will dictate the effect I want to achieve with the final product.

What musician do you admire most and why?
That’s a very hard question; I like the ‘real ones’. I can’t pick only one, sorry. I could give you a short list, though: Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, classical composers such as Bach, Motown groups, Jazz cats, and old bluesmen are some of them. The blues is everywhere in my music, even if I don’t dare to call myself a bluesman. All of them have a special place in my heart and helped forge my style.

Has your style evolved since the beginning of your career?
Yes, and it keeps evolving.

Who do you see as your main competitor?
I don’t see arts and music in terms of competition, but like everyone else, I find challenges. One of them is that I feel the music industry nowadays is very formulaic, and shaped by executives far from having any artistic sensibility or creative appeal, rarely related to the music itself. Just look at the global top charts and you’ll know what I mean.

The music market – at least in terms of the mainstream – paradoxically, is directed toward celebrities rather than the music itself. Originally made for the ears, music has been currently sold mainly to the eyes; everything down the throat. This forces and misleads audiences to be more interested in – and eventually consume – an apparent fancy frame rather than the painting itself

What are your interests outside of music?
Literature, History, people of the Earth (native tribes and exotic cultures), Arts in general, Theology, Philosophy, Design, Architecture, fauna and flora.

If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
I don’t know…I like drawing. Probably, I would have invested in architecture.

What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
Being able to represent my ideas properly and to the right audience. As sometimes the compositions carry rich instrumentation, it is always a challenge to replicate it live and also produce it in the studio. Also, it is tricky to have the right team around me—people who share the same vision and help me manifest these ideas.

If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
That’s a tough one, and I don’t want to rant about the music industry and its shallow, clichéd formula approach again. If I could change one thing—and that’s utopic—well, I wish everything went back to the Analog days (tape machines and all of that). This would automatically scrap so much irrelevant garbage off the radar because the so-called artists would be forced to actually perform their own music. Nothing against the digital world, but this would drastically separate the wheat from the chaff, changing things a bit, for the better.


Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
In its early stages, this piece bore the working title ‘Song for Another One,’ which was rather nondescript. I vividly recall one blessed afternoon, about 10 years ago, when I played it for my dad at our ranch in Brazil, literally under a mango tree. He was deeply impressed, especially by its unique rhythm, which he described as having an intriguing ‘gallop.’

He said It reminded him of Egberto Gismonti’s sounds, the world-famous arranger and composer. My dad passed away recently, and as this is my first signed solo production—completely produced, arranged, recorded, and mixed by me—I felt it fitting to honor his memory and those precious moments. As the piece is acoustic, I believe the name enhances the vibe, evoking imagery and connecting with my tropical roots.

What are your plans for the coming months?
I’m working on new music that will be available soon. It’s an 8-minute song called ‘Lighthouse,’ and it blends a bit of everything: prog rock, funk, folk, psychedelic, and even a bit of country. It’s about following your inner light.

Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?
Not in terms of composition, but I often collaborate with other musicians in terms of recordings, arrangement, and music production.

What message would you like to give to your fans?
Thank you for your continuous support. If you like what I am doing, listen to the music, spread the word, and come say hello at our gigs!

Mister Styx
Mister Styxhttps://musicarenagh.com
My name is Mister Styx and I'm a music blogger and an HVAC Engineer. I'm passionate about all kinds of music, from rock to hip-hop, Jazz, and Reggae as a matter of fact I am always eager to hear new sounds as music has no barrier, and I'm always looking for new sounds to explore. Hop on lets go fetch for some new sounds!

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